Among the Bible characters I've long admired, Apollos is one that I greatly respect and have tried to emulate.
You remember Apollos, don't you? We first read about him in Acts 18: 24-28. He is said to have been a Jew, born in Alexandria (Acts 18: 24). He was a very religious man when he was a Jew and now, as a follower of Christ, was equally as adept at keeping the rules. Problem? Apollos lacked adequate knowledge (see verses 24, 25). That describes many Christians I meet today, people who love Jesus, love their church, but are virtually clueless regarding the Doctrine of Christ, the King.
Apollos was a very “eloquent man" (vs. 24). Eloquent comes from the Greek logious, meaning “word. " The Greeks used “eloquent" not only to describe a learned person but also one skilled with words; a wordsmith. He was also “mighty in the Scriptures. " One can be mighty in the Scriptures and still lack sufficient knowledge, as we will soon see was the case with Apollos.
He came to Ephesus, where Aquila and Priscilla lived. God saw this couple as being Christians who could teach Apollos (Jn. 7: 17). We are told that he was “instructed in the way of the Lord" and was “fervent in spirit, " teaching “diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John" (vs. 25). John's baptism was important but it was only preparatory; it looked to Jesus and His baptism (Mk. 1: 3, 4, Matt. 3: 2). Apollos was, as is the case with so many Christians today, quite zealous but lacking scriptural knowledge (see I Tim. 1: 7). If he were alive today, he might have a chrome fish on his car bumper, a “Jesus Saves" t-shirt, and his name engraved on his Bible which he carried everywhere. He loved Jesus, but was not as familiar with His Doctrine as he could have been.
Fortunately, Apollos was teachable. Like him, we must ALL be seekers of the truth (Jn. 7: 17). Many Christians with the attainments of Apollos would have scoffed at a couple of tentmakers trying to teach them anything, but not Apollos (vs. 26). Aquila and Priscilla “took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly" (vs. 26). There you have it: truth and doctrine matter (Jn. 4: 24, 2 Jn. 9-11) so much more than manmade rituals, adherence to manmade doctrine, and sincerity.
Recently, I saw a television program about “The Lost boys of Sudan. " These 25,000 boys escaped slaughter by Islamic militants by running across the desert. When their terrible journey had ended, only 12,000 had survived, the others died from sickness, starvation, wild animals and weaponry. The “boys" are men now and the cameras interviewed three who live in New York. One young man, standing in front of a small Christmas tree, commented on how beautiful everything is here, like that Christmas tree. He added, “but is it in the Bible?"
The religious-sounding words we throw around in our denominations, are they in the Bible?
The holidays, holy days, traditions and feasts we celebrate, are they in the Bible?
Did Jesus or any of the apostles exemplify anything remotely resembling what your denomination refers to as Christianity?
Was the worship of Jesus or the Acts Church anything like what we see today?
Does anybody care?
After being properly discipled by Aquila and Proscilla, Apollos continued to share his faith, only now with the WHOLE truth (see verses 27, 28, and Acts 20: 27). Apollos is the kind of Christian we need today, “for he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ" (vs. 28). Apollos continued doing as he'd done before, only this time as a greater help to the Kingdom cause of Christ (I Cor. 3: 5, 6).
Are we doing likewise?
Far too often, our tendency is to ask God to bless what we are doing rather than doing what God is blessing. Nothing short of a burning bush would cause many to consider re-thinking our agenda. We fail to ask ourselves if what we're doing now is bearing any fruit for the Kingdom. I'm not talking mere numbers here or the success of a church program. No, I'm referring to lives being transformed. These days, those who are discerners of the times - even the blind ones - can observe that the winds of the Spirit are shifting in the Church.
Three words to the wise: Adjust your sails. Contrary to popular belief, blind faith is not a good thing; obedience is critical.
Bad time to perpetuate the status quo. The spirit of Apollos is to be admired and duplicated for such a time as this. If a sharp, intellectual Christian like him was teachable and made adjustments when corrected by a lowly working couple, we can certainly do likewise.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
His mission is to bring Discipleship and Encouragement to the Body of Christ. Since ‘99, he has broadcast over 600 inspirational articles and a dozen booklets on subjects sure to interest the thinking Christian and accelerate the process of spiritual development.
He is the founder of t. e. a. m. ministries. An Author, Pastoral Counselor and Teacher, his eMail broadcasts, known as “Your Town for Jesus" are read around the globe. Subscribe at firstname.lastname@example.org
A licensed/ordained minister, a Certified Workplace Chaplain, and a Professional Member of NIBIC, he has ministered in Methodist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Baptist, Disciples of Christ, College and Cowboy churches. He is the Workplace Chaplain for a Texas firm, overseeing the Spiritual Development of over 500 employees at ten facilities throughout the state. He is a strong advocate for the House Church Movement, readily available to assist Christians feeling that same inclination. A Speaker on the Christian Speaker Network, he may be available to speak to your church or Christian group.