January 1, 2023 – Acts 18

Lesson Date: January 1, 2023

Focal Scripture Passage: Acts 18:1-28

AIM: To lead students to discover ways God helped the Apostle Paul and others, and to (a) trust Him when they need help and (b) try to help and strengthen other believers.


Before class: Read the notes on Acts 18 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Write the word “Help” on the marker board or chalkboard.


INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the word “Help” written on the board.  Ask: “How would you define the word ‘help’?” (aid, assist, support, strengthen, etc.).

Ask the students if they remember the old hymn, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” by Isaac Watts.  Read the first verse of that hymn:

O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal home:

Ask: “What does it mean for God to be our help?  What are some ways God helps us?”

Tell the class this morning we are going to study Acts 18, in which we will see that God helped Paul and others.  The title of today’s lesson is God Our Help.



  1. Review.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Philosophy or Christianity?; the difference between man’s philosophies and genuine Christianity).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Acts 17:30).
  2. Paul Received Help in Corinth.
    • Read Acts 18:1-2.
    • Explain the following:
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 18:3-4.
    • Ask: “How did God use Aquila and Priscilla to help Paul?” (they gave him a place to stay and let him work with them to support himself as a tent maker).
    • Ask: “What did Paul do every Sabbath?” (preached in the synagogue to Jews and Greeks).
    • Read Acts 18:5.
    • Explain the following:
      • Silas and Timothy had remained in Berea when the believers hurriedly sent Paul away to Athens (Acts 17:14-15).
      • Silas and Timothy now rejoined Paul in Corinth.
      • God used them to help Paul by bringing financial support from the churches of Macedonia (2 Cor. 11:9; Phil. 4:15).
    • Ask: “What message did Paul preach?” (that Jesus is the Christ).
    • Read Acts 18:6-8.
    • Ask: “According to verse 6, what did Paul do when the Jews opposed him?” (took his message about Jesus to the Gentiles).
    • Ask: “According to verse 7, where did Paul go?” (to the house of Justus, next door to the synagogue).
    • Tell the class that God used Justus to help Paul by giving him a place to preach to the Gentiles.
    • Ask: “What happened as a result of Paul’s preaching?” (the chief ruler of the Jewish synagogue, his family, and many Corinthians were saved).
    • Summarize: In Corinth, Paul received help from Aquila and Priscilla, Silas and Timothy, the churches of Macedonia, and Justus. Because of this help, many people were saved.
  3. The Lord Helped Paul.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 18:9-10.
    • Tell the students that the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision at night.
    • Ask: “What did the Lord tell Paul in verse 9?” (don’t be afraid, but speak, and don’t be silent).
    • Ask: “What did He tell Paul in verse 10?” (I am with you, no one will be able to hurt you, and there are many people that belong to me in this city).
    • Ask: “In what ways do you think this message from God helped Paul?” (it gave him confidence, peace, and strength to continue preaching about Jesus).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 18:11.
    • Ask: “What did Paul do after receiving this encouraging message from God?” (he remained in Corinth 18 months, preaching the Word of God).
    • Tell the class Paul wrote the letters of 1 & 2 Thessalonians during this time in Corinth.
    • Read Acts 18:12-17.
    • Explain the following:
      • Gallio was the Roman governor of the region of Achaia.
      • The Jews made a unified attack against Paul and brought him before Gallio, hoping to have him arrested or executed.
      • The Lord helped Paul, by causing Gallio to dismiss the case and set Paul free.
      • The Greeks were so mad that they took a Jewish leader and beat him publicly.
      • The Lord protected Paul from that fate.
    • Ask: “Did the Lord keep His promise to protect Paul?” (yes).
    • Summarize: The Lord helped Paul in Corinth, giving him encouragement, confidence, peace, strength, and protecting him from physical attack.
  4. Paul Helped Other Believers.
    • Read Acts 18:18-21.
    • Explain the following:
    • Ask: “According to verse 19, what did Paul do in Ephesus?” (preached in the synagogue).
    • Tell the students the believers in Ephesus wanted Paul to stay with them, but he said he had to get to Jerusalem in time for the upcoming feast day (probably to complete the vow mentioned in Acts 18:18).
    • Explain that God used Paul to help the believers in Ephesus by preaching the Word of God to them.
    • Read Acts 18:22-23.
    • Using the Map, explain that Paul sailed from Ephesus to Caesarea, went up to greet the church at Jerusalem, and then returned to his home base of Antioch; this marks the end of Paul’s Second Missionary Journey.
    • Ask: “What does verse 23 say Paul did after he spent some time in Antioch?” (went throughout the regions of Galatia and Phrygia; locate on the Map; this is the beginning of Paul’s Third Missionary Journey).
    • Ask: “What did Paul do in those regions?” (strengthened [helped] the young believers).
    • Summarize: Paul helped the believers in Ephesus, Galatia, and Phrygia by preaching to them and strengthening them in their faith.
  5. Apollos was Helped and Helped Others.
    • Read Acts 18:24-26.
    • Explain the following:
    • Ask: “How did God use Aquila and Priscilla to help Apollos?” (they took him in, taught him about Jesus, and led him to the Lord).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 18:27-28.
    • Ask: “After receiving Christ, how did God use Apollos to help others?” (he went and taught the new believers in Achaia).
    • Ask: “What was his powerful message to the Jews?” (he showed them from the Old Testament scriptures that Jesus is the Christ).
    • Summarize: Aquila and Priscilla helped Apollos by leading him to the Lord. Apollos took his newfound faith and knowledge of the Old Testament scriptures to help and strengthen other believers.


PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the class that the title of today’s lesson is God Our Help.

Ask: “What are some ways God helped Paul?” (He used Aquila and Priscilla to lodge Paul and help him support himself; He used Silas, Timothy, and the churches of Achaia to bring Paul financial support; He used Justus to give Paul a place to preach; He assured Paul in a vision that He was with him and would protect him; He caused Gallio to free Paul).

Ask: “How did God use Paul to help others?” (he faithfully preached the Gospel so many Jews and Gentiles could be saved; he encouraged and strengthened the young believers).

Remind the students that God also used Aquila and Priscilla to help Apollos, and then used Apollos to strengthen other believers.

Read Hebrews 13:6.  Ask: “What does it mean to you that God is our helper?  What difference does that fact make in our day-to-day life?” (it gives us confidence, encourages us, strengthens us, and helps us go on).

Tell the class that some of God’s help came through supernatural means, such as Paul’s vision and Gallio’s decision to dismiss the case against Paul; but much of God’s help came through other believers.  God helps us, not only for our benefit, but also so we can help others.

Ask: “Do you need God’s help?  Is there some issue in life – perhaps too personal to share with anyone else – about which you need God’s help, encouragement, intervention, and peace?  If so, tell Him about it in a moment when we pray, and trust Him to give you the help you need.”

Ask: “Do you know a fellow believer who needs help, encouragement, strength, or instruction in godly living?  What are some ways you could help that person?”

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Tell them to silently talk to God, asking for His help, expressing trust in Him to give that help, and asking for opportunities to help others.  Allow a moment of silent prayer, and then voice a closing prayer.


CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Acts 18:9.  Tell them to trust God when difficulties come this week, and to look for opportunities to help other believers who are struggling.


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