I. A CERTAIN JEW NAMED APOLLOS, WHO WAS BORN IN ALEXANDRIA, AN ELOQUENT MAN, MIGHTY IN THE SCRIPTURES.
A. This is our introduction to the man, Apollos.
1. He does not have a Jewish name, but a Roman name. In fact, the name of a Roman god.
2. Alexandria was in Egypt, and was built by and named after Alexander the Great. It was intended to be his headquarters over that part of the world.
3. It was noted for its library and schools.
B. He came to Ephesus.
1. Paul had just been to Ephesus on his way to Jerusalem. He spent a short time there but was in the synagogue reasoning with the Jews, who desired him to stay with them longer, but he was determined to get to Jerusalem for the feast.
2. God brings to these Jews a very eloquent man named Apollos.
3. I do believe that wherever there are hungry hearts wanting to hear the word, that God will oblige them by sending someone to them.
A. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
B. Look at his traits.
1. Fervent in Spirit.
2. He taught diligently.
C. Knowing the baptism or ministry of John.
1. The testimony of John concerning Jesus Christ.
a. One coming after me Who is mightier than I, I am not worthy to untie his sandals.
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.
And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for He was before me.
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all [men] come to Him.
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him.
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth Him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
He must increase, but I [must] decrease.
He that cometh from above is above all: He that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all.
And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto Him].
The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
D. What we are told about Apollos is that he was:
1. Instructed in the ways of the Lord.
2. Fervent in Spirit.
3. He taught diligently the things of the Lord.
4. He knew only the baptism of John.
a. John's baptism was the baptism of repentance from sin.
b. He did not know the baptism of Jesus which was the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
A. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto [them], and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
B. You must really admire this fellow Apollos, though his knowledge was imperfect, he was sharing what he knew.
1. The young man at the little chapel.
2. Important that we share what we know.
C. He knew that a person needed to repent from their sin.
D. He knew that Jesus was the Son of God, and that He came to take away the sins of the world.
E. He knew from the scriptures that the Messiah would have to be despised and rejected, and put to death.
F. He did not know the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and the power of the indwelling Spirit in the life of the believer.
1. These are the truths that Aquilla and Pricilla were sharing with him.
2. You have to admire Apollos that he was willing to learn from this dedicated couple.
A. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:
B. Why he was disposed to go over to Achaia, we do not know.
1. In fact, there is much we do not know about this man.
2. Perhaps he was a Christian businessman, and everywhere he went he was a fervent witness for Jesus Christ.
a. My father was such a man.
b. There are many such men.
C. Perhaps it was suggested to him by Pricilla and Aquilla that he go to Corinth. It is possible that when they heard his eloquence, they felt that he could be a real blessing to the church there.
D. So they gave him letters of introduction to the disciples there.
E. He became a great help to the church there in Corinth who had come to believe through grace.
1. In fact he became so popular that some of the less spiritual people in Corinth began to split into factions, saying, "We are of Apollos."
2. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians he was very complimentary concerning the ministry of Apollos. He acknowledged that God had used Apollos to water the seed that he had planted.
3. In Ephesus, you had an opposite situation, for Paul here is going to water the seed that Apollos had planted.
4. Paul said that he who plants and he who waters is nothing; the important One is God who gives the increase.
5. He said that he who plants and he who waters are one. Apollos and Paul are one.
6. May God help us never to have petty jealousies in the ministry. May I never be jealous over the fact that God is using someone in a mighty way to reach the lost for Jesus Christ.
7. There are many wonderful churches here in Orange County. Many of these churches are watering the seed that was planted in the hearts of people here at Calvary Chapel.
8. In the same token, we are watering the seed that was planted in your heart at some other church.
9. He who plants and he who waters are one, and are irrelevant, that is it is immaterial as to whether I am watering or planting seed; the important One is God who gives the increase.
A. For he mightily convinced the Jews, [and that] publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
B. It would seem that Apollos had a great ministry in Greece.
C. He was able to powerfully refute the Jews in the public debates showing by the scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.
1. How is it that when the scriptures are so clear that the majority of Jews, even to the present day, have rejected Jesus as the Messiah?
2. There is an old saying, "None so blind as those who will not see."
a. The case of Pharaoh is very interesting in that we read that the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh. Then we read that Pharaoh hardened his heart. There are two different Hebrew words that are translated hardened. With Pharaoh it is the word Kabad which means to harden, when God hardened the heart of Pharaoh. The Hebrew word is kawhzak or made stiff.
b. People can close their eyes to the truth and God will make stiff their position, so when faced with indisputable evidence, they still cannot see.
3. You have to know that the blindness is not natural.
4. Paul wrote:
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5. It is a dangerous thing to deliberately harden your heart or close your eyes to God's truth.
6. The psalmist warned:
For he [is] our God; and we [are] the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, [and] as [in] the day of temptation in the wilderness:
When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
Forty years long was I grieved with [this] generation, and said, It [is] a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
7. Paul warned about the anti-christ;
[Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.