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The point is: Jesus is the Christ!
Acts 18:22-28 (Pastor Heo)
22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the [Jerusalem] church and then went down to Antioch [his mother church].
— Second missionary journey END —
— This missionary journey START (18:23 – 21:16)—
23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. [tour of Galatia and Phrygia]
24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. [move to Ephesus, Thessalonia, Macedonia, Troas, etc and back to Jerusalem] 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.
The point is: Jesus is the Christ. This is the conclusion.
Paul’s Third Missionary Journey (18:23 – 21:16) ends at Jerusalem. He has no chance to go back to his home church (Antioch) because he will be arrested in Jerusalem and sent to Rome.
In the second part of his Second journey, he went to Ephesus and reasoned with the people. So, they asked him to stay with them a little more, but he hurried on to Jerusalem – to complete his Nazarite vow with his shaved hair in the Jerusalem temple. “But I will return if the Lord wills.” (Aquila and Priscilla remained there.)
In his Third Journey, he returned. It was a 4-year journey, and he spent 3 years in Ephesus. This is his main target of the third journey. “Be on your guard. Don’t forget that for three years I warned you with tears.”
Now, what happened in Ephesus BEFORE Paul arrived there?
“24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.”
Still today, Alexandria exists in Egypt. This is the second largest city along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. At that time, it was the second largest in the Roman world – after Rome – and it boasted a huge university and library (with 700,000 books). At that time, this was the LARGEST library.
Also, at that time Athens and Alexandria were rivals – fighting each other for reputation of philosophy and education.
This city was named for Alexander the Great. From this city, Apollos came to Ephesus.
Who is Apollos?
A great scholar, learned man, thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, fervor, passion, zeal in the Spirit, a man of courage and boldness. He vigorously defended the Scriptures (energy, vitality, etc).
1 Cor 3 “Who is Apollos? Who am I? Only servants of Christ. I planted the seed. Apollos watered it. But only God made it grow.”
He had one weakness though.
“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.”
At that time, Christianity was “The Way.”
This is one of the commonest titles for Christianity in the book of Acts. At that time, there was no name “Christianity.”
But this word shows us not only believing in certain things but also putting them into practice. Christianity is “The act of putting Christ’s words into practice.”
v. 28 “Jesus was the Christ” – the Anointed Messiah
Jesus says, “I am THE Way… therefore everyone who hears this word of mine and puts it into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock…”
Apollos was a good man, a scholar, full of spiritual knowledge and passion, courage, stamina, energy. He was elegant, a talented speaker. But his one problem was:
- He knew ONLY the baptism of John.
- He did NOT know of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
He knew of Christ, very clearly and accurately. He knew the human and historic Christ. He knew of the task Jesus gave men to do. But he did NOT know of the Helping power Jesus gave them to do it. He did not know of the salvation of Jesus and the coming of the HS in power.
What is the MAIN ministry of the HS?
To witness / testify about Jesus Christ.
“Nobody can call Jesus ‘Lord’ without the ministry of the Holy Spirit.”
Thus, if you can say this, then you have already received the baptism of the HS.
The fact that he didn’t know this means that he didn’t yet know of Jesus’ Kingship, Lordship, Divinity fully, and the coming of the HS in power. He needed to know this one point.
“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 [Christianity = the doctrine of Christ] more adequately.”
We saw the story of this beautiful couple last Sunday.
Who were they?
A couple and business-couple (tentmakers).
Why were they here in Ephesus?
Paul first met them in Corinth. They were expelled from Rome at that time. Immediately they became partners (tentmakers + missionaries) – so they traveled together from Corinth to Ephesus.
Paul left Ephesus for Jerusalem – leaving them behind at Ephesus to carry on the ministry and prepare for his return.
This couple were steeped in the truth and the Word of God. They worked with Paul so long and so much, they heard his message so deeply, they knew his message well. And their eyes were focused on eternity – something more significant – PEOPLE over things, investing in the kingdom of God, their home was always open to others.
When they heard Apollos preaching, they found one deficiency: He did not know about the baptism of the HS and Jesus becoming the Messiah and eternal life.
But this couple did not correct him at once in a public place, but they invited him to their home (with delicious food) and explained to him about “The Way” more adequately.
Apollos’ message was accurate and sincere, but incomplete. But with the help of this couple, the message became complete – focusing on Christ – his Messiahship, Kingship, Lordship.
- From this couple we can learn wisdom and hospitality.
- From Apollos we can learn humility.
P&A were simple laymen workers. But Apollos was a professional scholar. P&A’s hospitality and Apollos’ humility worked together to open the door for more people’s salvation.
We should be humble. Humility is not a weakness; but power, courage, possibility for growth, a channel through which we receive God’s grace.
“God gives grace to the humble.”
If I’m humble, I can learn more from anyone, then I can grow, then I can be used by God more, then I can be more of a blessing, through this is gives greater glory to God.
Also, the Christian home is one of the BEST tools for spreading the gospel. Do others see and find Jesus through your home? God bless our home as a mission home.
“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.”
Achaia was a part of southern Greece – the capital city of this province was Corinth. Thus, Apollos went to Corinth. Believers at Ephesus encouraged and helped him by writing a letter to the believers there asking them to welcome him.
There, he was used as a greater tool for the salvation of many people. How is this possible? Because his message, his conclusion, finally focuses on JESUS as the Christ. (This is the point.)
Remember, the point of the message: Jesus is the Christ – can save and change others. Our own message and words cannot change others, but THIS message can.
“28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures [Old Testament] that Jesus was the Christ. “
With his strong argument, he defeated the Jews in public debate – proving that Jesus was the anointed Messiah.
Yes, even today, we need to be “on fire” for God. Do you have “holy fire” for God?
How can we capture and maintain enthusiasm for God?
“The key is conviction.”
I have beliefs, we all have faith. But the problem is, when beliefs move from our heads down into our hearts. Also, when we are overpowered by truth and become a thing is TRUE and MATTERS, it gives us passion.
Yes, we must do the things that increase our passion for God:
From a gospel perspective, there are only two kinds of human beings:
- The Lost – in need of being saved
- Christians – in need of encouragement, edification, and being equipped for more mission
I like this word: “enthusiasm.”
This English word came from Greek:
- en = “in”
- thus = “Theos” = “God”
- Enthusiasm = “inspired”
- Root of this word = “in God”
An enthusiastic person = inspiring because he is IN God.
Jesus asked one day, “Who do people say I am?” John the B, Elijah, one of the prophets?
Peter: “You are the Christ!”
Jesus was surprised and happy, satisfied. “You are blessed. This was revealed to you by heavenly revelation. On this rock [this faith], I will build my church and the gates of hell will never overcome it.”
Yes, knowledge of the Scriptures is necessary.
Passion / Enthusiasm in the Spirit…
- Fluency in speech is necessary
But remember, none of them, and all of them together cannot give us salvation.
Christ alone can.
- “Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
- “If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved…”
The point is: Jesus is the Christ.
2,000 years ago, and today, and 2,000 years later, and until Jesus’ Second Coming, this truth is the same. This is a timeless truth.
Jesus is THE WAY, the Truth, the Life, and no one comes to the Father except by him.