June 21, 2022 – Tuesday
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.
You may be asking, who in the world was Apollos? Let me answer by providing three prior verses: 24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 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. 26 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. Note that even though he was leaned man, he could still be taught by Priscilla and Aquila. You may find much more about him here and here.
When Apollos went to Achaia, he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah. That was written after, When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. Was his great help ‘simply’ that he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah. It was likely more as we read in Matthew Poole’s Commentary, Apollos helped them much by his eloquence, zeal, and constancy, which all are the gifts of God; but, especially, that they believed was through grace; for faith is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 (For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God).
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible takes a somewhat different position when he concludes, through the word preached, the means of grace; and is supported and maintained by the grace of God; the Ethiopic version renders it, “he preached much to them, who believed in the grace of God”; that is, in the Gospel, the doctrine of the grace of God, which they had received and professed; or in the love and favour of God, they were rooted and grounded in, and persuaded of.
Best of all is the explanation by the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges for When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. The Cambridge Bible reads the verse as when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace. With this they looked at the last two words and wrote, So far as the Greek is concerned the last two words may be connected either with “helped” or “believed.” But as the history is occupied with the work of Apollos, it seems more natural to explain the “grace” spoken of, as the gift which was already in Apollos, and which the more full instruction that he had just received had tended to increase. He had formerly been but partially enlightened. Now that he knows the truth in Christ, his former ability becomes more helpful still. His work seems rightly estimated by St Paul, “he watered” what the Apostle had “planted” (1 Corinthians 3:6, I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.). I added the underlining as it provides the context which makes this explanation the best in my opinion. And of course, Paul’s comment from 1 Corinthians 3:6 makes it even more decisive.
Bottom Line: What can we make of this? Primarily that those who teach and preach the Bible from the perspective of the gospel of Jesus and the grace of God should be listened to so as to deepen our faith. Deepening and strengthening our faith is always a good thing.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You for providing men such as Jesus’ apostles as well as men like Paul, Barnabas, and Apollos among so many others to deepen and enrich our faith. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pa-stor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton