Acts 18 Lesson


Today’s lesson is about fear.  As Christians, we are supposed to be brave and courageous (Joshua 1:9), yet many of us still experience fear in our lives. 

As we begin today’s lesson, think of something that is currently going on in your life that you are afraid of.  Keep that thought in mind as you read the scriptures and commentary. Then ask yourself:

“What is God trying to teach me, or tell me?” 


What is causing you to be afraid is not God.

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:

In his first epistle, John wrote:

  • “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” – 1 John 4:18.

These scriptures remind us that God does not want us to be afraid. 


The Apostle Paul lived an amazing life. That, however, does not mean that he was never afraid. 

Consider the following quote as we discuss Paul’s experiences with fear and how he overcame it.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela (Source:

Earlier in his life, Paul persecuted Christians and created fear in the hearts of many.  After his “Road To Damascus Moment, Paul devoted the rest of his life to the preaching and teaching of God’s word. 

He suffered greatly in his service to the Lord, having been:

  1. Nearly stoned to death,
  2. Beaten with rods,
  3. Imprisoned multiple times! 

It would only make sense that Paul lived his life in constant fear with everything that he had been through, except for one thing:

God told him not to be afraid, and Paul listened to him! 

Luke writes about how the Lord spoke to Paul one night in a vision.  He said:

  • "' Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.’ And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” –  Acts 18:9-11.

These words must have been of great comfort to Paul, and they are as true today as they were then. Whatever type of adversity we are going through; we are not in it alone.


  1. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.” - Isaiah 41:10,
  2. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9,
  3. The Lord is the defense of my life; “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?  Whom should I dread?” - Psalm 27:1,
  4. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” - John 14:27.

These are not just any words; they are the inspired words of God, as Paul wrote about in his second letter to Timothy:

  • “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17.


There is one type of fear that is healthy for us, and that is a fear of the Lord. 

  • “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” – Psalm 9:10.

When the Bible tells us to fear the Lord, it means two things:

  1. That we are to show God reverence,
  2. That we recognize God’s supreme power in all things. 


Fear is a powerful tool of the devil.  If we let it consume us, it will.

When we struggle, we need to remember the courage that Paul showed. When the Lord spoke to Paul and told him not to be afraid, Paul listened! Will we?

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture:

  • “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. Exalt the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord and He answered me, and rescued me from all my fears.” - Psalm 34:1-4.


Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?


Click To View The Discussion
Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?


Gabe Epstein
Virtual Bible Study

When I encounter fearful situations I have always cowered. I have learned that doing this only encourages the element of fear and things get immediately worse. I have trained myself to overcome my fears through acting in faith to conquer the feeling of fear. It is the devil's trick.

Robert K

A few years ago I was caught in an embarrassing situation in Florida. I was ashamed and fearful of the backlash. God gave me the strength to acknowledge what I did was wrong and gave me the courage to face the consequences of my actions.