How do you receive correction? (Acts 18:18-28)
– Read all of Acts 18:18-28
– We are in Acts Chapter 18, and Paul has been in Corinth for 6 months, ruffling the feathers of the Jews. He was almost beaten up a few times, but generally just kept doing what Paul always does.
– In Corinth, Paul makes friends with a married couple, Pricilla and Aquila, and they become quick friends and partners in ministry.
– They were tent makers by trade, as was Paul. They had full time jobs, but were still heavily invested in ministry with Paul. It was a lifestyle for them.
– Romans 16:3-5, Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
– Humble, hardworking and dedicated people, with a firm grasp on the gospel of Christ.
– Being Paul’s friend, they were probably marginalized and disrespected by the Jews also.
-Read Acts 18:18-23
– Paul continues on his missionary journey, visiting churches, and doing what he does…
– 2 Tim. 4:1-2, I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
– Pricilla and Aquila no doubt learned this approach from Paul and their time together in ministry.
– Pricilla and Aquila stay in Ephesus, and that’s where we first meet Apollos.
– Acts 18:24-25, Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.
– Apollos was a powerful preacher. His speaking was highly valued and respected, and he was favored in the synagogue. He had credibility, skill, and respect. The Jews loved him.
– He knew the scriptures inside and out, not just the words, but also what it means, and could expound on themes and subjects, and connect life application on all levels.
– He knew all about the Messiah, and the teachings of John the Baptist. He could see the Savior coming in the scriptures, and knew how it connected to John’s baptism of repentance.
– Apollos was missing a very important part… He didn’t know the Holy Spirit.
– Matt. 3:1-3, In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ”
– Matt. 3:11,I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
– Apollos’ incomplete gospel produced incomplete disciples:
– Kevin will preach on Acts Chapter 19 next week, so I don’t want to go too far into it but…
– Paul passed through Ephesus and ran into several disciples who had believed in Jesus, and had the baptism of John, but didn’t know anything about the Holy Spirit.
– Who do you think taught them that gospel? (Apollos)
1. Giving correction takes courage.
– Acts 18:26, So he (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
– Pricilla and Aquila are blue collar tentmakers with dirt under their finger nails. They aren’t thought of well by the Jews, and very few religious folk care about their opinion.
– It would be easy to let this go; stay in their lane; I mean, they don’t even know him.
– Apollos is practically a celebrity for his speaking and teaching, and appears to all be the SME.
– They showed courage in looking past the situation to the greater good for all involved.
– Example: Earthquake drill, Google Translate, thinking “deaf” would be as easy as pen and paper. I didn’t know about Sign Language finger spelling chart, and some deaf don’t read, etc.
– Not hearing makes reading difficult, like a foreign language, can’t make sounds…
– Speaking confidently on it in front of a rookie and he corrected me, and taught me about it.
– It took courage for him to do that, and I am so thankful that he did! It will save me potential embarrassment in the future.
– Giving correction is NOT just telling someone they are wrong, or what to do or not do… or using scripture to try to humble them.
– It’s taking the time and care to help them learn the right way, w/o offending them in the process.
– Vince Lombardi, iconic football coach, said, “Praise in public; criticize in private.”
– 2 Tim. 1:13, Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
– 2 Tim. 2:15,Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
– 2 Tim. 2:25, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, (Apollos isn’t in opposition, but is incomplete.)
2. Receiving correction takes humility.
– Apollos could have easily been offended with this situation on many levels. Thank God he wasn’t!
– I have known a few “ego driven” leaders who would never take an idea from a subordinate. You would have to make them think it was their good idea. (Like Inception, plant it in their mind.)
– Example: Story about the grain silo explosion, prideful captain, FF lacked courage to correct plan…
– Proverbs 15:32, He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
– Proverbs 8:33, Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it.
– Proverbs 9:9, Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
– James 4:10, Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
– Proverbs 11:2, When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.
– We need to have a church culture where we can give and receive correction without offending, or being offended. Our goal should be to grow in Christ. Hard conversations are necessary!
3. The fruit of courage and humility is making ministry happen.
– Acts 18:27-28, And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
– Apollos ministry was effective BECAUSE of Pricilla and Aquila! He is now in the truth.
– Martin Luther proposed that the book of Hebrews is actually a sermon of Apollos. Ministering to even us today! (True author is unknown)
– The goal is to have the gospel preached, and see lives changed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
– Thank God that Pricilla and Aquila were steadfast in the ministry, and chose to correct Apollos.
– Thank God Apollos was humble enough to receive that correction, because millions of lives have been saved because of it!
– We must be sharing the whole gospel. Repentance, forgiveness, and the Holy Spirit life change.
– alter call – prayer-