October 17, 2017

Apollos, Our Example

By Donald R. Givens

In the eighteenth chapter of Acts Luke tells us about a man who had several admirable characteristics. His name is Apollos, an Alexandrian by race. Luke states that he was an eloquent man and mighty in the scriptures. He was fervent in spirit and taught accurately the things he knew about Jesus, but he knew only the baptism of John.

Apollos was eager and enthusiastic to do what was right, so he spake boldly in the synagogue the things that he did know. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him they knew that he was in need of further information concerning Jesus, the Son of God. So they took him and taught him the way of God more accurately.

When Apollos was taken aside by Priscilla and Aquila and was told he was incorrect in some points of his teaching, did he get angry and have the attitude of a "know-it-all?" No, rather he was honest and willing to be corrected if found in error. He was zealous with an open mind and an open ear to the truth. When he realized that he had been fervent in teaching only the baptism of John when the baptism of Jesus was in force, he did not stop being fervent, but simply corrected himself in teaching. He continued to be "fervent in spirit," and bold in his teaching.

Apollos is a wonderful example for us today. We need to have the attitudes he had if we see that we are not teaching the whole truth. No Christian who loves the truth will get angry if he is shown to be walking in error. Rather he will love the one who corrects him, as Apollos must have loved Priscilla and Aquila.

In the troubles in the church of the Lord today, there are seen far too many people who have no love for the truth. Rather than admit that they have been wrong, they get angry with the ones who try to show them the error of their ways. This is not what Apollos did. This is not what Christians should do today if some kind soul points out to them that their foot is slipping down into pits of error.

If more people would have the attitude that Apollos did when he saw the truth more accurately, we would have less falling into the paths of human institutions and sponsoring church set-ups, which are absolutely without divine authority. We need more people who will cry for a "thus saith the Lord" in everything they practice in religion. We need more who are willing to learn as Apollos was. We today, as lovers of truth, must always have an open mind to further instruction in the right way pf the Lord.

In Acts 18:27, 28 we see the actions of Apollos after he had been instructed more perfectly in the way of the Lord. He left Ephesus and passed over into Achaia and "helped the brethren much." He did not have the attitude of anger or resentment against Priscilla and Aquila but rather was filled with love.

We read that Apollos also "powerfully confuted the Jews." He certainly stood up for what was right in the face of all opposition. Confute means to "overcome by argument." Yes, Apollos proved to them by arguing that Jesus was the Christ. Yet today we have some individuals among us who cry, "Oh, we should not argue about it," and similar phrases of spineless character. But this is just not so; we must argue and "contend earnestly for the faith." (Jude 3).

Apollos is our example in that he immediately recognized and accepted truth when taught it. After learning the truth accurately, he did what every Christian today must also do: Powerfully confute all who would destroy it.

Today, as in troublesome times past, we have many who would destroy the simplicity of the gospel and corrupt the purity of the Lord's church. On the one hand we have the liberal-minded brethren who would put the college in the budget of the Lord's church; on the other hand are the institutional-minded brethren who would and have attached human, man-made organizations such as orphan-homes and old-folks homes to the Lord's Divine Body. Still others would corrupt the New Testament church by exalting one congregation to the human pedestal of a "sponsoring church." Shades of Romanism! Why not call them "Mother churches"? That is what they will soon be.

May we follow the example of Apollos by accepting the truth when we see it and faithfully staving with it all the days of our life. Let us give up any practice, which will corrupt the body of our Lord. As Apollos did, let us "show by the scriptures" that truth is found only in Jesus Christ.

Truth Magazine VII: 8, pp. 4, 24
May 1963

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