"The Message Preached" - (1 Corinthians 1:21)


  • Acts 18:24-28
    Here was a man with admirable qualities, but who was unsaved.
  1. "An Eloquent Man" (24)
    1. Exodus 4:10-12
      One of the most important and influential preachers in history said he was not eloquent, that, in fact, he was "slow of speech and slow of tongue". However, God would provide the words. Thus, the message, not the messenger, is emphasized.
    2. 2 Corinthians 10:7-10
      Those who knew Paul personally regarded his speech as "contemptible", but the outward appearance is irrelevant.
    3. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
      Paul said that he "did not come with excellence of speech" because our faith must be in God, not in men.
    4. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
      We must be careful not to have "itching ears".
  2. "Mighty In The Scriptures" (24)
    1. Matthew 22:29
      When one does not know the scriptures, that one does not know God, and is mistaken.
    2. Acts 17:11
      The scriptures must be constantly examined to verify practice.
    3. 2 Timothy 2:15
      God's word must be rightly divided. This is where Apollos fell short. He was mighty to the extent of his knowledge, but his knowledge was not comprehensive.
    4. Matthew 26:56
      If we know the scriptures well enough, we will know when they've been fulfilled. The baptism of John had been fulfilled, but Apollos didn't know it. Similarly, the Old Testament has been fulfilled, but many don't know it. And, the kingdom has come, but many don't know it.
  3. "Instructed In The Way Of The LORD" (25)
    1. Proverbs 1:7
      Apollos was no fool. He did not despise instruction. Rather, he made as the foundation of his knowledge the fear of God.
    2. John 6:45
      We cannot emphasize enough that the gospel is a taught religion. One must hear and learn. No one is born a Christian and no has the truth zapped into the heart directly from the Spirit. Receiving instruction is the only way.
    3. Romans 10:14
      Preaching, and its reciprocal: learning, are necessary in the process of salvation.
  4. "Fervent In Spirit" (25)
    1. Romans 12:11
      Apollos had what is commanded of all, but grasped by few: fervency of spirit. The spirit here mentioned is not the Holy Spirit - it would be Apollos' own spirit. In other words, he was not guided by the Spirit of God and therein granted fervency - he simply had that spirit within him.
    2. Revelation 3:15-16
      Jesus wants us on fire for His cause, not bored, not dull, not lackluster, hot! Otherwise, we are distasteful to Him.
    3. Romans 10:1-3
      Zeal is commendable, but is insufficient when it lacks knowledge. Uninformed fervor is actually more dangerous than anything.
  5. "He Spoke And Taught Accurately The Things Of The LORD" (25)
    1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
      What he taught, he spoke accurately, but it came short of God's plan. We must realize that "all scripture" is necessary, not just some. Unless we rely on "all scripture" we cannot be "complete".
    2. James 3:1
      Those who teach must be careful because there is stricter judgment for teachers.
  6. "He Knew Only The Baptism Of John" (25)
    1. Luke 3:16
      John had foretold that Christ would supersede his baptism.
    2. Acts 19:1-7
      Those baptized according to John's baptism required a new baptism into Christ.
    3. Galatians 3:27
      None can be saved without baptism into Christ.
    4. Ephesians 4:5
      John's baptism couldn't have been the "one baptism" that is currently valid.
    5. Acts 17:30
      Ignorance does not excuse anyone.
  7. "He Began To Speak Boldly" (26)
    1. Ephesians 6:18-20
      Here again Apollos had what is needed and even lacking among many: boldness. We should be confident in our presentation of the truth.
    2. Hebrews 5:12-6:2
      However, to teach, one must first have mastered the first principles, including "the doctrine of baptisms".
  8. "They Took Him Aside And Explained To Him The Way Of God More Accurately" (26)
    1. 1 Timothy 5:20; Matthew 18:15-17
      Why would Aquila and Priscilla have taken Apollos aside when there is a clear call to publicly reprove public sin? The answer lies in the context. Apollos was not yet baptized into Christ and therefore not a Christian, thus he was not in the church. The rules of church discipline simply did not apply to him. In the church, public sin must be dealt with publicly. Private sin must be dealt with privately. Outside the church, public behavior can be answered privately.
    2. Acts 20:26-27
      The main point to be gleaned from the fact that Aquila and Priscilla corrected Apollos is that they cared enough to do so. So should we.
    3. Proverbs 12:1
      Just as important is the fact that Apollos was willing to be corrected. Only the stupid refuse to be corrected.
  9. "The Brethren Wrote, Exhorting The Disciples To Receive Him" (27)
    1. 2 Corinthians 3:1
      Although Paul, in his relationship with the Corinthians, did not need "letters of commendation", others do. This is an appropriate procedure for saints on the move.
    2. Acts 9:26-28
      In Saul's case, letters were not required, but notice that after he sought to "join the disciples" and before "he was with them" Barnabas vouched for him.
    3. 2 John 10-11
      We need to know what others believe and teach before we receive them.
  10. "He Greatly Helped..." (28)
    1. 1 Corinthians 3:5-6
      Having been corrected by Aquila and Priscilla, Apollos went on to be very useful in the Lord's service. He was a minister through whom the Corinthians believed.
    2. Titus 3:13
      He was also in Crete, with further travel plans - evidently with the intent to preach far and wide.
  • Conclusion
    1. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
      Apollos was willing to "test all things". When he was through, he held "fast what is good". Are you so willing?
    2. 1 Peter 3:15
      Only after the Lord has been sanctified in our hearts may we adequately defend our hope. Apollos had to learn the Lord before he could continue. Have you done so? Are you capable of defending the hope?

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