Acts, Chapter 18
- You guys all know what a jigsaw puzzle is?
- Jigsaw puzzle Christmas gift from my wife’s uncle.
- I’m not a puzzle person, so my wife put together.
- She ended up with 2 extra pieces.
- Somewhere in world, there is a puzzle with 2 missing pieces.
i. Whoever is putting it together will find it’s incomplete.
ii. They will probably be looking all over for those 2 pieces.
- In same way many of us and many of our friends have incomplete knowledge of the way of salvation.
- Welcome to tonight’s Bible study, thank you for coming.
- We are following the Straight Street Bible reading plan. #. I have calendars for anyone interested – follow the plan on the calendar and you will go through the entire Bible in 1 year.
- One of the readings for today is Acts 18.
- Tonight we are going to look at a portion of that chapter, Acts 18:24-28.
- These verses are about a guy named Apollos, a good man, but he just didn’t have the complete truth.
- It is my prayer tonight that we will realize it is not what we do or know that gets us close to God.
- It is when we know Christ personally and accept him, that we can be free from this burden of sin.
- Look with me at Acts 18:24-27:
24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 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. 26 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.
27 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. 28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
- This passage introduces us to a person named Apollos.
- Verse 24 says he was a learned with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.
- He was probably a very good speaker.
- Verse 25 says he spoke with great fervor - he was pretty excited about his religion, and didn’t mind telling others about it.
- Verse 25 also says he was accurate in what he said – he knew what he was talking about.
- Basically, he had knowledge, ability and drive – what more could you ask for?
- Many times, we approach our salvation and relationship with God like Scott Rogers approached hiking across Canada with only one leg.
- Rogers had cancer, and had to have one leg amputated.
- He was a very motivated person, and even with only one leg he wanted to prove he could do anything he set his mind to.
- He decided he was going to hike all the way across Canada – basically like walking from Los Angles to New York.
- He wrote in his diary: “It’s not how physically strong you are that matters, it’s the level of commitment that you hold in your heart that will get you through the hard parts.”
- We feel as if we are just committed to doing good, being a good person, maybe it will be good enough for God.
- Has anyone here felt that way?
- I know I have.
- Problem is, you start thinking back over the times you have failed.
- Like me, do you remember the times you have turned your back on God, and you don’t think you can ever get back to the place where God is happy with you again?
- That is the understanding Apollos had.
- I think the greatest invention in the past decade is the DVD player. And the best use for the DVD is the 4 to 6 disc set.
- Slowly all of the greatest TV series are becoming available on DVD.
- When I really like a TV show, I buy the series.
- What is frustrating is to get into a series, and find Disc 3 is missing – like the people trying to put together the jigsaw puzzle with the 2 missing pieces.
- The series is incomplete and the whole story is not there.
- This was the case for Apollos.
- Look again at verse 25:
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.
- John’s Baptism refers to the teaching of John the Baptist.
- Apollos had gotten his instruction from the teaching of John the Baptist.
- It was John’s mission to prepare the way for the messiah.
- John taught about repentance from sin.
- Repentance is simply turning away from our evil deeds and beginning to live for God.
- We still teach repentance today. We do need to stop our sinful behavior and follow the Bible.
- But repentance is not enough. We have still sinned, and although we are now trying to live according to the Bible, that sin has separated us from God.
- I talk to people everyday that are having problems because of sin in their life.
- They say things like:
i. If I stopped drinking
ii. If I stopped doing drugs
iii. If I stopped smoking
iv. If I stayed away from sex until marriage
v. If I stopped lying
- If they turned from their sin and turned toward God and doing good their lives would be a lot better.
- And John teaches us to turn from evil and do good. John’s baptism was all about the works that you do.
- But that is an incomplete description of what Christianity is all about.
- That’s where Pricilla and Aquila come in.
- Two of Paul’s well-known converts were Aquila and Priscilla, a couple who went with Paul to Ephesus #. Aquilla and Pricilla took him aside, in verse 26, and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
- The way of God is different from the way of man.
- We understand earning our salvation through good works. But God’s way is different.
- Aquilla and Pricilla explained to Apollos what Paul said in Ephesians 2:8,9:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
13. All of us are sinners. And no matter how hard we try to please God we can’t, the Bible says;
10 And the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God’s laws. James 2:10
14. And the Bible also says that the penalty for sin is death.
a. But Jesus, the messiah, came to Earth to die on a cross in our place. And we accept this payment to receive eternal life.
b. The story doesn’t stop at repentance. We need to repent—yes, but turning for our sin is only part of it—we must accept Christ as our payment.
c. Aquila and Priscilla taught him this, and we need to believe the same as well.
d. All of us need to come to accept Christ as our Savior and then follow Him as our Lord.
e. Apollos learned the complete Gospel, not the one that focuses on works. Not the one that says to do this, or do that.
15. It is the Gospel of Christ that says;
a. All of us are sinners. All of us are condemned to die because of our sin. But Jesus, through his death, paid the penalty for us. And we can accept this payment and have eternal life.
b. Tonight, you can make this same decision.
c. The decision to accept Christ and his payment.
d. It is important that we repent of our sin.
e. But we must accept the payment of Christ, because none of us can do anything to earn our salvation.
16. Let’s pray.