The Skilled CarpenterOctober 23, 2014
PowerlessNovember 20, 2014
“Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.” (Acts 18:24-26)
What do you think Apollos was missing in his preaching? And, what might he have in common with today’s preachers? He was a terrific speaker. He was well-educated and enthusiastic. But he was only accurate about Jesus up to a point. “He knew only the baptism of John.”
So Priscilla and Aquila invited him to their home and told him the rest of the story.
The rest of the story? What do you think was the rest of the story – the part Apollos, and too many today are missing? It was the part about being born again, and receiving the Holy Spirit. And then learning to live with the power of the Holy Spirit.
You see the baptism of John is a baptism of repentance. That’s what John taught. Remember, to repent means to change direction … change being the operative word. Apollos was likely preaching all about Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah. He likely preached about Jesus’ teachings, and the need to repent and follow his teachings.
John basically said the same thing: “Stop doing bad, change, and start doing good.” As John was baptizing out at the Jordan River people flocked to see him. He rebuked them and told them they were fakes and hypocrites. Feeling convicted, they asked, “What should we do then?”
“John answered, ‘The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.’ Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.’ (Luke 3:11-13)
John was telling them to stop living the way they were living, to change, and to do more good. Does that sound familiar? Is this what you’ve been hearing, without hearing the rest of the story?
Of course, John knew his message and his baptism were missing the rest of the story: “John answered them all, ‘I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.’” (Luke 3:16)
Have you tried to repent and change, but haven’t experienced any real success? Are you still struggling with the same old bad habits, even after “getting closer to God” and trying really hard to do better? Are you worn out? No real peace?
Then hear the rest of the story:
“Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’” (John 3:3)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” (Acts 1:8)
“But the Counselor (a helper packed with power), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. ” (John 14: 26-27 (Added))
If you are not experiencing the A+ life to the full, powered by the Holy Spirit, filled to overflowing with love, joy, peace and patience , then ask the Father to help you. Ask the Father to send into you his Holy Spirit. Ask Jesus to be your Savior.
You can’t do it on your own. This is not a self-help religion. It is a Holy Spirit powered help-self relationship with the true, all-powerful King of the universe, and He is calling to you right now:
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:20-22)