Tag Archives: Apollos

WHAT DID APOLLOS DO THAT WAS SO RIGHT?


William Andrew Dillard

The array of Biblical characters is as broad as life in any generation, this one notwithstanding. They are presented unshielded, fully depicting the depravity of man, and they are also presented in the marvelous glory of sinful men serving the Lord in righteousness through the grace of Christ Jesus. One such character that stands in the biblical spotlight is Apollos, introduced to us in Acts 18:24-19:7. Think with me about him.
One outstanding attribute of Apollos was his educational level. He was an Alexandrian Jew. This meant he was native to the thriving city of Alexandria on the northern African coast. The city was commensurate with Carthage and Rome. It was especially an educationally motivated city with the best libraries of the world, and renown teachers. Consequently, Apollos excelled in arts. He was a polished speaker commanding a large vocabulary and great skills in debate.
It is to the credit of Apollos that he had received Christ Jesus as his personal Savior, and answered the burden to preach the Word. However, his understanding of much of Christianity was incomplete. Consequently, he did not preach or practice correctly. Paul discovered the error of Apollos as he came upon a group presenting themselves as a New Testament church, but without the obvious blessing they should have had. The error of their baptism previously administered by Apollos was corrected, but neither the spiritual salvation of this group nor the baptism of John was questionable.
About that time, two of Paul’s faithful helpers, Aquila and Priscilla heard him preach. Noting his lack of information, they took him aside and expounded the way of the Lord more perfectly. Perhaps it was over a fried chicken dinner on Sunday afternoon.
How did that work out? The truth which Aquila and Priscilla shared fit perfectly with the incomplete information Apollos had. He received that truth, and he was thankful for the spiritual help afforded him. He went on to become a respected minister by Paul who recommended him, and used him to confound the Jews, and to edify the saints. His name is called a number of times in the Pauline epistles. His humility, dedication, and sharing the gospel as uniquely as only one with his background could do was so right. It is also right that all of us should follow that example.

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LEFT THY FIRST LOVE!


LEFT THY FIRST LOVE!

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

The church of the Living God at Ephesus played a prominent part in the initial spread of Christianity as well as in the makeup of the New Testament. The book that bears its name features some of the best loved verses in the Bible.
The church was born in an idol worshipping city, creating significant, violent protests, yet it was a tremendous work of the Apostle Paul, who went out of his way to pay it one last visit near the end of his free ministry. It was also home to the ministry of Aquila and Priscilla, and a preaching station of glib Apollos.
It was this writer’s delight to visit the ruins of the ancient city which still bears ample evidence of its early prominence, including remains of winding streets, shops, libraries, homes, and huge storage facilities of grain. There are also remains of city laws engraved in stone in prominent places. Indeed the ancient amphitheater that hosted a protest crowd of some 50,000 in the days of Paul is there together with remains of an ancient church house and deep water baptistery. There are also prominent brothels, speaking to the sensuality of the idol worship so prominent, water cooled houses, epicurean regurgitation stations, and other indicators of material excesses of the day.
Again, the church is directly addressed in Revelation chapter two. The underscored criticism of it is that they had left their first love. Commentators, and other theologians have conjectured just what that means, and often skewed it to their own thinking more than to contextual evidence.
It is abundantly clear that the church, and indeed the entire city suffered from devastation of disease and earthquakes, yet the ruins of what once was remains. Evidence abounds that what happened to the church at Ephesus is what continues to happen to churches throughout the age: they left their first love, and their candlestick was removed, even though they may have continued to operate religiously for a time. What is that first love? The same that we all have. It is love for the God of the Word, of whom we want to know more from our spiritual birth onward. Carnality often deals that a mortal blow. Do you love the Word more than this material world? How much time do you spend with it?

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