If they don’t know, teach them.
DECEMBER 12, 2022
If they don’t know, teach them. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches the God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy, and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you had a great week=end, and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us on this broadcast, we’re, well, we’re almost heading for the barn. We’re studying the book of Acts and the beginning of our family, the Christian family. What happened at the beginning? I was the pastor of a church in the Miami area for 20 years, and one of the interesting things about that church is that we had members who had been there when the church was founded, and there were all kinds of war stories. And I loved to sit down and talk to those older people about what it was like at the beginning. Well, God knows our curiosity about those things. And what he’s done for us is to give us the Book of Acts, so we can hear the war stories of what happened at the beginning. And if you’ve been with us, you know that we’re up to the 18th chapter of the Book of Acts, and we’re looking at the final verses of that 18th chapter. And it starts at the 24th verse.
Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, well versed in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully confuted the Jews in public, that’s the religious people showing by the Scriptures that Christ, the Christ was Jesus.
All right, let’s pray and then we’ll dig in. Father, we thank you that you loved us enough to write it down. If you hadn’t written it down, we probably would’ve gotten it wrong and you codified it in a way that we could pass it from generation to generation. We praise you for your word, for loving us enough to write it down. Father, you know everybody who’s listening to this broadcast and you know the places that are really, really hard. And you know the places where we’re doing fine and we know that you’re in charge of both. Father, remind us over and over again that you’ve got it. Remind us over and over again that you’re sovereign and that you’re good, and teach us to lean on you and to lean on you hard. As always Father, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast. Forgive him his sins cause there are many. We would see Jesus and Him only. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Now, if you were with us last week, you know that what we’re doing is we’re looking at the life of Apollos. We don’t know a lot about him. We know what is said in this text. He is referenced four or five times in the New Testament very quickly. And he may, though maybe not, was the author of the book of Hebrews, but he is a man that God used in a wonderful way and God included his story in the story of the beginning, in Acts so that we could learn by it. And as I read these verses, I saw the stages through which every Christian goes. First stage, and we’ve talked a lot about that, and I’m not going to spend any more time on it, is the stage of God’s preparation, Acts 18 through 24. You have been prepared for this very moment. Nothing in your life has been an accident. You are prepared for this moment and that’s what a sovereign God does. And then we noticed, and I mentioned it, but we didn’t talk about it much, you ought to secondly notice that the step ladder of development not only includes God’s preparation, but notice that it also includes the brothers and sisters instruction, Acts 18:25 through 26.
He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately.
Notice that he was instructed in the truth. I’ve said on occasion that when somebody first comes to Christ, I love to be around new Christians. I really do. The first thing you ought to remember is that God listens to the prayers of new Christians, I think more than he does, well, he answers. He listens to all prayers, but he answers prayers of new Christians, maybe more than he does with a yes than he does with old Christians. And he does that to kind of confirm it. So, if you’re witnessing and you’re involved in evangelism, be glad for that, but don’t forget to tell the person you introduced to Jesus to pray for you, and you’ll be surprised at what will happen. And then the second thing you ought to do with a new Christian is lock ’em up for a year, throw away the key and don’t let ’em talk to anybody for at least a year until they know more than Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Well, I used to say that. I don’t say that anymore because of Acts 18. I don’t say that anymore. That’s what Apollos was. He was a new Christian. He didn’t know much. He didn’t even know about proper baptism. He only knew about the baptism of repentance from John. And you know, that’s not somebody you want to make the president of the seminary. That’s not the person you want to make a pastor. That’s not the person you want to be the teacher of other Christians. But he was so fervent that God used him in a wonderful way, and I know Priscilla and Aquila, they’re good folks. They’re friends of mine and Priscilla said to Aquila, what a winsome young man. He is so eloquent. He is something else, but he’s saying things he ought not say, in ways he ought not say them. So, let’s lock him up for a year and then let him go. No, they took him aside and they taught him. And in that teaching, he became an effective tool for Christ. What is the instruction that we owe each other? Well, first there’s an instruction for salvation. Let me give you a principle.
Evangelism is not hustling souls for Jesus, it is presenting the proper information, at the proper time, in the right way, so that they can come to know Jesus.
People do not become Christians, except with information. That’s the place of the brother’s instruction. And you know, my wife is a musician and she says music is the universal language. And I get what she means, and she’s right about that. But if you are going to communicate complicated, theological, doctrinal propositions, you can’t do it with a song. You’ve got to speak real words to real people with real ears who need to hear it. And so, we need to make sure that those who know him, know why they know him. And so, the instruction includes instruction on salvation, how it happened, and what it involves. And that was true with Apollos. Apollos knew Jesus. He didn’t know that Jesus had died vicariously for him on a cross. He didn’t know that the resurrection changed everything. He didn’t know that Jesus was going to come back and clean up the mess. He didn’t know the verities of the Christian faith, but he knew Jesus. And that was enough for then, but not enough for the future. And so, Priscilla and Aquila called him aside and instructed him. Be thankful for new Christians. Be thankful for what God has done. Have their enthusiasm inspire you, but call them aside and instruct them because that is a part of the developmental state of every Christian. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown continuing to teach us from Acts chapter 18 about the war stories, the origins of the church. We’ll continue to dig into this passage tomorrow. Hope you’ll join us for that. Hey, something else I hope you’ll join us for the Christmas episode of Steve Brown Etc. This year’s episode will air this week-end. It’s probably our favorite show of the year, and if you’ve ever heard one, well, you’ll know why. No guests, not a whole lot of planning, but a whole lot of us just hanging out, eating cookies and sharing some of our favorite stories, and it’s all capped off with Steve’s one of a kind reading of the Christmas story found in Luke 2. But listen, don’t take my word for it. Get a copy of last year’s Christmas episode on CD for free by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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