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Posts tagged ‘conversion’

Notes on the Conversion and Early Ministry of Apollos

 

Acts 18:1-3 “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 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. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.”

 

Paul leaves Athens and arrives in Corinth, where he meets Aquila and Priscilla, and lives with them.

 

Acts 18:4-11 “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. 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.  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. 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. Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”

 

Initially, Paul reaches for the Jews at Corinth, reasoning with them and testifying that Jesus was their Messiah [Christ]. But because he is rejected, he turns to the Gentiles and has great success. The Lord Himself appears to Paul and assures him that many souls will be saved here in this city. Paul remains there at Corinth for a year and a half.

 

Acts 18:19-23 “And he came to Ephesus, and left them there… ”

 

After a year and a half, Paul travels from Corinth to Ephesus with Aquila and Priscilla and leaves the two of them there. He then returns to Caesarea and goes to visit the church at Antioch, ending his 2nd missionary journey.

Paul then embarks on his 3rd missionary journey, returning to the churches in Galatia and Phrygia to strengthen and encourage the disciples.

Meanwhile, Aquila and Priscilla are still at Ephesus….

Acts 18:24 “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.”

 

Apollos comes to Ephesus.

Note: Apollos was an Alexandrian Jew, highly educated and well-spoken. Luke declares that he was “mighty in the scriptures!”

Coming from Alexandria, it is highly likely that he had been a practitioner of Hellenistic Judaism.

“Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism in the ancient world that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture. Until the fall of the Roman Empire and the Muslim conquests of the Eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were Alexandria (Egypt) and Antioch (now Southern Turkey), the two main Greek urban settlements of the Middle East and North Africa area, both founded at the end of the 4th century BCE in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great. Hellenistic Judaism also existed in Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period, where there was conflict between Hellenizers and traditionalists (sometimes called Judaizers).”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellenistic_Judaism

Acts 18:25-26 “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. 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.”

 

NOTICE: Apollos was–

  • Instructed in the way of the Lord;
  • Fervent in spirit;
  • Diligently preaching and teaching the things of the Lord;
  • Very limited in his knowledge of the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

When Aquila and Priscilla heard him boldly preaching in the synagogue, they privately taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ (“the way of God more perfectly”).

Based upon subsequent testimony of scripture (e.g., v28), we are assured that Apollos believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and was born again of the water and the spirit according to Acts 2:38.

Acts 18:27-28 “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: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”

 

Apollos decides to leave Ephesus and go to Achaia, the region of Corinth.

The Ephesian brethren wrote a letter of recommendation for Apollos to take to the disciples at Corinth (see Acts 19:1).

When Apollos arrives at Corinth, he was a tremendous asset to the church there – “he helped them much which had believed through grace.”

Remarkably, at Corinth Apollos publicly “mightily convinced the Jews … showing by the scriptures that Jesus was [Messiah].”

  • These are the same Jews with whom Paul reasoned and to whom he testified in vv.4-5!
  • Paul’s words were viciously rejected, while the words of Apollos were apparently graciously received!

 

Acts 19:1-3 “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.”

 

While Apollos was at Corinth, convincing the Jews that Jesus was their Messiah, Paul arrives at Ephesus, and encounters a group of twelve disciples (v7) who only knew of John’s baptism.

It is not improbable that these men were converts of Apollos, prior to his earlier encounter at Ephesus with Aquila and Priscilla in Acts 18:26!

 

Acts 19:4-7 “Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.”

 

Paul declares to the twelve disciples at Ephesus the same message that Aquila and Priscilla had presented to Apollos when they heard him boldly preaching in the synagogue at Ephesus.

As a result, they were born again of the water and spirit according to Acts 2:38–i.e., they were baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ and they received the gift of the Holy Ghost in the same manner as others did in Acts 2, Acts 8 and Acts 10!

There can be no doubt that Apollos was mightily used of God after his conversion, and was well-received by the church at Corinth. He is so well thought of that his ministry is listed by the Apostle Paul in the context of the ministries of Peter, Paul and Jesus Christ, Himself!

 

1 Corinthians 1

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

 

How remarkable is this!!

 

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

Who Can Be Saved?

Luke 18:18-27

18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

 

1 Corinthians 1:21-28

21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God,
it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

 

Luke 13:22-28

22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

 

Matthew 7:13-14

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

 

Jesus made it very clear – and Paul confirmed it….

Relatively speaking, ONLY A FEW

(as opposed to MANY)

will be saved!

 

THE QUESTION REMAINS

Who, then, can be saved?

Jesus said.

Mark 2:17

When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them,
They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick:
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

 

Matthew 21:31

… Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

 

 

Notice the kinds of people to whom Jesus ministered….

“Sick” and “Sinners”

 

  • A woman possessed by 7 demons

Mary Magdalene

Luke 8:1-3

1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

 

  • A man so thoroughly demon-possessed that he lived in the tombs

Mark 5 – country of the Gadarenes

 

  • A Sinner Woman

Luke 7

36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

 

 

  • Woman at the Well

John 4 – she had had 5 husbands….

and the one she was living with was not her husband

 

  • An adulterous woman

John 8 – caught in the very act!

… but Jesus said, “neither do I condemn thee…. Go and sin no more!”

 

  • A Publican/Tax-collector with questionable business practices

Luke 19Zacchaeus

… and he was rich….

But he was lost! (v.10 … “come to seek and to save the lost”)

Yet, notice the final outcome:

Jesus said, “This day is salvation come to your house!”

 

  • Social outcasts 10 lepers

Luke 17:12-19

Only one was made whole … because he returned to give Glory to God.

“Your faith has made you whole.”

 

 

The NT Church was born on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2!

We are the Body of Jesus Christ,

And we continue to minister and reach out

To those who are ‘socially undesirable’

just as Jesus did!

 

  • The very ones who crucified Jesus and persecuted the Church, the Body of Christ

Peter preached in Acts 2 addressing the Jews,

the very ones who were guilty of crucifying our Lord

“This same Jesus whom you have crucified….”

When they heard this they were cut in their heart….

What shall we do?

Acts 2:38!

Peter preached to Cornelius (Gentiles) in Acts 10

He was a Roman Centurion,

The very class of people who were literally the ones responsible

for physically nailing Jesus to the cross!

Saul (Acts 9) was persecuting the Church Jesus Christ!

“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

1 Timothy 1:13

Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Regardless of your past/present condition,

YOU can be saved today!!

-the same way the Jews were in Acts 2

and the Samaritans were in Acts 8

and Saul was in Acts 9

and the Gentiles were in Acts 10

and the Philippians were in Acts 16

and the Ephesians were in Acts 19….

 

Acts 2:38-39

Repent

and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins

and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!

For the Promise

(“you shall receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost”)

Is unto YOU

And YOUR CHILDREN

And ALL WHO ARE FAR OFF

Even AS MANY as the Lord our God shall call!

 

Remember Luke 18:27!

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

 

You may be facing IMPOSSIBLE challenges in your life….

Addictions

Diseases

Financial ruin

Marital distress

Mental/emotional disorders

But WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

 

1 Cor. 6:9-12

“such WERE some of you”

the unrighteous….
fornicators
idolaters
adulterers
effeminate [sissy men]
abusers of themselves with mankind [homosexuals]
thieves
covetous
drunkards
revilers
extortioners

 

Wherever you are right now,

If you will reach out to Jesus

He’s reaching out to you!

You can be saved today!

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier
Apostolic Faith Tabernacle
08/02/2015

 

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