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The Power of Discipleship

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Apollos’ Background

Alexandrian...Eloquent Man vs 24
Alexandrian...Eloquent Man
Eloquent Man
formally trained sophist
He was a
Sophism is an ancient Greece, method of teaching “arete”- excellence or virtue. Sophist believed that law was an agreement between people and that justice is nonexistent. The individual human being, rather than a god or an unchanging moral law, is the ultimate source of value (Protagoras.). The sophist may well appear to be like the philosopher, but is not: the philosopher is concerned with truth, and virtue; the sophist with appearance, power and money.
is a method of teaching. In ancient Greece, sophists were a category of teachers who specialized in using the techniques of philosophy and rhetoric for the purpose of teaching arete—"excellence" or "virtue"—predominantly to young statesmen and nobility.
They believed that law was an agreement between people and that justice is nonexistent. Among the Sophists, Protagoras, Gorgias, Prodicus, Hippias, Thrasymachus, Callicles, Lycophron, Antiphon, and Cratylus are the best known.
Man is the measure of all things definition. A statement by the ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras. It is usually interpreted to mean that the individual human being, rather than a god or an unchanging moral law, is the ultimate source of value.
According to convention, Plato opposes Socrates, the prototypical philosopher, to the sophists, and henceforth the difference is taken as absolute. The sophist may well appear to be like the philosopher, but is not: the philosopher is concerned with truth, and virtue; the sophist with appearance, power and money.
Competent in the scripturesvs 24
Competent [Grk- dynato = power) & Scriptures [Grk-graphe = writing]
[Lit] powerful in the writings
The only writings that existed at that time were the OT scriptures because the NT scriptures had not been canonized yet.
Apollos was eloquent (due to his sophistic training), and powerful in the OT scriptures
Scriptures = OT because they were the only “graphe (write) in existence at the time. The NT scriptures had not been gathered/ canonized yet.
Instructed in the Way of the Lord…Taught Accurately the Things Concerning Jesusvs 25
Only the baptism of John
The Way = common reference to OT spiritual & moral standards
He at least was awaiting the

What Apollos lacked

Only the baptism of John
“Knew Only the baptism of John” vs 25
Accurately - assumes there was something missing from what Apollos
What was missing is indicated in statement “only the baptism of John”
Only the baptism of John
“Only” indicates something was lacking in Apollos’ understanding and teaching
What is the baptism of John?
The purpose of John the Baptist’s ministry
Luke 1:16–17 ESV
16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
luke 1:16-17
Luke 2:38 ESV
38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
The Baptism of John the Baptist
Matthew 3:1–12 ESV
1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’ ” 4 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 “I baptize you with water for 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. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
John’s Baptism was one of cleansing, repentance, and preparation for the coming Messiah
Paul also elaborates on this in .
Acts 19:1–4 ESV
1 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”

The Solution

“They explained to him the way of God more accurately” vs 26
The Bible doesn’t say explicitly what they taught Apollos, but this probably refers to them explaining the implications of the resurrections (e.g. spiritual blessings in Christ, unity in the body, spiritual warfare cf. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians; ):
1 Corinthians 15:3–8 ESV
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
There’s no explicit indication in Scripture that Apollos was guilty of syncretism (blending sophistic thought/practice with Christological- anti man centered teaching)
However it is evident from what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians (cf. , , ) that Apollos’ followers venerated Apollos’ eloquence in communicating the gospel and his possible health & wealth, over the simplicity of Paul’s communication of the gospel and simplicity of living.
Practical Exhortations from Paul:
There’s no place for divisions in the chuch, especially based on what teacher one follows ()
Modern Examples: John Calvin; MacArthur; Piper; etc.
Remember: One planted, another watered, but God gave the growth.Christ (not man’s eloquence) is the Wisdom and Power of God ().
Christ (not man’s eloquence) is the Wisdom and Power of God ().
What about denominations?
Denominations are an unfortunate but necessary division due to increasing popularity of unbiblical teachings and practices.

The Outcome

Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Apollos was commended vs 27
The Church as God’s new witness
“the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him”
ApollosMinistry was fruitful vs 27b - 28
“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”

Meditations & Practical Applications

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