Have You Ever Noticed Him?
I got very excited about five years ago about what the bible had to say about this man, Apollos in the book of Acts.
I had been a “church-going-Christian” for about twenty three years at that point in my life and had over a period of several years been gradually understanding that everything that calls itself Christianity was not necessarily good or biblical.
I had with God’s help seen the error of the “Toronto blessing” deception, the “Purpose Driven Life” deception, the “Prosperity Gospel” deception and of the “Word-Faith” deception and had consequently withdrawn from going to churches that were involved with any of those things. (If you do not know what I am talking about here then just do an internet search on “deception in the church” or some other similar phrase).
In desperation to continue to attend a church I ended up going to churches that had Calvinistic doctrines, until I read about that issue and eventually could no longer tolerate that kind of error either! Anyway, whilst still attending churches of the latter persuasion, I had been frequently crying out to the Lord to send to my locality a man of God who would both fearlessly preach the whole truth of God’s Word as well as exposing all the deceptions that masquerade as Christianity; a man who was filled with the Holy Spirit who loved God and loved the Lord’s people too. Such people, sadly, seem to be in very short supply today.
Apollos just LEAPS off the page!
So that is why Apollos simply leapt off the pages of the bible that day! If we now look at his qualities briefly you may understand why he is in my Bible Heroes category.
“Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.
This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.
So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him;
and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.” Acts 18:24-28
- He was “an eloquent man”. The dictionary states that eloquence means, “Giving a clear, strong message that suggests clarity and power”. So that’s a good teaching quality for explaining the gospel message to people. A first tick in the Hero box.
- Next it says, he was “mighty in the Scriptures”. Well that is a good quality for understanding who the Messiah was and how He fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies and so on. If one doesn’t know the scriptures one could easily be swayed hither & thither with false beliefs or doctrines without even knowing that you had been so deceived. So this is a second essential, so another tick in the Hero box.
- Then we have the information that he “had been instructed in the way of the Lord”. This would have added to the above scriptural knowledge as he has now been told the information regarding the teachings of Jesus Christ & the details of His death and resurrection and appearances to various people. So that at the end of this passage it states that he was “showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ”. This is also wonderful tick in the hero box.
- Next the text states that he was “fervent in the spirit”. This phrase translated “fervent in spirit” means to boil with heat, be hot” according to an online dictionary. The word “fervent” means “having or displaying a passionate intensity”. When such passion is for explaining the Gospel message then this is a great big, enormous tick in my bible heroes box for sure!
- Then we see that he “spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord”. I just loved seeing that little word “accurately” in this phrase. Oh, that the Lord’s people would follow in his footsteps more closely in this regard. So Apollos lands another tick in the hero box.
- So next we see that he began to “speak boldly”. This is only a good thing as he had all the other attributes. To speak boldly, which many often do, without the other characteristics is not a good thing, but to be bold in speaking truth in an accurate fashion is a wonderful thing indeed. Go Apollos, you are still my hero!
- Next we find that “he greatly helped those who had believed through grace”. What a kindness that he didn’t spend his time wastefully or selfishly but instead made the helping of other believers his business. The fact that we even have the adjective “greatly” to describe his level of help is such a blessing. Oh that God’s true believers would be so motivated today to “greatly help” one another more often (myself included of course). So that’s the seventh tick in the hero box.
- Then we have that he “vigorously refuted the Jews publicly”. Wow, what a guy! He’s not keeping quiet about the fantastic news of Jesus Christ nor is he shying away from the public sphere of things, nor is he shyly or apologetically stating his new gospel understanding that Jesus is The Messiah, Saviour, prophesied one that would come. Oh how I love the two words “vigorously” and “refuted” in this sentence! He is certainly getting a bible-hero tick for this.
- Now finally, I did not want to miss out the fact that it states that “When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” To me this indicated that he was also a teachable character. He was not too puffed up with his own scriptural knowledge or connections. He doesn’t act defensive or aggressive when this couple point out some short-falls in his understanding (as many who have been through bible colleges sadly do today). So a teachable spirit, one willing to continually learn from others is certainly earning this man Apollos his ninth tick as one of my bible heroes.
- In fact I will just give him one more extra tick to make it up to TEN ticks as one of the people he listened to was also a female!!
10/10 for Apollos – He’s certainly my Hero!
I just love this description of Apollos. He is mentioned elsewhere in the bible as he traveled around teaching the gospel with others in that time of the early church, but this section truly paints a picture of a man of God who can be esteemed and maybe we could all aspire to grow to be more like him in our own lives.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my enthusing about my first Bible Hero. There will be more to come in the future.
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