“Acceptance and Rejection”
Acts 18:1, 2
- We know that the book of Acts is about the acts or doings of the apostles of Jesus Christ. Here in chapter 18, are the acts of Paul the apostles of Jesus Christ and his traveling companions in Greece.
- In our previous study of chapter 17 in Acts we referred to the Greeks at the time being “brick heads” meaning… that trying to convince them of Christ being the messiah was like talking to a brick wall.
- Anybody that knows anything about the Grecians (people from Greece) will tell you that they are deep into worshiping their Greek gods and goddesses.
- Paul was kicked out or asked to leave many towns in Greece. He was traveling south from Thessalonica and now arrives at the city of Corinth in chapter 18.
- The question is… Will Paul and company be “Accepted or Rejected?”
- Every person born wants to be accepted and nobody wants to be rejected.
- This is key to being a Christian and understanding people.
- I can’t think of any apostle of Jesus Christ that has more experience in both of these areas than Paul.
I. Ministering at Corinth
A) Paul arrives at Corinth
- Acts 18:1…After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
- “After these things…” What “things” is Luke writing about here?
- The “things” that he is talking about are the things which happened in the last part of chapter 17 which are…
- The Gospel preached by Paul at Thessalonica was accepted by the Greek but rejected by the Jews.
- Paul ministered to those at Berea and they were more receptive.
- The Thessalonica leaders came to chase Paul out of Berea by criticizing his every word.
- Paul then goes to Athens to preach. The leaders of the church in Athens had created many gods (Greek) and had one altar built with an encryption which said “to the unknown God.”
- Paul preached to them about this “unknown God” being the God that the apostles worshipped and came down in the flesh to dwell among men and sacrifice his Son for their miserable souls.
- Paul preaches the resurrection of Jesus Christ and found some accepted and some rejected.
- KEY NOTE IN ALL THE BIBLE: I personally believe after all of my studying of the Bible is that we as preachers of the word of God must realize that not everybody is going to be receptive and not everybody is going to reject the word of God.
- It doesn’t matter who is preaching…Some will accept the gospel preached and some will reject it.
- Also know that many did not accept Jesus Christ’s teachings either, and He is the Son of God. He is God in the flesh.
- Another “key thing” for all preachers of the gospel to remember is that it is HIS gospel that needs to be heard and not our thoughts or presumptions, or theories. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (II Timothy 4:2).
- Now we find Paul coming to Corinth.
B) About the city of Corinth
- The city of Corinth was a very busy place as it was the city of political and commercial activity in Greece. All traffic between Northern and Southern Greece had to pass through Corinth.
- The problem with Corinth is that it really had an unstable population due to traffic and unrest of its citizens.
- Corinth was also where the Temple of Aphrodite (the goddess of love).
- They had over 1000 different women priests (priestess) who were also ritual prostitutes. They came every evening to the Temple to offer their services to men of the city and travelers.
- The city of Corinth also hosted many athletic events and was home of the Isthmian (Olympic)
- According to scripture written by Paul, he seemed to have athletic desires and could possibly be the reason for his many letters and travels through Corinth and its churches.
- Chapter 18 marks the start of Paul’s second missionary journey there
- One huge sin (much accepted) at Corinth was incest.
C) Meeting Aquila and Priscilla
- Now look at our text of Acts 18:2) And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
- Aquila and Priscilla were a husband and wife team in the ministry after their conversion in Paul’s first missionary Journey to Corinth.
- This husband and wife team later risked their life for Paul (Rom. 16:3, 4).
- Priscilla’s name is mentioned 4 times in scripture which could imply that she had a higher social ranking than Aquila. It could also tell us that “she wore the pants in the family” meaning… she was the boss.
- Priscilla and Aquila were former citizens of Rome and as you noticed in Acts 18:2… (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:)
- If you remember correctly, we studied this in our journey through the book of Acts chapter 16 and verse 20.
D) The tent makers
- 3) And because he (Paul) was of the same craft, he (Paul) abode with them (Priscilla and Aquila), and wrought (formed, or shaped by hammering): for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
- “…because he (Paul) was of the same craft,” meaning that Paul was of the same trade or same occupation as Priscilla and Aquila.
- It was also common in those days for tent makers to also have the trade of leather work, sandal/shoe making, or metal work.
- Paul was a tent maker by trade and so was Priscilla and Aquila.
- It was customary among the Jews to learn a trade such as fishing, tent making, blacksmith, quilting, etc.
- Paul had learned a trade under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) and the trade (skill) provided Paul a provision for his necessities when the church was not able to support him monetarily.
- Ephesus and Corinth were the only two places that Paul chose to use his trade skills while ministering in those cities. (Acts 20:34; I Cor. 4:12; II Cor. 9:8, 9; I Thess. 3:8)
- One reason why Paul did not need to gain much support of the churches at Ephesus and Corinth was mentioned in II Cor. 11:9-12.
- Priscilla and Aquila had a home there in Corinth and allowed Paul to stay with them and it is said that Paul may have helped with the rent, food and etc.
I. Preaching the Word
A) Paul delivers the message
- Acts 18:4…And he (Paul) reasoned (shared his gospel of Jesus Christ) in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
- When God calls a man (like Paul) to preach, God also fills his mouth with the words to say to those who need it.
- God fills the mouth of the preacher. Psalm 81:10…I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
- God tells the man of God what to preach to those who are rebellious. Ezekiel 3:27…But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth (doesn’t listen or ignores), let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.
- To every preacher it is upsetting when people pay no attention to that which is preached. A preacher takes many hours to prepare a sermon and then people do not respond in a positive way.
- Preachers are not any different than anyone else. They want to be accepted. And as for me, I care not if they reject my words, but when they reject God’s words…that is serious business.
B) Paul being pressed in the spirit
- Now look at our text again in Acts 18:5…And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was
- If I didn’t know better I would think by the reading of this verse that Silas and Timothy caused Paul to be pressed in the spirit. But that is not true.
- Paul during his preaching here to the Jews and the Greeks at Corinth evidently was experiencing some difficulty in getting the message across or saw tensions arising in the hearts of some and thought it might be good to have back up.
- Paul being “pressed in the spirit” meaning that he felt a sense of urgency to preach again on the fact of Jesus being “…the Christ (Messiah or appointed one).
- I personally believe that being “pressed in the spirit” could also be another way to say “convicted of the spirit.”
- The Holy Spirit does convict us, it guides us, it encourages us, it moves us, and it urges us to do things that we are hesitant in doing when God feels we should get with it.
- Now, I don’t know for sure, but if you would give me a little latitude here in saying that since Corinth was a city of games and sports and Paul was a big sports buff and so he may have been busy talking about the games and sports and seemed to be dragging his feet a bit.
- Sometimes I get to busy talking to folks at work and forget that I need to be busy earning my pay. That sense of urgency is being pressed in the spirit.
- Paul had to be careful here (as we preachers need to be) not to compromise the gospel when you see people’s discontent or unhappiness in what God’s message to them is.
- Preachers need to stay on course and not stray from the message. No matter what you say and no matter who or how many people you preach to, someone will not like what you say and later become annoyed that they leave or reject you and your words.
- Have you thought about Jesus being accepted and rejected?
- What about a man’s proposal of marriage to a woman being accepted or rejected?
- What about a high school graduate receiving a letter from a major college anticipating whether or not he/she was being accepted or rejected.
- Acceptance is the height of glory, praise, and gladness while rejection is the lowest gut wrenching, humbling feeling a person can receive.
- Everyone enjoys being accepted.
- DeWall a writer of the newspaper Current Directions in Psychological Science writes that acceptance and rejection affects your health. Acceptance will improve your health while rejections ruins your health.
- No one enjoys rejection. Rejection can ruin your life, your plans, and as we seen in Dr. DeWall’s commentary, too much rejection can ruin your health.
III. The Word and Paul Rejected
- Now look at verse 6) And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
- Note the first part of the verse “…when they opposed themselves.” This means that the Jews and Greeks (Gentiles) opposed Paul’s preaching about Christ when he felt pressed to preach on the subject.
- You see this is much like Christians today. Everything is all hunky dory when you preach about other people’s sins and in general sermons on this and that, but God forbid you smash my toes and cause me to be convicted!
- Paul had been preaching several weeks in the synagogue and there was no problem. But when Paul started pressing more about Jesus being the Christ then they started to get riled up.
- They were okay with Paul mentioning casually every Sabbath about Jesus being “the Christ” but now Paul was pressed in the spirit to preach more about his witness of Jesus being the Christ or Messiah.
- Many people are like this in their basic conversation as well. There are some things you can mention casually and people will “let it go.” It’s no big deal. Such as a casual mention of politics or religion.
- If you start railing or talking in extreme about politics or religion to people you do not know…look out. They may get upset and stomp off. Next thing you know you and what you said are rejected.
- This is what happens to Paul here at Corinth, “…verse 6…And when they opposed themselves,” opposed means rejection and disbelief.
- Jesus Christ never tarried long in a place where He or His words were rejected. Remember when Jesus went to Nazareth (His home town) and they rejected Him twice? He never went back. WHY? It’s a waste of time.
- Looking again at verse 6…And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, the word “blasphemy” means to speak disrespectfully towards God, His Christ, His Spirit, or someone who represents God.
- Jesus brings this same truth when He said in Matthew 25:40…And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
- The pastor or priest is a child of God and when you do something or say something against them, you are doing it to Christ who is God in the flesh.
- Blasphemy is a serious crime in God’s eyes.
- The unpardonable sin is for someone to “blaspheme” or speak disrespectful of the Holy Spirit. Mark 3:29 (KJV) But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
- Paul held those who opposed him responsible for blaspheming Christ.
C) Paul shakes his raiment (garments or clothes)
- Looking back now verse 6) And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
- Why did Paul do this after he was rejected by the Jews and Geeks at Corinth?
- This action of “shaking his raiment (clothing)” is like shaking the dust off their feet.
- Paul shaking his clothes is like saying “Lord, if any of their dirt or bad behavior has stuck to my clothes I will shake it off and leave their guilt here with them and not take it with me to carry around.”
- This is why Paul said… “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean:”
- The Jews were and still are hard to reach for Christ.
III. Paul and the Gospel is Accepted
A) Paul departs (leaves) to preach elsewhere
- 7) And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
- Paul left Aquila and Priscilla’s house and place of lodging due to the unrest of the church leaders at the Synagogue who opposed him.
- Now Paul comes to another man’s house whose name is Justus Titius Gaius. He is believed to be Roman as the Romans had three names.
- He is described here as “…one that worshipped God.”
- Justus is said to be one that was a believer in Christ and baptized by Paul in
I Corinthians 1:14 where he is mentioned by his other name of Gaius.
- In this next verse we can see where Paul now baptizes Crispus in verse 8) And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
- There in the synagogue after Paul preaches, finally the listeners are convicted.
- We can see that many believed and are baptized.
- Paul seeks to be accepted and received it. More importantly he wished that the Lord’s words would be accepted and they were.
- In order for someone to accept God’s word, they must believe the man of God who is called of God to preach His word and allow the Holy Spirit to convict the heart.
B) Christ comes to Paul in a vision
- Now look at verse 9) Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: 10)For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
- Why did Christ need to come to Paul in a vision?
- There are several reasons as to WHY Christ came to Paul in a night vision. Here are some of my personal thoughts…
- Because Paul may have been waiting for something bad to happen since everything seemed to be going so great.
- There may have been rumors that reached Paul of some rulers going to shut his preaching down.
- More than likely, I believe it was a “forewarning” to Paul about what will later happen 1 ½ years from now.
- With number 3 being the reason why Jesus came to Paul, why so early? I believe that maybe it is to give Paul time to prepare for what is to come. I also believe that Paul had no idea of the support that he would receive.
- We often have tenancies to base our faith on what we see and Christ was teaching Paul to have faith in what he doesn’t see. What was it that Paul did not see? Note the last part of verse 10… “…for I have much people in this city.”
- I believe that we need to see that this vision was a vision of “security.”
- “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:” Do not be afraid to preach my gospel to these people. Speak freely from your heart and hold nothing back.
- Verse 10)“For I am with thee,” Here is the reason for Paul to speak boldly…Christ is with him. This is why I am not afraid of the deaf to come to our church and be offended by my “strict (as many call it)” When we know that we are preaching His gospel and not our words…we need to speak without fear of what others will say.
- “…and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee:” You talk about security! If Christ be for us who can be against us? Christ promised Paul that not a hair of his head would be hurt. This had to give Paul rest in order to preach freely.
- “… for I have much people in this city.” If Christ being with Paul wasn’t enough, then Christ also added more support by sharing with Paul that Jesus had more people in the city that Paul didn’t know about.
- I have never been one to be in fear of what God lays on my heart to preach. People will come and go no matter what you preach. People will either reject or accept what God wants them to hear.
IV. Paul and the Gospel is Rejected
A) One year and a half later
- Now look at Acts 18:11) And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
- According to the word of God and some of the history kept by Jews, Paul was not a long term camper. This 1 ½ years at Corinth was the longest (besides Ephesus) that he had ever stayed in any one city at a time.
- One and a half years is not very long to preach on one particular subject. However it is long enough to lay a strong foundation of the basics of Christianity (being Christ like).
- Not only did Paul discuss the history of Jesus but also the personal experiences that he had with Jesus Christ.
- And since the apostles traveled together and ate together, I am sure that they shared with Paul their experiences with Christ.
B) Satan shows up on the scene
- 12) And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection (revolt, or a rebellion) with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,
- When Luke writes that the Jews “made insurrection with one accord against Paul,” it means that there were Jews who were like minded in trying to get rid of Paul for preaching what they called blasphemy in the house of God.
- Paul knowing that the Lord had informed him in a night vision that He would be protected from harm. So he allowed them to take him to “the judgment seat.”
- This “judgment seat” was a large, raise stone platform in the market place, situated in front of the home of the proconsul (Roman governor).
- I am sure that you remember that any time any one says anything accusing God’s children, the devil is involved. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. And that is exactly what these Jews are doing.
- Look at the lie (accusation) in verse 13…Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.
- Doesn’t his sound familiar? I mean, didn’t Paul have this same thing happen to him before creating dejavu (feeling that this happened before)?
- The Jews had permission by the Roman government to worship their own God in their own way. The Romans had their own worship and laws.
- These men that brought Paul up on charges were trying to have Paul arrested on two counts of wrong doing against the Jewish law and Roman laws of worship.
- These men were Satan’s helpers in trying to snuff out the fire that Christianity causes.
C) Paul gets favorable acceptance
- Now let us look at Acts 18:14) And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: 15) But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters.
- When people go to court, it is very scary. It creates anxiety and unrest in the soul because you never know what the judge, lawyers, or jury will say, or how they will find you guilty or not guilty.
- But in verse 14, Paul begins to defend himself after the lies are told to Gallio (the proconsul of Achaiaa).
- When someone being tried for a crime is interrupted in giving his defense it leaves us to think that Gallio had heard these men complain on numerous occasions and thought it better for Paul to save his breath to cool his soup.
- Gallio may have heard of Paul and his Christian endeavors and may not have agreed with him 100% but I believe that Gallio was smart in perceiving that these men meant harm to an innocent person.
- Notice the judgment of Gallio in verse 15…
- If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: In other words… if this man did something wrong to violate a Roman law or act is guilty of a continual act of destructive behavior, then we will discuss this in detail.
- But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; In other words… If this is a matter of doctrinal differences and using the name of Jesus claiming Him as messiah, you people work out your differences and leave me out of it.
- Let us now look at verse 16) And he drave them from the judgment seat.
- This had to make the religious leaders upset with Gallio.
- Now look at what these Greeks did to the Synagogue leader called Sosthenes…Verse 17) Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.
- Really? Right in front of the judge! These guys beat on him and the Gallio did nothing about it. Gallio thought that this was their own way of dealing with the supposed crime that Paul committed and so Gallio lets them do whatever they felt was right.
V. Paul Returns to Antioch
A) Paul lingers a bit
- After the lousy response by the judge Gallio on behalf of the accusers, Paul wants to see what else is going to happen.
- I mean, this is pretty exciting stuff to Paul because he usually is the one to get the beating and then sent to jail.
- I don’t know about you, but as for me, once that Gallio ruled in my favor I would take off on a dead run before anything else could be brought up.
- Paul lingers a little longer in verse 18) And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
- Paul was obviously confident I those he left behind (Gaius, Sosthenes, Stephanas, and Crispus) to take care of the church at Corinth so he takes off with Priscilla and Aquila for Syria.
B) Paul accepted of the Ephesians
- Now look at Acts 18:19…And he (Paul) came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
- As you know, Paul always searches for the synagogue to share the gospel as soon as his feet cross the city limit sign.
- You should also remember that Ephesus was a big city that mainly worshipped in the temple of Artemis, or Diana.
- Now then we come to where some of the Ephesians accept Paul in verse 20) When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;
- I don’t know for sure, but Paul seemed to me that he might have suffered with ADHD. He could not sit still very long in one place.
- We will learn in a little bit why this particular time pressed Paul to not “tarry (piddle around).”
- Most men including myself when asked to stay longer and preach to them would accept the offer looking at the situation as people who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
- When we see the first part of the verse 19… “he (Paul) came to Ephesus, and left them there:” Paul “left” Priscilla and Aquila there at Ephesus to establish their business as tent makers and to take over the ministry and church that will be meeting in their home.
- Verse 21) But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.
- Here is the reason for Paul’s need to leave Priscilla and Aquila and hurry off rejecting the offer of the Ephesians to learn more of Paul’s testimony for the cause of Christ.
C) Paul traveling and preaching
- Look now at Acts 18:22…And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch. 23) And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.
- Note the places Paul has visited and preached…Caesarea, Antioch, all the country of Galatia and Phrygia and in that order.
- In Caesarea and Antioch, verse 23 brings to light (our understanding) “… he had spent some time there,” which most believe that he was there from the summer of A.D. 52 to the spring of A.D. 53.
- You ask “Where does it say he “preached?”
Answer: Note the last of the verse 23… “strengthening all the disciples.” This does not mean that Paul took them all to Gold’s Gym and worked with them all to buff up their bodies. It simply means that Paul preached the gospel, taught them how to live, exhorted, and counseled with them.
- This is how you strengthen the children of God. This is why we have church services… to strengthen all the disciples (followers of Jesus Christ).
VI. A Certain Jew Named Apollos
A) A picture of Apollos
- Now look at verse 24) And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
- In verse 24, we learn that Apollos was…
- A Jew – He was a Jew with a Roman name. A name associated with one of the gods of Roman worshippers (Apollo).
- Born in Alexandria – a celebrated city in Egypt built by Alexander the Great.
- An eloquent man – He was well educated and a great speaker that held people’s attention.
- Mighty in the scriptures – meaning that Apollo was well trained and had a great knowledge of the scriptures and their Jewish meanings.
- Learning more of what Luke had to say about this man Apollos, let us look at verse 25) 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.
- We learn in verse 25…
- “This man was instructed in the way of the Lord;” – He was taught by his parents, and church leaders the doctrines of God and church functions, and the way people are to walk in God’s ways.
- “… and being fervent in the spirit,” – He was very high spirited and excited to speak for the LORD.
- “… he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord,” – He taught diligently and had a great zeal to present the truths of God and His Messiah.
- “… knowing only the baptism of John.” – Here is a unique phrase. Does this mean that he knew that John was baptized? Not hardly. This is where the word “baptism” has yet another meaning other than emersion under water. This means that Apollos only knew of the doctrines that John the Baptist taught.
- Apollos knew only what John had taught of the Messiah to come. It would be like people today of another church saying of you that… “You know only the Baptism of Bro. Ron.”
- Apollos was not as educated as one would believe up to this point concerning the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
- Look at the next verse and it will help us to understand that… verse 26) 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.
- Apollos was getting “bold” as it says here and feeling more confident in his speaking of Godly things I the synagogue.
- Then Luke writes that Priscilla and Aquila heard him speak and thought that they should instruct him in the right manner according to what Paul had taught them about Jesus Christ.
- When Luke writes of Priscilla and Aquila towards Apollos, he writes “…and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” Meaning that Apollos had not completely given the people of the congregation the updated version of God’s work “after the cross.”
- It may be that Priscilla and Aquila had to tell Apollos that the Messiah was here, He died, was buried, and rose again giving us that same hope.
- I believe that Paul on his 3rd missionary journey teaches more of Priscilla and Aquila with his letter in Ephesians 4:11… And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
- Apollos being a great speaker already, needed perfecting. This is why the Holy Spirit convicted Paul to leave the husband and wife duo in Ephesus.
- Now that we have a pretty good “picture of Apollos” let us dive a little bit more into his ministry…
- Look at Acts 18:27… 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:
- “…And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia” meaning …when he was encouraged or influenced by someone else (believed to be Corinthian believers) to come and speak at Achaia.
- Next, we see where the members of the church at Ephesus send Apollos to the church at Achaia with a letter “…the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him:”
- This is a practice today as well in the United States (at least among the Baptist churches that I know of).
- The reason we send a letter with a visiting evangelist is to advise a church of the preacher’s credibility as a speaker on the things of God concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- We do not let just anyone speak in our pulpit.
- Letters like the one sent by the Ephesian church on behalf of Apollos were common in the early church as we see in …
- Romans 16:1… I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 2) That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
- I Corinthians 16:10…Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. 11) Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.
- II Corinthians 3:1…Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2) Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
- Colossians 4:10… Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him😉
- These “letters of commendation (praise and support)” were very important that the church would keep false teachers and believers from infiltrating the church of Jesus Christ.
- The churches that allowed other people to speak and give their two cents worth of doctrines were not sent letters of commendation and the church ignorantly allowed them to preach causing the church to fall.
- Now back to close up our study of Acts 18, let us look into the final verse 28) For he (Apollos) mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
- What a great ending to this lesson in Acts that finds us seeing a man that thought he knew the complete story of the Messiah to come and finds out that he didn’t know all there is to know until another brother in Christ shed light into a darkened soul that lights the way to God for others.
- This , my dear deaf friends is YOUR responsibility. You are supposed to share with other deaf what you know of the scriptures.
- If there is some area of the scriptures or doctrines that we teach that are a little bit fuzzy to you… let me know and we will clear it up.