Use It, Don't Lose It (Acts 18:24-28)
Topic: One Truth: Your Word is Truth Passage: Acts 18:24–18:28
Intro: Picture this: picture a city struck by a deadly disease. People dying every day. And it's so bad, this city is cut off from the rest of the world. Now imagine an older scientist in that city, trying to figure out a cure. And before he dies of the disease himself, he carefully shares that formula with a younger scientist. What would you think if the younger scientist took that research notebook home, stuck it in his closet, and then went and watched TV; if he just went about his normal routine, even when, eventually, he himself was infected? Even when people around him were infected. Consider as we turn to Acts 18.
Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures.  He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.  He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.  And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed,  for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
Main Idea: You're responsible before God for what you've received from God.
(18:24, 25) Apollos took what he learned and used it. What do we learn about Apollos from verses 24, 25? We know he that he spoke well, he studied hard, he shared faithfully about Jesus; and he did this 'on fire' for God (“fervent”, lit. boiling, hot). Clearly this is a guy who was using his gifts and what he had been taught and was putting them to good use for God's glory. He knew the truth was not something to sit on. It was something to share. But what did we learn from the end of verse 25 about what Apollos had been taught? It was not up-to-date; eloquent, but lacking.
(18:26, 27) Apollos took help from others, then helped others. What happened in verse 26 when he shared according to his not so up-to-date understanding? We read... How did he receive this help? Apollos could have gotten defensive about Priscilla and Aquila's help. But it seems he received the help well, for in the very next verse he is greatly helping those in Achaia who needed spiritual guidance. The extra help he received certainly didn't pour cold water on his 'boiling' spirit. In fact, he was ready to go even farther for Jesus (to Achaia)! It's clear Apollos cared about the word, not his ego.
(18:24, 28) Apollos took what God said... seriously. Notice how this passage begins and ends with a reference to the Scriptures. Why do you think that is? I think it's a reminder that this passage is ultimately not about Apollos. It's about God's word. The impact he made was only possible because of God's word; the truth. This passage is really not about him. It's about what he did with the word, knowing he was accountable to God. Not only was he “competent”. He was also “fervent”. He was also “teachable”. And it's those ideas that bring us to our main application.
Main Application: If you've been given God's truth, then give away that truth.
If we're honest, most of us have been given so much truth; so much of God's word. But what are we doing with it? We saw this morning what Apollos did with what he'd been given. We saw his passion. And we saw how he was open to being corrected and learning even more. Is that you? Even if you can't relate to him, what about how Priscilla and Aquila used the word? For some, what they've learned is practically irrelevant to their everyday life? Obviously, it's not just about what you've learned. It's about what you've embraced by faith. Just as we see in this passage, God wants you to share the word with both believers and unbelievers. In fact, the Word made flesh died and rose again, that you might both receive the word and 're-seed' the word, with a new heart, thru the power of God's Spirit. Who is God bringing to mind even now in terms of sharing the word? What's standing in your way? A need to be humbled? Encouraged? Corrected? Let's ask God follow Apollos's example, as he followed Jesus.
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