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Paul with Aquila and Priscilla

(Acts 18:1-4,18-21,24-28)

Lesson 12 -- fourth quarter 2005
November 20, 2005

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2005, Christian Light Publications

Probing Your Own Heart

How zealous are you for the truth you know?

Is your heart open to truth you do not yet know?

Building on Some Foundational Concepts

God uses people where they are.

Aquila and Priscilla had to leave Rome against their will. Yet, whether in Corinth or Ephesus, they were available and useful to God. In a spiritual sense, Apollos was not yet where he should have been, but God still used him mightily. That is not unusual for God!

God moves people to where He wants them.

Using an edict from a heathen ruler, God relocated Aquila and Priscilla to where He wanted them next. Then He used Paul to relocate them again. And again in a spiritual sense, God used Aquila and Priscilla to "relocate" Apollos. Though God uses us where we are, that is only the beginning. He continually moves us to where He wants us to be, thus gradually molding us into what He wants us to become. May He find us moldable, teachable, and lead able.

God uses people to do His work.

Surely Aquila and Priscilla would have preferred to have God get them out of Rome on His own. Surely Apollos would have preferred to have God Himself teach him His ways more perfectly. Yet in each instance, God did do the moving and the teaching...using humans in the process. Will you yield to His ways even in this?

Even teachers need teachers.

The inspired record establishes Apollos as a gifted, effective teacher. The record also shows even he needed those who would teach him!

Questions and Responses

What does reason have to do with faith?

Many folks put reason and faith at opposite ends from each other. They see them as opposing life views. They say that exercising faith requires the suspending of reason, thereby "showing" faith to be something unreasonable. But faith requires reason -- "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). (Why do you have faith?)

However, if you check the Greek you will see that reason in 1 Peter 3:15 is different from the word used in Acts 18:4,19. In these latter verses we have Paul "conversing, discoursing, arguing, discussing" with those who did not have faith in Christ. His intent was to persuade them, to induce them by words to believe. Acts 24:25 uses that same Greek word, saying that he "reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come."

Thus we can see again that faith requires reason, albeit a different type of reasoning. This kind of reasoning (conversing, discoursing, arguing, discussing) compels the hearer to ponder a given way of thinking, to revolve truth in the mind, to mingle thought with thought. This suggests the speaker has knowledge of and familiarity with the truth he presents. And not only that, he knows how to speak it -- "with grace, seasoned with salt" (Colossians 4:6).

Consider this yet: How shall people come to faith in Jesus unless someone reasons with them?

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).

What does it take to become mighty in Scripture?

We begin with a desire for and seeking after God's Word, that by it we might grow. "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2).

We learn to enjoy the Word -- reading it, thinking about it, taking some truth from it to "chew" on through the day. "But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (Psalm 1:2,3).

We speak the truth we have learned. We commit ourselves to living by that truth. "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success" (Joshua 1:8).

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