You can know a lot and accomplish little.
DECEMBER 14, 2022
You can know a lot and accomplish little. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
If you’re sick of guilt and manipulation, and if you’re looking for an honest and thoughtful presentation of Biblical truth, you’ve come to the right place. This is Key Life with the founder of Key Life Network, Steve Brown. Keep listening for teaching that will make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the 18th chapter of Acts, and we’re looking at Apollos and we’re looking at the development stages he went through to be used in a great way by God. We’ve seen the preparation that God gave him, the teaching that Priscilla and Aquila gave him, and the church’s encouragement to him, Acts 18:27. Boy, they encouraged him as he moved out into the world to serve Christ, and the text says in that 27th verse.
He greatly helped those who through grace had believed.
And the reason he did that is the first part of the 27th verse of the 18th chapter of Acts.
And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to receive him.
The point is encouragement was the difference. You know, when one time, my late mother and I, and we’re both very opinionated, she was in one political party and I was in the other. And my wife Anna made us both agree to never talk politics. And so, we would sit and watch the conventions of the two different parties, and all we could do is grunt because Anna was sitting there and didn’t want us to get into a fight. My mother was a strong lady. But we were watching television one night and one church had been reported on that had disciplined somebody in their church. They had kicked this person out for something they had done. And my mother said, that’s not right. And I said, yes it is, it’s Biblical. And she said, no it’s not. And I said, yes it is. And I’m a Bible teacher, and I know. And she said, where does it say that. And I said, give me a while and I’ll give you some verses. So, I got my Bible and spent a long time looking through Scripture for passages on church discipline. And you know what I found out? It’s there, but it’s not there very much. And so, I went back to my mother and it was very hard. And I said, you make a very good point. Church discipline is in the Bible, but it’s not spoken of very often. More often they talk about love and acception and correction and caring and compassion for people. So I repent, you made a very good point and she did, and it created a question. If discipline is mentioned so little, why is it taught so much? That’s a good question, and if you find the answer to that, you’ll find the answer to some of the problems in the church. We tell people where they did it wrong more than we rejoice and celebrate when they do it right. We’re not encouraging very much sometimes. We leave church feeling put down and judged by teachers who should have encouraged us at least some because it is encouragement that is the water on the flowers that cause them to grow. And you can find out in Acts 18 through 27, and that goes for encouraging your pastor too. At the Monday’s broadcast on this broadcast, I always say, I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. That irritates some of you and some of you think it’s funny. I’ll go to a place and speak and people come up to me and say, Hey, by the way, my pastor’s sermon was better than your pastor’s sermon. What am I doing by saying that sort of thing? I’m saying, look, go encourage your pastor. Tell him that you’re praying for him and that you are very fortunate to have him or her as your pastor because you will be surprised at the flowers that will grow the because of that encouragement. And then there’s one final step, and we’re going to turn to a another text. Finally notice not only God’s preparation, the brother’s instruction, the church’s encouragement, but notice also the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, Acts 18:28.
For he powerfully confuted the Jews,
and that should be read religious people
in public showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
Where did the empowerment come from? It came from a supernatural source in a supernatural way to an ordinary person who had a lot of knowledge. He had been instructed, a lot of encouragement, but without the fire coming, God could not have used him. One of the things that we sometimes forget is the supernatural nature of our Christian faith. I mean, we study doctrine, we work hard, but you can know everything and not be used at all. So pray that God’s power will fall on all you do in Christ’s name. I have a friend who was a teacher and he wrote me day before yesterday and he said, let’s you and I agree to pray that God would bring revival and awakening to America, but that’s a pretty big request, so could you pray that God will do that in my class? And so, he and I are praying that the supernatural power comes in the teaching he gives and that lives will be changed. The fire never comes just because you know enough. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. And that wraps up our study of Acts 18. I love that Steve teaches the Bible the way I eat barbecue, nothing left on the bone. I mean, he covers it all and in such a wonderful way. And as he mentioned, tomorrow we’ll turn the page to start exploring Acts 19. Don’t miss it. And at the risk of being overly cute, missing it often describes how he experience Christmas. If you’ve ever felt that, I want you to call us to get a classic sermon from Steve on CD. It’s called Grace: The Heart of the Incarnation. Take a listen to part of that sermon, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
The issue is what is God like? And the teaching of the New Testament is that surprise guys. God is gracious. God is merciful. About two months ago, I went to Miami to do a funeral of a dear friend of mine. She had AIDS, she was married to another friend of mine who looks like Jesus, by the way. He’s a hairdresser, an Australian, lives in Coconut Grove that swinging section in Miami. He’s got long hair in the beard, looks like Solomon’s head of Christ. And he came to our church one time and received Christ. And his life just radically changed. He said things like, I got Jesus in my body and I wanted to say, no, no, the heart, heart, you’ve got to learn the clichés or they’re going to reject you around here. And the first time I saw him, he walked across the patio and I thought it was Jesus. And I thought, oh man, I ain’t ready yet. But anyway, his milieu, the people he associated with were all real pagans. I mean, the swingers of Miami. Four years ago, his son fell on a swimming pool at their home and they didn’t get him out in time. And he ended up, being at a vegetative state for almost two and a half, three years. I had just had the funeral for Sasha, his son, and it was a sad, sad time. And then his wife had AIDS. So, he said, I want to have this thing in my home, he said. And so, I drove down to Miami. They have a little girl, Alexis, that I love a lot. And as I was walking across the street to his house, Alexis ran out with a flower in her hands. She’s a little girl. And she just hugged me. She said, oh, Mr. Brown, so glad you’re here. Can we go see Mother? They, her remains a big cremated and she was in a box in the bedroom. And we went in and we put the flower on the box, and then Alexis and I sat there on the bed and cried. Maybe it was the first time she felt free enough to cry and to let go. Then I went out into the room where all the people had gathered and there were balloons all over the place. Lots of beer and booze and a jazz keyboard artist playing music. And I thought, Hmm, this is going to, and some of them, I mean, people have been through many, many marriages, a lot of gays, swingers, just weren’t, I didn’t, these were not my kind of people I want you to know. And the place was packed. So Alex said, it’s up to you. So, I went over to the keyboard artist and I said, son, when you finish this piece, why don’t you stop, I’m going to say something religious. And he said, sure, so he ended up as piece and I stood before them and I said, I don’t do many of these with beer and balloons, but Liz wanted beer and balloons, so we’re going to have beer and balloons. And I’m going to say something that I don’t want to sound too religious cause the only reason I’m here is because one bad person needed to stand before other bad people and tell them that God isn’t mad at them. If you go to him, he won’t be mad at you. And I said, Liz isn’t here, she’s in heaven and I’m going to tell you why she’s in heaven. Then I gave a plan of salvation without any clichés to it. And I want you all looked around that room and people were weeping everywhere. Not just because Liz was gone, because she’d been gone before and they weren’t crying. They were crying because somebody had said in eternity, there’s grace, and there’s mercy, and there’s love, and that’s what God is really like. Yes, he’s holy, he’s righteous.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are my ways, your ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God is still God. And one must remember his holiness and his awesomeness, and that he’s infinite and one isn’t flippant before the throne room, but the base of who he is, is that he is love and that he’s gracious.
Mm, and you can get that full sermon on CD for free by calling us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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