Lessons from the Conversion of Apollos

Text: Acts 18:24-28

There are several accounts of conversion in the book of Acts. This lesson will focus on the conversion of Apollos. [For more of an explanation why this is an example of conversion, and not correcting an erring brother, refer to the article: Lessons from the Conversion of Apollos.] There are some important lessons for us to learn from this account.

One May Know the Bible and Still Be Lost

  • Knowledge of God’s law is essential (Hosea 4:6) – yet knowledge alone will not save (James 1:22)
  • Apollos was well acquainted with the Old Testament Scriptures (Acts 18:24-25) – these were designed to lead men to Christ (Galatians 3:24; 2 Timothy 3:15)
  • However, Apollos was “acquainted only with the baptism of John” (Acts 18:24) – baptism for repentance, to pave the way for Christ (Matthew 3:2-3,11; Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1); Apollos knew much of what the OT said “concerning Jesus,” but did not know the gospel of Christ
  • Without the gospel of Christ, salvation is not possible (Romans 1:16) – Apollos’ knowledge was an important asset, but until he obeyed the gospel he was lost (2 Thessalonians 1:8)

Private Bible Studies are Important

  • Many ways in which one can learn what the word of God teaches – personal study (2 Timothy 2:15); public teaching (Acts 17:2-4, 10-12); public debate (Acts 18:27-28)
  • Yet private Bible studies are also important in leading people to the truth (Acts 18:26) – Why? … can be tailored to the specific need of the individual being taught
  • Not everyone can publicly proclaim the gospel (James 3:1) – but we all have an obligation to learn how to teach people the truth (Hebrews 5:12)
  • We each have unique opportunities to reach others – we should equip ourselves to do as they did

We Must Be Open to the Truth

  • Apollos was knowledgeable, but wrong – many who are knowledgeable arrogantly refuse to admit being wrong (cf. 1 Corinthians 8:1)
  • To protect against arrogance, we must always approach the Scriptures with humility (James 1:21)
  • God’s word is always right (Romans 3:4) – we must humbly accept it in all things, even if it means we must change our beliefs/practices
  • Apollos could have been arrogant and rejected the instruction of Priscilla and Aquila – but he listened, believed, and obeyed the gospel

We Ought to Accept and Encourage New Converts

  • Once Apollos was converted, the brethren in Ephesus encouraged him to spread the gospel (Acts 18:27)
  • As a general rule, it is not a good idea to encourage new converts to go out and preach right away (James 3:1; Hebrews 5:12) – Apollos was a unique case, already having a strong foundation to build upon
  • All Christians, including new converts, must be encouraged to use their talents in God’s service (Matthew 25:14-30)
  • When one puts on Christ in baptism, he begins a new life in service to God (Romans 6:3-4) – we must encourage such service (Matthew 28:19-20)

Read the article: Lessons from the Conversion of Apollos

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