Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Apollos

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

22nd August 2010

In Acts 18:24-28 we are introduced to a man named Apollos:

‘Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ’.(Acts 18:24-28)

I think Apollos is worthy of commendation because of the way he handled two things.

1. The way he handled his gifts

He was a man of outstanding ability and knowledge (Acts 18:24-25), but he did not let it go to his head, as one might (1 Corinthians 8:1-2), nor did he use it to promote and serve himself, as some did (Romans 16:17-18). Rather he used those gifts to speak ‘about Jesus accurately’ (V.25)

Apollos wasn’t lukewarm in his approach to sharing Jesus with others, in fact quite the reverse, he had a fervent spirit. (V.25). This fervency was coupled with boldness and courage as he spoke out in Jewish Synagogue - not exactly a friendly audience (V.26) and ‘vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate’. (V.28)

Knowledge without the boldness, courage and fervency to share it with others is useless in the Lord’s Cause. We will not be able to be ‘a great help to those who by grace had believed’ (V.27) like Apollos was.

But a fervent spirit without knowledge is dangerous (Romans 10:1-3), and Apollos’ knowledge was incomplete. Nevertheless he is to be commended for…

2. The way he handled correction

Apollos had ‘a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures’ (V.24) but was still wrong on a vital point: ‘he knew only the baptism of John’ (V.25), and therefore he needed to have explained to him ‘the way of God more adequately’ (V.26).

He needed to know what Paul explained in Acts 19:4-5.

‘Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus’. (Acts 19:4-5)

Baptism ‘into the name of the Lord Jesus’ is like John’s in that it is in water. (Acts 10:47-48) and that it involves repentance and remission of sins. (Luke 3:3; Acts 2:38)

But unlike John’s, it is preceded by faith in the Christ who has come:

‘Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned’. (Mark 16:16)

Now the great thing about Apollos is that he was humble and honest enough to be corrected. (V.26). He welcomed honest investigation. (cf. Acts 17:11), and he had a good and honest heart. (cf. Luke. 8:15).

This resulted in him going forward ‘proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ’. (V.28)

As Christians:

  • We all have God given gifts and abilities - How well do you handle yours?
  • We may all have ‘a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures’ – But how honest are you when charged with error? Enough to investigate and change?

Apollos was and became a great help to others.

Have a good week handling your gifts, handling correction, and helping others.

Pastor Barry

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