“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 26, NO. 37&38 – THE REAL QUESTION
OK, here it is, “When was Apollos (saved) safe? I could have asked when he became a Christian? He appears in Acts 18 and the disciples were first called “Christians” in Acts 11, but when that label was accepted as the official title of the followers of Jesus, we don’t know.
If you go to the commentaries or the internet, you will find several different takes on Apollos being taught by Priscilla and Aquila. And, if you are one of those rare people who like to dig into such things, you will sometimes recognize the doctrinal background of the writer as you read. There are words and phrases which seem to constantly flow through certain ways of thinking.
Before we decide on Apollos’ fate, we should examine the facts as stated. In Acts 18:24ff it says he was from Alexandra and 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 taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.” And, as you probably know, a woman and her husband, Priscilla and Aquila invited him somewhere and “explained to him the way of God more adequately.” NIV
You will notice he had a “thorough knowledge of Scripture” and “taught about Jesus accurately.” Three of the earliest documents say “Jesus.” Others say “the Lord.” “Lord” could mean God, and that seems to be the way some commentators look at it. However, Luke notably interchanges “Jesus” and “Lord.” If the NIV is correct, then we have a problem with how Apollos could be said to have “taught about Jesus accurately” and also be said to only know the baptism of John. It’s that word “accurately” that is the sticky wicket. Ideas differ on the translation of “accurate.” Is there some wiggle room there or not?
What Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos is of little interest to Luke. The fact that he mentions Apollos only knew the baptism of John is certainly a clue. So the general conclusion is they straightened him out about baptism into Jesus. All this happened at Ephesus.
Then comes another curious question. We are told that Apollos went on to “Achaia” of which Corinth was the capital province. Paul comes back through Ephesus, a place to which he’d promised to return. (Acts 18:21) He finds some “disciples” and asked if they had received the Holy Spirit when they “believed.” They said they knew nothing of the Holy Spirit. When asked about their baptism, they replied it was “John’s” They were then baptized into the name of Jesus and received the Holy Spirit.
What is interesting here is that they were called “disciples” but not yet baptized into the name of Jesus. Now we know that “disciple” means “learner.” How many “disciples” were in Ephesus? Were these twelve men converts of Apollos, or those, apparently in some number, still clinging to John? Was Ephesus so large there could be disciples that had no knowledge of other disciples? Perhaps. It was said to be about 250 thousand strong.
One article said Apollos had to go back and find all those he’d falsely taught. The text seems to indicate he made a hasty exit to Achaia. And “correcting” the baptism of John thing is of no interest to Luke. It does introduce us to a sometimes discussed issue when the passage is examined. At what point is a person a follower of Jesus? Was Apollos one before he was instructed more “accurately”? Was Apollos a “disciple” before he met Priscilla and Aquila, and a “Christian” afterwards? Is there some important distinction between the two? Are Christians also learners?
When Paul meets the twelve “learners” who were baptized into John’s baptism, his main interest was about the Holy Spirit.
Having taken you down this weary road, if you’re even reading this, my question is this: Did Priscilla and Aquila accept Apollos as a brother in Christ before he had his “accuracy straightened out, or not until after? How we answer that will determine how we view all the “learners” out there, doesn’t it?
CONCERNS: T. J. Hall will have surgery on his arm soon to correct a nerve issue. Others to keep in our prayers are Betty Billings, Keith’s sister, Del Bolin, Anna Ferrell’s dad, Nathan Beach, Eleanor Bresee, Erma Williams’ cousin, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, and her mother, Helen, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Mary, (Kim hall’s friend) Gil Richardson, Wayne Phlegar, Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Sharon (Del’s friend) Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, Mrs Matara, Marie Barnett and her family, and Todd Baumgardner. Also: Jessica (Sturm) Stewart asks our prayers for her. She will have a partial mastectomy on 10/7 in Columbus on her right breast. And a possible lumpectomy on the left side. She has taken cemo pills and did well with them. WE also heard that Lewis’s dad passed away a few weeks ago in Florida.
OUR DAILY BREAD: OCTOBER 6-11
Monday: Psalm 48:1-4
Tuesday: Romans 11:33- 12:8
Wednesday: Matthew 15:29-39
Thursday: Luke 15:1-10
Friday: Galatians 6:1-10
Saturday: Psalm 19:1-14
OUR DAILY BREAD: OCTOBER 13-18
Monday: Psalm 119:25-48
Tuesday: Mark 4:1-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 1:10-31
Thursday: Galatians 5:1-25
Friday: Daniel 3:13-30
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20
We were saddened to learn of the death of Nick Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s brother. After a long and courageous fight against cancer, Nick died on Wednesday, September, 24th in Montana. He was cremated and part of his remains were placed by a good friend at their favorite fishing site, and the rest will be interred by his father in Pa. ALSO: Jo Wagner’s cousin, Donna Sue Brutto died last week after a long struggle with cancer. She too was cremated. A memorial service was held in Fort Mill SC on Friday.
PEAKS OF OTTER HIKE AND PICNIC
It’s hard to believe that it is almost time for this annual event! A sign-up list is on the table in the foyer. The list is for those attending the picnic after the hike on October 19th.
It seems that the fall colors are getting later and later each year, but we have been going on Super Sunday’s since we started. If there is some thought to changing it to the last Sunday for next year, we’ll talk about it after this time. You may remember when it colors were at their peak and we had a problem finding a place for the picnic.
Also, if you plan to ride the bus to the are near the top, if the day is nice, you will need to get your bus tickets as early as possible.
As indicated above, Super Sunday is October 19th. Combined with the Peaks event, this has always been a special family day for us. Make plans to attend the fellowship meal following the service.
Saturday, October 11 will be the day we will do some fall clean-up around the building. It will be cooler and we should be able to do some final trimming and perhaps some cleaning of underbrush up on Carlton near the telephone junction box. This means we will need a chain saw or two, as well as other tools and equipment to get the job done. If you know of any other areas which need attention, let it be known. We will start about 9:30 or so. That way if it is cool it should be a little more comfortable