Sunday May 12th
One of the jobs of a pastor is helping people straighten out their wrong ideas, sometimes referred to as “stinking thinking”.
A lady recently asked me to talk to her husband because he had developed this strange habit of drinking brake fluid whenever he was out working on his car. He assured her that it was non-toxic, but she was really worried about him drinking it.
So I met with him and I told him that it seemed to me like he was getting addicted to drinking brake fluid and he really needed to cut it out, because it was actually very bad for him.
But he told me, “I’m fine Pastor, I can stop anytime.”
Speaking of correcting someone’s thinking:
Back in verse 18 of chapter 18 we saw that Paul left for Syria, traveling with Aquila and Priscilla. Then he kept on traveling while they stayed behind in Ephesus. And it seems as though God had a very specific reason for keeping Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus. They were going to be used by God to help correct a rising young teacher named Apollos.
24Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures.
25This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John;
26and he began to speak out 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.
27And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace,
28for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
Apollos was well versed in the Old Testament Scriptures, and verse 25 states that he “had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and…spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord.”
So why does verse 26 say,
“when Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately”?
Why was it so important for Priscilla and Aquila to correct Apollos’ understanding about baptism? Because it says he was “acquainted only with the baptism of John”.
Was there something wrong with the baptism of John? No, but there was another kind of baptism available now. Apollos’ knowledge of baptism needed to be updated.
John the Baptist had said this himself in John 1:33. “He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.” Apollos needed to be taught about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Does some little doctrinal detail like that really matter? I mean, Apollos was teaching about Jesus, wasn’t he? And it seemed like he was doing a pretty good job. So why even bother to correct him? Shouldn’t Aquila and Priscilla just cut him some slack?
Well, if we look at the first 7 verses of the next chapter, we can begin to see why Apollos’ understanding of the full meaning of baptism needed to be addressed:
It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7 There were in all about twelve men.
Now do you see why Priscilla and Aquila “took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately”?
The baptism of John the Baptist was good, but it was incomplete. Baptism in water is a wonderful thing, and we have some folks that will be participating in that today, but there is also the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
So just like the husband and wife team of Priscilla and Aquila worked together to help Apollos understand the two types of baptism, Laurie and I are going to work together today to do the same thing.
Let’s start with water baptism.
Here are several key things to know about water baptism:
John 4:24 God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth
Mark 6:7 Jesus gave them power over unclean spirits
Luke 1:15 John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb
Luke 1:40 Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit when Mary came and greeted her and baby John leapt in her womb
Luke 1:67 Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied he prophesied his son's Destiny to prepare the way before Jesus Christ Luke 4:1 Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit was led into the desert
Luke 4:14 Jesus return from his fast in the power of the spirit
John 1:33 John was speaking about Jesus and said He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 2:4 Paul demonstrated the gospel in the Spirit and Power
2 Corinthians 1:22 the Holy Spirit is the Seal of guarantee on our hearts
James 1:21 holy people were moved by the Spirit to speak in the OT
Ephesians 5:17-18 we can only understand God's Will by the power of the Holy Spirit and we are told to be full of the Holy Spirit
Romans 12:1-2 says that we are present our bodies a Living Sacrifice Holy and acceptable to God by being transformed by the renewing of our mind, we can only do that through the power of the Holy Spirit
John 14:17 the spirit of truth will be in you