Today’s devotion is written by Pastor Vance Rains.
24 Meanwhile, a certain Jew named Apollos arrived in Ephesus. He was a native of Alexandria and was well-educated and effective in his use of the scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord and spoke as one stirred up by the Spirit. He taught accurately the things about Jesus, even though he was aware only of the baptism John proclaimed and practiced. 26 He began speaking with confidence in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they received him into their circle of friends and explained to him God’s way more accurately. 27 When he wanted to travel to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples so they would open their homes to him. Once he arrived, he was of great help to those who had come to believe through grace. 28 He would vigorously defeat Jewish arguments in public debate, using the scriptures to prove that Jesus was the Christ.
Pay special attention to verse 25, “He taught accurately the things about Jesus… though we was aware only of the baptism John proclaimed and practiced.” John the Baptist, borrowing from the ritual cleansing practices of the Jews, preached a baptism of repentance and forgiveness of sins. John’s baptism was a washing away of sin. Apparently, Apollos had been baptized by John, or one of his disciples.
But, Jesus talked about a different, fuller baptism – baptism by water and Spirit, and spiritual rebirth.
So, by the time of Acts 18, and post-Pentecost, there were some who only knew John’s baptism – like Apollos (great name, by the way!) – not the fuller baptism of the Spirit experienced since Pentecost. More of that in Acts 19.
The point is, Apollos was a work in progress. He was already a well-respected, well-educated, articulate, effective disciple of Jesus, doing good work in Jesus’ name. And, yet, there was more for him to know, more for him to learn.
Haven’t we seen that throughout Acts? The Apostle’s discovering their own hidden potential? Peter discovering nothing God makes is unclean? The importance, honor and dignity of service? The conversion and calling of Saul? Death-defying miracles? The Jerusalem Council’s decision to not require Gentile converts become Jewish first? And, the unpredictable, uncontrollable, unstoppable work of the Holy Spirit in ALL kinds of people lives?
The early Church seems to have been an incubator for discovering of who God is, how to be a disciple, and the remarkable ways God intends to work in the Church.
Isn’t there still more to learn and understand about God? Aren’t we all works in progress?
How is God working on growing you?
What new thing have you learned about the Lord lately?
Are you open to learn and grow?
What are your thoughts, comments, questions, ideas?