Acts 18:9

ESV And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, "Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,
NIV One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.
NASB And the Lord said to Paul by a vision at night, 'Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;
CSB The Lord said to Paul in a night vision, "Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent.
NLT One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, 'Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent!
KJV Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
NKJV Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;

What does Acts 18:9 mean?

This is a significant change in Paul's ministry. Although he spent years in his home base of Syrian Antioch, his missionary trips have been very transient. Luke doesn't tell us how long he spends at each city, but it's certainly no more than a few months.

Now, he is in Corinth, a pagan city known for pervasive sexual sin. So pervasive, in fact, that a Greek term for fornication, korinthiazomai, is derived from the name of the city. Paul has left the synagogue—and the protection of Judaism—and is meeting next door at the home of a Gentile who had attended the synagogue and now follows Jesus (Acts 18:6–7). Typically, by this point, the Jews in the synagogue would be convincing the prominent Gentiles of the city to force Paul out—or worse.

This time, however, God wants Paul to stay for a while. The people of the church in Corinth will need a lot of guidance. After Paul spends eighteen months establishing the church, Apollos will come and build on Paul's foundation (Acts 18:10–11; 1 Corinthians 3:6, 10). Paul will write four letters to the Corinthians, two of which we have as part of preserved Scripture. They show the Jesus-followers need significant help learning how to live godly lives.

Jesus appears to Paul in visions several times during his ministry. First at his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:5), then when he returns to Jerusalem (Acts 22:17–18). In Troas, Paul has a vision telling him to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:9). After his arrest in Jerusalem, Jesus will reassure him that he will go to Rome (Acts 23:11). We should not expect the same type of interaction with Jesus that Paul experienced. The beginning years of the church, as the message of Jesus' offer of forgiveness spread, required a lot of direct guidance. Now, God primarily speaks to us through the Bible.
What is the Gospel?
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