Book of Acts Chapter 18 (Part 2)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that believers should be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. Today, we hope to discuss the completion of Paul’s second and start of his third missionary journey.

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Read Acts 18:18-22
7. The Journey Completed.
In this section of the book of Acts Paul left Corinth. He left Priscilla and Aquilla in Ephesus. He cut his hair as a part of a vow that he took. Even though invited, he declined to spend too much time at the synagogue. He made his way back to Antioch.

Applications –
- Team work.
Notice in vss. 18-19 the idea of team work. Paul went on to another assignment. Brothers were left at Corinth. And Priscilla and Aquilla were left at Ephesus.

We see in this section of the book of Acts that everyone had an assignment and appear to have carried them out for the sake of the common good. Let’s work on doing our part as members of the teams that we serve on.

We should be members of church, family, and community teams. We don’t all have the same assignment, but we should being working for the common good.

- Living by God’s will. Notice in vss. 18-21 of the book of Acts Paul’s concern with living by God’s will. He cut his hair as a part of a vow unto the Lord, it appears. He went back to the synagogue, with the mention of returning, if it is God’s will.

As believers, we should strive to live by God’s will. Cutting our hair is optional and even an official vow may be over top; however, as disciples of Christ, we should behave as if we have decided to follow divine directions.

As in this section of the book of Acts, there are times when we are not clear what God’s future will is going to be. Therefore, we may do well to simply state what we intend to do, if it is God’s will.

Let’s work on living by God’s will. At the core of God’s will is for us to love Him and others, as we love ourselves.

- Staying in communication with our local church. Notice in vs. 22 that Paul checked in with the church. There are too many who behave as if they graduate from being accountable to the church.

Since we are all members of the same body, it is important to stay in touch with the body. Age, title, nor seniority makes us exempt from this application. Let’s work on staying in communication with our local church.

Read Acts 18:23-28
D. The Third Missionary Journey (18:23-21:26). 1. Ephesus: The Power Of The Word (18:23-19:41).
Paul started what has been labeled as his third missionary journey. In the meantime, Apollos is becoming known as a man of God. He was taught the ways of God more adequately by Priscilla and Aquilla.

Applications –
- Strengthening disciples.
Notice in vs. 23 of the book of Acts Paul’s concern with strengthening disciples. The mission of God’s church is to evangelize the lost and edify the saints.

Every disciple can help strengthen other disciples, by being faithful in his/her assignment and by being friendly and encouraging. Without strong disciples, the most our local churches can be are large day care centers for baby Christians.

We need strong disciples to be strong leaders, so we can have strong need-meeting ministries. Let’s do our part in being and strengthening disciples.

- God’s use of people of color. Notice in vss. 24-25 that Apollos was from Alexandria with a reputation for being learned, knowledgeable of the scriptures, and fervent about the Lord.

Alexandria is in Africa, which is almost a sure indicator that Apollos was a person of color. And he was already educated and excited about the Lord.

This is important because too much of the European styled Christianity ignores people of color or only presents them as uncivilized people who only became assets after being exposed to the great White/European Christians.

This is both a false picture and a harmful picture for Black believers. Let’s be aware that there is a long history of God using people of color in His church.

To be clear, Black, White, yellow, and all others are nothing without the Lord. However, God uses and has been using non-Europeans for ages. We don’t have to become European to be strong disciples of Christ.

- Growing and discerning. Notice in vss. 25-26 of the book of Acts that Apollos had some growing to do. He had some knowledge and zeal but only up to John’s baptism. This means that he had zeal without the knowledge of Jesus paying it all and our current age of grace.

On one hand, we should make sure we keep studying and striving to live by all of God’s word, so we will not be guilty of having more zeal than knowledge. On the other hand, we should listen to what is being said to discern how what is being said relates to the Bible.

Too often we mistake zeal for knowledge. Some people can be loud and convicted by still wrong. Let’s work on growing in our knowledge and zeal for the Lord, while discerning what God is saying through others, no matter how zealous and educated they may be.

- Teachable, zealous, and accepting. Notice in vss. 26-28 that Apollos was teachable, desired to serve, and accepted by the church.

First, there are too many who allow formal education and economic status to keep them from growing in the Word of God. We should learn from Apollos’ example to humbly accept the teaching of God’s word and grow in obeying it.

Second, there are too many who are very knowledgeable of God’s word, but they don’t serve the Lord with zeal. We should learn from Apollos’ example to keep “learning” and “burning” close together. The more we learn, the more we should do.

Third, notice that the church accepted the ministry of Apollos and his growing in the Lord. There are too many who are stuck in time. They cannot move past what you used to be.

We should accept what God is doing in others, so that the church can be all that God is calling it to be and all that we need it to be in our lives. Let’s work on being teachable, zealous in service, and accepting of what God is doing in the lives of others.

Conclusion: Let’s be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.

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