Accurate Gospel and Full Christians Acts: The Unfinished Story of the Church Series  Acts 18:23-19:7 November 11, 2012 Pastor Paul K. Kim
After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. (v.23)
PAUL’S THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY * Source: ESV Study Bible Online (www.esvbible.org/) * Source: ESV Study Bible Online (www.esvbible.org/)
EPHESUS: A POLITICAL, RELIGIOUS,AND COMMERCIAL CENTER IN ASIA • It was the capital of the Roman province of Asia [modern-day Turkey] with a rich history and culture. • It was the Gateway to Asia and as a highway to Rome, three major roads converged on Ephesus [from east, north, and northeast]. • It was the largest cosmopolitan, multicultural, commercial enter in Asia, in fact, the fourth largest city in the Roman Empire during the New Testament era. • It was also the religious center with the Temple of Artemis—the goddess of fertility. This multicultural Roman city became the most strategic city during Paul’s third missionary journey.
WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE DRAW FROM THESE TWO INCIDENTS? 1) Priscilla and Aquila’s COMPETENCY TO TEACH about the accurate gospel (18:24-26). 24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (vs. 24-26) • Apollos was exceptionally gifted: (1) from Alexandria, (2) eloquent/learned, (3) expert in OT, & (4) a passionate speaker. • But, he didn’t have a full historical witness about Jesus so his message was incomplete as a teacher of Christ’s gospel. • Following the example of Priscilla & Aquila, we need to be competent and tactful in helping others to excel for Christ.
WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE DRAW FROM THESE TWO INCIDENTS? 2) Apollos’HUMILITY AND TEACHABILITY to be better equipped for ministry (18:27-28). 27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. (vs. 27-28) • In spite of being a gifted, popular preacher of the Word, Apollos was humble enough to be teachable to “lay” leaders. • His teachability not only made him a more sound teacher but also expanded his sphere of ministry and impact for Christ. • Following Apollos’ example, we ought to be humble and teachable to those around us who can equipped us to be more sound, effective, and fruitful for Christ’s cause.
WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE DRAW FROM THESE TWO INCIDENTS? 3) Paul’s KEEN DISCERNMENT AND READINESS to help spiritually-open yet ill-guided people (19:1-7) 1 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.”
WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE DRAW FROM THESE TWO INCIDENTS? 3) Paul’s KEEN DISCERNMENT AND READINESS to help spiritually-open yet ill-guided people (19:1-7) 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all. (vs. 1-7) • Outwardly these twelve people looked like “disciples” [i.e., Christ-followers], but something was lacking in Paul’s view. • Through a couple of critical questions, Paul assessed that they were not yet regenerated and helped to be born again. • Following Paul’s example, we ought to cultivate this kind of keen discernment & readiness to help the spiritually ill-guided.
THREE PRACTICAL QUESTIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE • How can become more competent in the capability to explain and help others about the accurate gospel? • How can I become more humble and teachable to be better equipped for ministry (especially to share God’s Word)? • In what ways can I become more discerning and ready to help those people around me who are spiritually opened but lack the proper guidance?