And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27
This week’s video is presentation 17 in our study of Acts. In it we review the ongoing work of Christ as it becomes established in churches, such as those in Jerusalem, Corinth, and Ephesus. You can view it by clicking here (scroll down to Lesson 17).
Read and meditate on Acts 18.24-28.
How timely that Priscilla and Aquila should have been left in Ephesus. We don’t know anything more about Apollos than what we read here. He was steeped in the Old Testament, eloquent, and a believer in Jesus as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. But that’s all he knew. Still, he preached this message fervently, believing John’s witness concerning Jesus, but not knowing anything beyond that.
1. Apollos shows us that we must be zealous to proclaim as much of Jesus as we know, even though there’s always room for learning and growth. Why do you think most Christians don’t follow his example in this?
2. Apollos was a true man of faith, already preaching Jesus, though he knew only part of the truth of the Good News. Knowing part of the truth is not the same as knowing a half-truth. But Priscilla and Aquila recognized his faith and stepped up to bring him to a fuller understanding. Are you alert to the opportunities God provides you for encouraging and teaching believers who are younger in the faith?
3. Priscilla and Aquila filled in the gaps of Jesus’ life and work, which, for Apollos, only served to cause more of the pieces of the Old Testament puzzle to fall into place in the story of redemption. Apollos seems to have been looking for a place to serve, and when he learned about the Gospel taking root in Corinth and elsewhere, he longed to go to Achaia (southern Greece as we know it today), perhaps because he may have been trained in Greek culture and literature in Alexandria. Apollos was seeking to serve the Lord in a context most favorable to his background, training, and interests. Is there any guidance for you here in thinking about opportunities to serve the Lord in your church?
4. The believers in Ephesus wrote Apollos a letter of recommendation, and Priscilla and Aquila may have gone with him, in order to introduce him to the believers, before continuing on to Rome (Rom. 16.3), which had been their home (Acts 18.2). Apollos appears to have been well received and effective in his ministry among the churches Paul had started in Greece (cf. 1 Cor. 1.12; 3.5-9). The emergence of evangelists and teachers like Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos is further evidence that this is a work of God, and not just some personality cult organized around Peter or Paul or anyone else. What does your church do to encourage the development of leaders for the ongoing work of Christ?
5. Jesus had said He would build His Church (Matt. 16.18), and in the book of Acts we’re getting a good look at the ways He carries out this commitment. A strong unity existed among the churches of the Lord during this period, and this made it possible for people like those mentioned in this chapter to be available as the Lord led to serve in various places, if only for limited periods of time. The Spirit of God supervised and energized this work, and not even the gates of hell could prevail against it, much less the Jews or the Romans. Do you have a sense that God is calling you to some specific area of ministry? Are you as prepared for this as you should be? Talk with a pastor or church leader to help you figure out how to get to where God is leading you in His service.
God continues raising up leaders to keep the ongoing work of Christ ongoing. Priscilla, Aquila, Apollos, Timothy, Titus – all became effective leaders in their generation, in no small part because of their association with Paul. Leaders don’t just happen. They must be made. Ask your pastor or a church leader how you can help in this important work.
Give ear, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD,
And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.
T. M. Moore
Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.
Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. This is the work of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven. Read more about the implications of this work in our new book, The Kingdom Turn (click here).
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