January 21, 2021 – Thursday
Acts 18:27-28 NIV
27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.
28 For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.
When Apollos went to Achaia, it was probably to Corinth in the region of Achaia. It is obvious to ask who Apollos was and we get our answer in verses 24-26, Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. One wonders who it was that instructed Apollos in the way of the Lord. How was it he came to Ephesus? Was it as a missionary? It surely seems so. Priscilla and Aquila taught him the way of God more adequately, thus it appears Apollos didn’t know a great deal about Jesus, but what he did know he taught with great fervor and passion.
We are not told why he wanted to go to Achaia, but because of his passion for teaching about Jesus so effectively the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When we read, When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed it is natural to ask how he came to be a great help. The next verse tells us he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah. I believe those in Corinth were having a difficult time dealing with the arguments of Jewish opponents of the faith. Many believers simply do not have the skill to argue or debate with those who oppose the faith, nor should everyone be expected to do so. Thus, there is a need for pastors, preachers, ministers, and others who are able to defend the faith.
We all want to be able to defend our faith at some level, but many are unable to spend sufficient time to defend the faith in a debate forum. Most of us as believers, study scripture to deepen our faith not to prepare to debate. As a result most believers are able to stand firm in an onslaught of arguments against our faith without the need to be able to refute the opposition. Much of our knowledge is from Scripture, but much is also from the changes in our lives after repenting and accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Many of us also love to listen to those with great knowledge as the Christians in Corinth did when it came to Apollos. Today it might be Franklin Graham, Alistair Begg, JD Farag, Greg Laurie, John Walvoord, Chuck Missler, and John MacArthur among others as well as those who teach from the Bible every week. We also buy commentaries to read when we have the time, often by those same defenders of the faith. We all have a responsibility to defend the faith at some level. Sometimes it may only be the way Paul did when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:2, For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. We might say it differently as we know Jesus died on the cross, crucified, because of His and His Father’s love for us.
When our eyes are open to the Glory of God, we see it everywhere. From sunrises, sunsets, birds singing, flowers, grass growing, the music the wind makes in the trees, holding the hand of a loved one, looking at the stars at night, we are in awe and see God everywhere.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Thank You for sending defenders of the faith to help us know how terribly weak the arguments opposing You and Jesus truly are. – In Jesus name. Amen.