Priscilla and Aquila

Text: 1 Corinthians 16:19

The New Testament describes Priscilla and Aquila as a godly couple who worked together in the cause of the Lord. But with all of the married couples in the early church, why did the Holy Spirit see fit to preserve their example for us? Whether we are married or not, there are several important lessons we can learn from this husband and wife.

Fellow Workers in Christ (Romans 16:3)

  • They were Christians (“in Christ“) – they had been baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3)
  • They were working for the cause of Christ – we are to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58; cf. Ephesians 2:10)
  • They worked with Paul (“fellow workers“) – we are to work together (Ephesians 4:16)

Risked Their Lives for Paul (Romans 16:4)

  • Demonstration of love on their part (John 15:13) – we are to love the brethren as Christ loved us (1 John 3:16)
  • More than just love for Paul – Paul was suffering for the cause of Christ (cf. 2 Timothy 1:8; 2:3)
  • They put themselves at risk by associating with and helping Paul (cf. Acts 17:5-7) – we must be willing to lay down our lives for Christ (Matthew 16:24-25)

Caused Gentile Christians to Give Thanks (Romans 16:4)

  • Historically, there was hostility between Jews and Gentiles (Acts 11:1-3) – but the Gentiles were to be accepted (Acts 10:34-35) because of Christ’s sacrifice (Ephesians 2:14)
  • Priscilla and Aquila were Jews (Acts 18:2) – but that did not prevent them from doing good that would benefit the Gentiles
  • They risked their lives for Paul, “an apostle of Gentiles” (Romans 11:13) – the Gentiles were thankful

Hosted the Church in Their House (Romans 16:5)

  • It was not uncommon for churches in the first century to meet in people’s homes – not the same thing as a “house church”; this was simply about location*
  • Church buildings are authorized (though not commanded) and a blessing (though not essential)**
  • What is necessary for one to be able to host a congregation in their house? … a house large enough to accommodate the brethren and a willingness to host – it requires the mentality commended by Paul (1 Timothy 6:17-18)

Endured Persecution for Being Jews (Acts 18:2)

  • They also faced persecution as Christians (Romans 16:4), but this was different – when the people of your nation are targeted, it is easy to develop a nationalistic mindset
  • Nothing wrong with appreciating the benefits of a nation and its history (Romans 3:1-2; Proverbs 29:2) – but we must not forget that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20)
  • We will suffer for being Christians (1 Peter 4:16), and may suffer for other reasons too – do not allow other sufferings to distract you from your purpose (Romans 8:18-20)

Provided Paul a Place to Stay (Acts 18:3)

  • Given what we’ve seen so far from this couple, this is no surprise – they were hospitable (hosting the church) and cared about Paul’s preaching (risked their lives, were fellow workers)
  • This was about more than just having someone over for dinner – though this is also good (Acts 2:46)
  • This indicated a willingness to share and support Paul’s preaching (Galatians 6:6, 10)

Taught Apollos the Gospel (Acts 18:26)

  • Apollos knew the Old Testament, but was unaware of Messianic prophecies being fulfilled and a new baptism (Acts 18:24-25) – they did not wait for Paul or another preacher to teach Apollos; they could do it so they did
  • Not everyone should be teachers (James 3:1) – but we can work to develop our ability to teach (Hebrews 5:12)
  • The goal is to accurately explain the word of God (Acts 18:26) – How? (1 Peter 4:11; Nehemiah 8:8)

Sent Greetings to Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:19)

  • This was a “church of God” (1 Corinthians 1:2), but had many problems – when a church has problems, there is some “time to repent” (Revelation 2:21); in the meantime, help the weak (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
  • They did not send polite, half-hearted greetings – they greeted them “heartily in the Lord“; remember, they had a history in Corinth; they were in Corinth when the church was established (Acts 18:1-11)
  • We are to “love the brotherhood” (1 Peter 2:17) – this love must be genuine (Romans 12:9)

* For more on “house churches,” see House Churches

** For more on church buildings, see Do We Have Authority for a Church Building? (Plain Bible Teaching)

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