Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Acts 18:24-26
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 18:24
v24: Paul was absent from Ephesus for about a year. He’d passed through on his way from Corinth to Caesarea, and left Priscilla and Aquila to start the work. While he was there, he spoke briefly in the synagogue and then sailed on. After he left, a Jewish evangelist arrived and began to preach about Jesus in the synagogue, which is where Priscilla and Aquila met him. The man’s name was Apollonius, but people called him “Apollos.” He was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, a city, which at that time, had as many as a million people, about one-third of whom were Jews (David Brown, Acts, Jamieson, Fausset, Brown, Eerdmans, reprint 1982, p. 135).

Monday: Acts 18:24, 25
v24 (continued): Alexandria had a fine university and one of the greatest libraries in the world, and it was also the place where the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek (Septuagint) about 200 years earlier (Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Broadman, Vol 7, 1930, p. 306). Luke described Apollos as a “man of words,” probably meaning he was both a diligent student and an excellent public speaker. He also said he was “powerful in the scriptures,” meaning God gave him spiritual insight when he read the Bible so that he truly understood what he was reading. v25: Not only was he a profound student of the scriptures, but someone had also carefully trained him in the teachings of John the Baptist, including the things John said about Jesus of Nazareth.

Tuesday: Acts 18:25
v25 (continued): Apollos wasn’t the sort of man who could hear about the coming judgment and just sit at home. He had to go out and preach. Luke described him as “boiling over in (the) spirit,” certainly meaning that he was passionate, but Luke may also be telling us the Holy Spirit would come upon him when he preached. And he “spoke and taught the things about Jesus accurately (precisely, exactly),” so he was not teaching false doctrine. His problem was that his knowledge about Jesus was incomplete, and that was because John the Baptist’s knowledge had been incomplete. John died before Jesus was crucified or resurrected or ascended into heaven or had baptized His followers in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Wednesday: Acts 18:25
v25 (continued): John’s assignment from God had been to warn the people of Israel to get ready to face God’s judgment. When people asked why he was preaching and baptizing, he answered by saying, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said” (Mt 3:2-3; Jn 1:22-23). John expected the Messiah to bring the day of judgment when everyone will be held accountable for their sins, including the Jews (Mt 3:1-10). He told Jews not to trust in the fact that they were Abraham’s physical descendants. He said they needed to repent of their sins and produce “good fruit,” or God would determine that they didn’t belong to Him. He especially challenged very religious people to be honest about themselves and repent quickly, because the Messiah would soon separate the “wheat” from the “chaff,” and He would burn the chaff with “unquenchable fire” (Mt 3:10-12).

Thursday: Acts 18:25
v25 (continued): John the Baptist knew Jesus, in fact they were relatives and probably knew each other, to some degree, while they were growing up (Lk 1:36, 45, 56). When Jesus came to be baptized at the Jordan River, God testified to John that Jesus was the Messiah by letting him see the Holy Spirit come down and rest upon Him. And he also heard the voice of God the Father say, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am (was) well-pleased” (Mt 3:16-17). After that, John openly proclaimed Jesus to his own disciples. He even celebrated the fact when many of them left to follow Jesus (Jn 3:25-30), saying, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). He even called Jesus “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29, 36).

Friday: Acts 18:25
v25 (continued): But John never lived to see the most important events in Jesus’ life, so neither he nor his disciples fully understood the gospel (Mt 11:11). Yet there were those who went out and preached John’s message, not just in Israel, but they carried it everywhere, going from synagogue to synagogue, warning people to prepare for the coming judgment. When Paul went into a synagogue during his missionary travels he would mention John the Baptist as part of his sermon because Jews everywhere knew about him and revered him as a true prophet (Ac 13:24-25). And someone had carried John’s message to Alexandria, Egypt, and this man named Apollos became so deeply convinced it was true, he felt he must preach it to others. Sooner or later it was inevitable he would bring that message to the great city of Ephesus.

Saturday: Acts 18:26
v26: When Priscilla and Aquila heard him speak in the synagogue, they quickly realized he only knew part of the truth about Jesus. He called people to repentance, but not faith in the cross and resurrection (Ac 20:20-21). Nor did he say anything about the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Ac 19:2). It seems impossible to believe that a man from Alexandria, who was as knowledgeable as he was, hadn’t heard how Jesus died, or heard rumors about Him coming back to life (Lk 24:18-24). But if so, he clearly didn’t understand what these events meant. Luke said Apollos was teaching “the way of the Lord” accurately, but when Priscilla and Aquila met with him they explained “the way of the Lord” more accurately. In other words, they filled in the information he’d been missing. They told him about the cross, the resurrection, the ascension and Pentecost. They explained why each of these things had to happen and undoubtedly showed him the Old Testament passages Paul had taught them (Ac 13:16-41). They must have recited for him the gospel as the apostles preached it, calling people to “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins,” and told him that the apostles assured people, “you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” just as they had (Ac 2:38). And they must have explained that God was now calling both Jews and Gentiles into His family (Eph 2:11-22), and Apollos couldn’t have missed the fact that Priscilla (a Roman) and Aquila (a Jew), by their marriage, were an example of this new reality. 


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