Archive for December 18, 2006

Acts 18:25-19:7 – December 24, 2006

APOLLOS IS MENTORED IN THE FAITH (verse 25-28) and PAUL ARRIVES AT EPHESUS (verse 1-7)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) In verse 25, we see that Apollos was instructed in the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. What does this mean?

Clues) This is about the baptism of John the Baptist.

Discussion) Apollos knew the Scriptures up to the point of the baptism of John the Baptist (water baptism) but he did not hear about what Jesus did on the cross and how He came back from the dead. This blows apart the fallacy that everyone in this region had heard about what happened to Jesus. Apollos was a highly regarded figure and had many times crossed through Israel but had never heard about Jesus nor the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Q2) How can we be fervent in the spirit, right now, today?

Clues) What does fervent mean?

Discussion) We can be fervent by having a passion for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and letting it flow forth from our heart and soul like a river. Fervent is zeal and passion expressed in people’s lives.

Q3) What did Aquila and Paul do in verse 26, and why is this important?

Clues) This is a trick question, it was Aquila and Priscilla.

Discussion) They took Apollos aside and told him about what Jesus did on the cross and how He was raised from the dead. They did not quench the fire that Apollos had, but added to the fire and as you see in the last verses of the chapter he was more zealous for God than before.

Q4) Apollos was extremely important in Corinth, to the point where he had disciples (read I Corinthians 3:4-6). When Paul met these disciples in Acts 19:1-7, did he belittle Apollos to these disciples?

Clues) Do leaders of opposing denominations do this today?

Discussion) Apollos had just left Ephesus for Corinth and Paul had just arrived in Ephesus. Instead of belittling Apollos to his disciples or telling them to follow him instead of Apollos since Apollos did not know about Jesus, he told them about Jesus. This is something that leaders of all churches need to get. It is not about who we can get into our churches, but it is how effectively we can point others towards Jesus and what He did for each of us. Paul could have seen Apollos as a threat (remember that Paul had no disciples, but Apollos had 12 disciples) but he did not. Paul knew who he was in Christ and therefore when a new leader was emerging, he wanted to give the followers of the new leader tools to effectively witness and have a closer relationship with God.

Q5) What is the baptism of John, found in verse 25? (Read Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, Acts 11:15, and Acts 19:1-5)

Clues) This is of John the Baptist.

Discussion) This is the baptism by water that signifies as an act that you completely agree with the death, burial, and ressurrection of Jesus. This is not for salvation, if it was, then the thief that hung on the cross next to Jesus would not be in paradise like Jesus said he would be. This is an act of obedience, just like in the Old Testament it was an act of obedience to have to go to the priest witha specific type of animal to have it sacrificed for the sins that you had committed.

Q6) Do you agree or disagree that there is another baptism after the baptism of repentance (salvation) and water baptism?

Clues) Verses 5 through 7 talk about these baptisms.

Discussion) Yes there is the baptism of repentance which is salvation, water baptism which is the first thing that all new believers are commanded to do, and then baptism of the Holy Spirit which is the empowering of the believer to do the things that Jesus was able to do here on earth. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the final thing for the believer to want, instead it is the start of a new journey where you can then start operating within the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When you have been baptized by the Holy Spirit you have not attained some special level, but the Lord has seen fit for you to start doing a service for Him.

CHALLENGE: Acts 18:24 mentions that Apollos was born in Alexandria, Egypt. What translation of the Old Testament did Alexandria give to the world in the second century B.C.?

This is the Septuagint. This is the Old Testament that was translated into the common Greek tongue. Alexandria, Egypt, was a thriving metropolis that had over 70 different nationalities that lived there. The Jews were one of the nationalities but they lost their effective talking in Hebrew, since most of them talked in the common Greek tongue for commerce. In the second century B.C., the Alexandrian Jews had 70 different scribes come from Israel and translate the Old Testament into the Greek tongue. These 70 scribes did this at different times and separate from all the others. These translations ended up being the same and this then became the first translation out of Hebrew of the Old Testament. Apollos learned the Scriptures from this translation and not the scrolls found in Israel. This is where Alexandria starts to become a force for the new found church along with the northern part of the Mediterranian countries.

Advertisements

December 18, 2006 at 1:18 am Leave a comment

Acts 18:12-23 – December 17, 2006

JEWISH LEADERS OPPOSE THE GOSPEL (verses 12-17) and PAUL RETURNS TO ANTIOCH (verses 18-23)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) Who is Gallio in verse 12?

Clues) Think about when Jesus was put before Pontius Pilate.

Discussion) Gallio was the proconsul at Achaia. This means that he was the governor and in the old Roman culture he administered the law in cases that could not be settled out of court. If the Jewish people could not settle a case, they then brought the case before the proconsul of the region.

It was pointed out that in verse 14, Paul is ready to speak on his own behalf, but Gallio speaks and says that he wants no part of this trial, since Paul did not break a law. It was mentioned that the Lord will intercede on our behalf, when He deems fit and necessary, so that we need not say a word. We see that Sosthenes is beat in verse 17, but Gallio would not help him. Similarly, Pontius Pilate wanted nothing to do with the the trial of Jesus, but Pilate caved in under pressure.

Q2) Who is Sosthenes in verse 17?

Clues) Read I Corinthians 1:1 – this is a tough question. It may not be apparent at first.

Discussion) Sosthenes was the ruler of the synagogue (therefore a high ranking Jew) who was against Paul in the trial. He was beat in verse 17 since he could not get Gallio convinced that Paul was doing wrong. In I Corinthians 1:1, Paul mentions Sosthenes. Though we do not know if it is the same person as here in Acts, if it is, there is an amazing love that is shown by Paul and the Corinthians towards the prosecuting attorney against Paul. Though Sosthenes was trying to prosecute Paul to have him thrown in prison or beat, later he is told about Jesus and turns to him, since Paul calls him a brother in I Corinthians. AMAZING the type of love that is shown.

Q3) Why did Peter have his head shaved in verse 18? If it was a vow, explain it.

Clues) This was the trick question. It was Paul that had his head shaved and not Peter.

Discussion) This is a living proof that Paul not only talked the talk but walked the walk of Christianity. He states that we should be a Jew to the Jew and a Greek to the Greek. While he was on this second missionary trip he let his hair grow long so he would be recognized by the Greeks as one of them. When he sailed for Syria, he was wanting to go back to Jerusalem, so he shaved his head and took the Nazarite vow, thereby showing that he was going to be a Jew to the Jews. This is part of meeting people where they are at, which is what Jesus did and does to each one of us.

Q4) Why did Paul go to the synagogue in Ephesus, in verse 19, after what he said in verse 6? Isn’t this contradictory?

Clues) Look very carefully at verse 6.

Discussion) Paul was talking to the Corinthian Jews in verse 6 and not all Jews. The Corinthian Jews blaphemed and Paul wanted no part of that. When he arrived at Ephesus, he headed straight to the synagogue, which was his normal mode of operation when going somewhere for the first time.

Q5) In verse 21, why does Paul say he will return again if God will (FYI – deo volente – Latin – God willing)?

Clues) Think back about all of the things that Paul has gone through.

Dicussion) This is the first time that the Bible states Paul had ever stated this. Paul might have been showing his human side here that he knew he would be imprisoned again or beat again for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, he is in total reliance on the Holy Spirit and therefore showing that if the Holy Spirit allows him to come back to Ephesus that he will.

We mentioned here that in I Corinthians, Paul mentions not to go after him or Apollos or John. That might have been written in direct correlation of the people here begging him to stay at Ephesus. In I Corinthians, Paul encourages and exhorts the Christian to have a deeper relationship with Jesus and not follow a man.

Q6) Why do you suppose Paul went all over Phrygia and Galatia strengthening the disciples?

Clues) We talked about this earlier. What did he always do the first time in a city then later on.

Discussion) Whenever Paul first visited a city or a region it was for evangelizing purposes and to start a church. The next time(s) that he visited that city or region it was to strengthen those in the church and have them go through discipleship. Paul figured that after the first time, it was the duty of the new convert in that city to tell others about Jesus.

CHALLENGE: Read II Thessalonians, which Paul wrote in Corinth while he was there for 18 months (in verse 11). What questions did those in Thessalonica have for Paul after reading his first letter?

Discussion) The questions that the Thessalonians had for Paul where: 1) what to do in times of persecution, 2) discerning the times and the end times, 3) encouragment, and 4) praying for others. He also wrapped up that not only are we to anxiously await the appearing of Jesus, but that every believer has work and some ministry to do.

What places did Paul go on his second journey and his third journey? (The second journey ends part way through verse 23 and the third journey starts in the center of verse 23)?pauls-second-journey.gif

Verse 19 – Cenchrea – number 19 on map (second journey)

Verse 20 – Ephesus – number 20 on map (second journey)

Verse 22 – Caesarea – number 21 on map (second journey)

Verse 22 – Antioch – number 22 on map (second journey)

pauls-third-journey.gif

Verse 23 – Antioch – number 1 on map (third journey)

Verse 23 – Galatia – number 2 on map (third journey)

Verse 23 – Phrygia – number 3 on map (third journey)

December 18, 2006 at 1:05 am 1 comment


Calendar

December 2006
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Posts by Month

Posts by Category