Instant Christians #9

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

On his second apostolic journey, in Corinth, Paul met a Jewish couple, Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:1-3). They became co-workers in tent-making… and ministry. As they worked with Paul, he preached to them Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery. Aquila and Priscilla were now saved and skilled in God’s Word rightly divided. This husband and wife became some of Paul’s most dedicated and helpful ministry companions (Romans 16:3,4). Risking their lives many times for Jesus Christ over the next decade, they were active in ministry even as Paul’s execution date was approaching (2 Timothy 4:19).

Acts chapter 18 closes, “[24] And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. [25] This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. [26] And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. [27] And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: [28] For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”

Apollos was confused and lost, hell-bound. He was not preaching or believing the Bible dispensationally—he was preaching John’s water baptism. All he knew was a now-defunct salvation message preached 20 years earlier, completely ignorant of Christ’s earthly ministry or Paul’s new ministry! Aquila and Priscilla heard Apollos’ fallacious preaching, took him aside, and gently taught him God’s Word rightly divided. He was then saved, grounded in sound Bible doctrine, and able to help Paul in ministry (Acts 19:1; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Titus 3:13).

The Body of Christ needs “instant” Christians such as Aquila and Priscilla today….

Planting and Watering in God’s Garden

Thursday, July 24, 2014

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6 KJV).

God is growing the plants; we are here to simply plant and water them!

The other day I talked with a Christian brother in the ministry who expressed his desire to see an immediate conversion in the life of one particular lost person steeped in a cult. He wanted to see that person saved the very next day!

Let us read today’s Scripture within its context: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (verses 6-9).

The Apostle Paul first visited Corinth in Acts chapter 18; here, some pagans had heard Paul preach the Gospel of God’s Grace, and they trusted Jesus Christ unto justification and eternal life. In late Acts chapter 18 and early chapter 19, Apollos, a new Christian and Bible teacher, came to Corinth and taught these newly-saved Corinthians. In today’s Scripture, Paul refers to these events. He had “planted” (soul salvation unto eternal life, God giving the believing sinner, Christ’s life) and Apollos had “watered” (soul salvation unto sound doctrine, the saint allowing Christ’s life to manifest in his or her own life). Whether it was passing from death to life, or learning about the life we have in Christ, it was ultimately God Almighty’s task to generate the results—it is NOT our responsibility to force people to be saved or spiritually mature.

Many people never trust Jesus Christ; many Christians never study their Bibles and mature spiritually. Yet, it takes some people many years before they trust Jesus Christ; it takes some Christians many years before they study the Bible for themselves. Beloved, people prayed for us without ever seeing results in their lifetime. Let us not be so self-willed as to think that God must satisfy us by rushing His work in people to whom we minister. 🙂