057 – The Great Commission – The Promise!

Now, let’s look at… possibly… the most neglected statement of The Great Commission. After Jesus issues his four crisp commands, comes the magnificent and stunning conclusion.

Let’s read the entirety of The Great Commission again… it’s been a while since we’ve heard it.

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The Greatest Promise Ever Made

Jesus concludes his commission with an amazing and wonderful promise… “And surely I am with you always until the very end of the age.”

There are no words to adequately describe the implications and impact of these final words. Jesus’ promise permeates through the rest of the New Testament. For the last two millennia, The Promise has changed millions of hearts and lives and will continue to do so until the very end of time. Majestic and marvelous, The Promise secures a Christian’s future in the eternal Kingdom of God. It is a promise of comfort and a bond of sonship. It is intimate and loving. It is truly beyond earthly comprehension. Jesus promises to be with us always, until the very end of the age.

The Promise was Predicted

And, by the way, this is exactly what he said he would do, way back in John 14. This came at the time of The Last Supper, as he shares his heart with the apostles he loves. Let’s listen in….

John 14:15-31
“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

“You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”

Wow! What an awesome and wonderful position we are in. The God of the Universe, the Lord of Lords, King of King’s, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, The Alpha and Omega, the Light and the Life of Men, the Word Incarnate, that Carpenter of Galilee will voluntarily come to me and live in me for the purposes of his will. That’s wild! It’s blow away!

The Promise has a Predication

Now notice, in both John 14 and The Great Commission, all of this wonder is predicated on a very specific response to Jesus’ teaching and invitation. The only appropriate response to his conditional call is… obedience. John 14 compels soft hearted people to ask, “How do we do this, Lord? What should we obey?” By Matthew 28:18, he tells them! The Promise follows and, is only available to, those who obey The Great Commission.

The Promise is Awesome!

The Promise of The Great Commission is, beyond words, truly amazing in its blessings. The God of the Universe comes and makes his home in us. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus indwells us! This all happens at a point in time after our sins have been wiped away by God! The Holy Spirit will not indwell a house which has not been swept clean. It happens because Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us. He died on the cross and rose from the grave so we can be freed from sin and death. Because of what He has done, we can live with God in Heaven for all eternity. Our response to this is not a legalistic or man made response, it is in humble obedience to all that he commands and it comes from a heart filled with deep gratitude and love for Christ. Without objection or argument, we obey all he has taught us.

Our love for Christ and our gratitude for what He has accomplished on our behalf drives us forward. It compels us to honor, respect, adore and cherish Jesus as our Lord with every fiber of our being. We lay down our lives before His throne. We fall on our knees before His majesty. We dedicate our lives to His service. We desire to know Him in deeper more intimate ways by reading His word and pursuing our relationship with Him in prayer to the Father, that we may know him better.

The Promise has an Impact

When we are so converted, we crave things spiritual and our minds become squarely set on heavenly things. Love is an action, not just an emotion. Therefore, a disciple of Jesus possesses a “go anywhere, do anything” mentality and heart. We are humble and eager to learn anything new. We are willing to change quickly when we learn we have been wrong. This of course implies we are in relationships which lovingly challenge our thinking. We have this heart because we so clearly recognize how lost and depraved we actually were without Christ. We truly understand how deceived and empty our lives were prior to discovering this “life to the full,” which is only found in Christ! A relationship with Christ results in overwhelming feelings of boundless joy, incomprehensible peace and deep contentment.

This is why we talk about Christ. We love sharing this Good News with our brothers and sisters who have experienced the same thing we have and with those who have not yet discovered it.

The Promise is Why Accountability is Vital

“I will be with you always,” is the last thing Jesus tells his disciples, and it is within this context we consider what we talked about in our last podcast, “accountability.” We have our commission. We have our marching orders. We are to take the Gospel to the world. We are to go, make disciples, baptize them and teach them to obey everything we have been taught. So, how does Jesus amazing promise to be with us always relate to accountability in our evangelistic efforts. Think this through!

When you have a group of people absolutely stoked about their relationship with God, they should be eager to do anything which “fans into flames” those feelings. If church leadership can provide just a little bit of structure and a little bit of guidance, I would be all for it. Provide me just a little bit of direction in the form of some common goals, shared with my fellow workers, and I will stay focused and busy while I toil with my team to reach those goals. The God of the universe lives in me. Don’t tell me to sit around doing nothing!

The Promise Demands a Plan

When church leadership provides no common evangelistic goals, direction and a way to measure success, members will most likely drift and wander aimlessly throughout their spiritual lives, rarely seeing the victory of bringing another soul to Christ and experiencing the shear joy of teaching another person all that they have learned. Without common goals, direction and a modicum of accountability, not only will church members drift… frankly, most will leave.

Is it not strange that every successful business understands and employs accountability among its members but the church shudders at the thought of asking its team to be accountable for a far more important purpose. Our efforts impact people for an eternity. No company’s products or services can make that claim. Our evangelistic goals, organizational plans and accountability should put the greatest corporate programs to shame.

Consider Israel. They always had goals. The Lord constantly set before them the task of advancing into new territory. For them it happened through their various wars. Take these military campaigns as a foreshadowing of our battle to save souls. While we no longer conquer physical territory with swords of iron, we conquer spiritual territory with The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. And, without question…. it is a battle, the battle for souls!

The Promise Moves us Forward

Jesus magnificent promise to be with us always means that we will take on his continuing mission to keep moving forward by preaching and teaching the Gospel. A well trained mission team doesn’t reject accountability, we embrace it because it helps us do what we want to do to an even greater degree by employing Godly organization. The very fact that Jesus is in us drives us forward as a team, on the quest to spread his message.

How can we measure the effectiveness of a plan if there are no clearly defined attainable goals… no specific target and no evaluation of the activity? We must have an evangelistic plan with clearly defined and clearly stated goals and objectives. When these are communicated to the troops, they have the ability to see their victories!

Think about this carefully. Jesus promised to be with us always. What good is it if Jesus is going to be with us always… until the very end of the age… if we never do anything as a result of The Promise? What good is it to be saved if we never seek and save the lost ourselves? Did we get into Christianity for fire insurance? May it never be! What good is it for God to give us His Holy Spirit, if we are just going to go hide in our prayer closets and delight in Him, without ever sharing our incredible discovery with anyone else?

The Promise Defines a Purpose

After our conversion, God leaves us here on earth for a purpose; that purpose is to fulfill The Great Commission, to the best of our ability, taking the Good News to a lost world. For a disciple of Jesus, there is no greater calling. There is nothing more important or more exciting that helping another person understand the Biblical Plan of Salvation, as presented in The Great Commission; teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded us.

And, when you get a bunch of us together, we are happy and excited to talk about the victories God is granting us and we want to know how we might do better. We are open to being “discipled” about our evangelism. It is for the benefit our our shared mission! This is why I think there is a way accountability can work in a congregation of fired up disciples. They are ready for the challenge.

Accountability is the furthest thing from a nuisance, it becomes one of the means by which I get to share all that I am discovering and all the victories God gives as I complete my small part in God’s grand plan! It’s not an annoyance, it’s a gateway to riches!

If you think accountability is intrusive or threatening, who are you protecting? Why so defensive? Why not celebrate and talk about what the Lord is doing in your own personal ministry to the glory of the church? It’s not about you. It’s about building God’s kingdom on earth.

God loves us and has given us His Holy Spirit. This is a cause for overwhelming celebration. Hide your light? Never! Keep silent? Impossible? Stay still? Not for a moment! Hide in the shadows? No way! We are a city on a hill. Let your light shine so brightly that men see you good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven!

The Promise Promotes a Change

Now, the obvious problem which lies ahead of us is how to move a person who is not so committed to the Biblical Plan of Salvation into a state where they are committed with their whole heart, mind, strength and soul. How do we make that happen? There is a proven way, and we will begin talking about that soon.

The Great Commission – A Review

As we leave our study of The Great Commission, let’s do a quick review.

The Great Commission is presented to the Apostles at the close of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The purpose of the commission was designed to provide a way for Jesus’ ministry to continue after his departure. His expectation, as explained in the commission, is that all of his teachings should be passed down to each generation of new disciples and that all of the commands were to be obeyed. These four commands are Jesus only plan of salvation. The commands, in order are: Go, Make Disciples, Baptize them and teach them to obey everything.

If we have obeyed the Gospel, we should be following and teaching this exact same plan of salvation ourselves, not some other man made plan of salvation. The Great Commission presents the only authorized and legitimate plan. We also clearly see from The Great Commission and from John 14 that The Promise comes as a result of our humble obedience and is not available to anyone who has not followed Jesus instructions and commands. God will give us His Holy Spirit if we obey his teaching.

This means we do to receive the Holy Spirit at a point in time before our obedience. This fact is consistent throughout all of scripture. God never gives his Holy Spirit to someone who has not obeyed him.

As disciples, as we are in the process of implementing The Great Commission at a personal level, we will go. We will make disciples. We will baptize those disciples we make and we will teach them to do exactly the same things we are doing. Now, there is nothing complicated here. If a someone refuses to obey this teaching, they reject the plan. As we have seen so many times, a disciple makes disciples and in fact, there is no other kind of disciple.

If we want to be true disciples of Jesus, our goal is to obey Christ to the best of our ability. He provides the plan. Our job is to possess a humble, teachable heart and a faith that obeys!

Enjoy!

Dana Haynes
Listen Now – Podcast 057 – The Great Commission – The Promise

056 – The Great Commission – Teach

The fourth command of The Great Commission is, in its complete sentence form, “Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” In my mind, this is the most amazing part of the Great Commission. It is absolutely brilliant.

In adding this fourth command to the other three commands of The Great Commission, Jesus has just insured that the Biblical Plan of Salvation will continue on throughout all generations. Let’s break it down and see what else we can discover.

Discovery

The first word is, “teach.” This means sending information, passing knowledge, communicating enlightenment. It’s a drawing toward knowledge and wisdom.

Now, carefully notice. The apostles were not told to “teach the people everything.” They were told, “Teach them to ‘obey’ everything.” This is interesting. Jesus introduces obedience. Obedience is a response and it is always intrinsically linked to a command. Without a command, there is nothing to obey. This is why we say, “The Great Commission must be obeyed.” There are a series of commands contained in it. As a result, obedience becomes a critical part of the salvation experience because, the scriptures elsewhere teach us that we can not have a relationship with God, if we are unwilling to obey him. More about that in a moment.

Now, obviously… the things Jesus is commanding us to obey extend way beyond the first three commands of The Great Commission. He said, “Teach them to obey everything, I have commanded you.”

Obey Everything?

That’s a mighty tall order, wouldn’t you say. What was he talking about? “Love your enemies?” “Love your neighbor as yourself?” “Seek first the Kingdom?” “Give?” Yes, yes, yes and yes. But, in the context of The Great Commission, we must ask, “What has he just taught the apostles to obey?” Well… the first three commands! Go, make and baptize!

When Jesus says, “Teach them to obey everything,” that by definition, includes everything he has just finished saying. And, they should teach it exactly the same way he taught them. No one has ever been given a license or the authority to change anything in the Biblical Plan of Salvation.

Have you ever played the game “Telephone?” It’s a fun game, even for adults. The game is played by getting 15 or 20 other people together. The leader whispers a fairly complex sentence into the first person’s ear. The first person then whispers it into the second person’s ear and the message gets passed on from mouth to ear for twenty generations. It can be quite hilarious when we hear the final presentation of the original sentence. Things can really change and get messed up! When a message gets passed down from generation to generation people have a tendency to change things. But this process can’t happen with The Great Commission because we have the instructions… the original message… clearly presented in the New Testament.

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055 – The Great Commission – Baptize!

As we continue our mini-series about The Great Commission, we now examine the third command, Baptize. So, just how do we cover this topic after coming off of a forty lesson, in-depth series, about water baptism? Can there possibly be anything new to discuss regarding this topic? I think so. And I think you’re going to be surprised when you see this one! Let me explain.

A Quick Review

We have already established, baptism as the third command of The Great Commission and at the risk of belaboring the point, I will once again, for the benefit of newcomers, remind us; since it is a command, it is not optional on our part. It must be obeyed by both the baptizer and the one being baptized. In other words, as a person who makes disciples, I have no choice in the matter. I must baptize my student. That is cast in stone and I do not have the right, ability, or authority to change it. That’s what Jesus told us to do. Likewise, the student has no choice in the matter, if they want to be a disciple of this particular Master, Jesus. I’m sorry but it’s just not optional. As we have stated many times, baptism can not be a work of human effort because it is a command of Christ.

Just like the first two commands of The Great Commission, this third command, the command to baptize, can be expressed as a complete sentence. The sentence contains a subject, the plural form of that “implied you,” meaning “you all” specifically “you apostles.” The verb is “baptize.” The direct object of the sentence, “them,” is the “who” to baptize. So, the complete sentence would be, “You baptize them.” If you are from the south, that would be, “Y’all baptize ‘em.”

The Narrow Road

Now, here is where things get interesting. I’m gonna bet this is probably something you have never heard before. We understand who was to do the baptizing. It was initially done by the Apostles who taught others to do it and so on. We understand what baptism is, an immersion in water. But, when Jesus adds that little direct object, “them,” something with significant ramifications occurs. Let’s walk through this carefully.

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054 – The Great Commission – Make Disciples

Making disciples is a command of Christ. It is not optional.
Make Disciples is the second command.

The second command of The Great Commission is to “Make Disciples.” It should probably go without saying that this seemingly small command is absolutely loaded with potential! Let’s get started.

Here is the complete command in context.

“Make disciples of all nations.” Short sentence, right?

English 101

The verb is “make.” The direct object… or what to make… is “disciples.” Make disciples. But we’re missing a subject. A complete sentence must have a noun which makes up the subject of the sentence. And believe it or not, “Make disciples,” is technically a complete sentence. So, where’s the noun? What is the subject of the sentence? Think back to 7th grade English. Remember, this was a fun one. The subject is the implied, “You.” If we were going to say the complete and full sentence it would be, “You make disciples.” The purpose of the sentence is an imperative. It is a command.

The plural “you,” Jesus is referring to, are the remaining eleven disciples… the apostles. It is to them exclusively he is saying, “You make.” We have no indication there is anyone else present. The commands are given to a very select group of men; the men he has been training for the last three years. The men who have walked closely with him daily. So, “You make,” would be the command in its simplest form. Let’s talk about this part of the full sentence before we get to the “what…” of the sentence.

The definition of “make”

Jesus command is directed to the apostles and he tells them to “make” something. Making something implies effort, it requires an activity. Noah Webster, in his 1828 dictionary, offers over 60 definitions for the word, “make.” Here are just a few.

To compel; to constrain. To create; to cause to exist; to form from nothing. To bring into any state or condition; to constitute.

The word “make” means the act of creating something new which did not previously exist. It also implies a deliberate effort is activated toward that goal. In order for this to happen, the person performing the effort must have a goal in mind and we should understand they have some sort of motivation to achieve the goal for which they are producing the effort. There is some driving force behind their desire to be productive.

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053 – The Great Commission – Go!

Welcome to A Faith that Obeys where we are rethinking the traditional plan of salvation. This traditional plan, which is also called the Modern Plan, is a fairly new invention and has tragically replaced the Biblical Plan of Salvation. When we study the Bible and see how people were “Born Again” in the first century, then compare that to how people become Christians today, there are some stark differences. Things have changed. Our goal is to identify the Biblical “steps to salvation” and support you in your efforts to learn what God desires in order to correctly follow them so you may have full assurance that you are walking on the correct path in your relationship with God.

Our series about biblical obedience in water baptism is now complete but obedience does not begin or end with that event. There are other things to consider. As we begin this next phase of our studies, I suspect you are about to hear something you have never heard before and it may be a little shocking. Let’s dive in!

The Four Crisp Commands of The Great Commission

There are four crisp commands contained in The Great Commission. They provide the final marching orders for the eleven apostles given by Jesus at the time of his ascension into heaven, over 2000 years ago. These commands are clear, unambiguous, simple, yet potent. They embody the culmination of Jesus’ entire earthly ministry. They are designed to launch and propel a movement destined to last for generations to come. Let’s read this amazing mandate.

It’s found in…

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052 – Baptism Series Conclusion

Closing comments on our series about water baptism.
The Cherry on Top!

Wow! It’s hard to believe but we are finally finished with our long series on baptism. I wanted to take some time to reflect and review what we have learned and speak a little bit about the series in general.

If you recall, we began this extremely detailed series of lessons about Christian water baptism, way back in “Podcast 012 – The Proponents.” In that podcast we identified two groups involved in the argument about whether or not water baptism is a necessary part of the conversion process. This is a really old and sometimes contentious debate. My goal was to approach this topic from a different perspective offering a paradigm shift which, I think, is long overdue.

A Paradigm Shift on the Baptism Argument

My argument is pretty simple. Baptism is a command of God and we must obey God’s commands… if we want to be his child. Isn’t that what “Jesus is Lord,” means? If we will not have a Lord, can we have a savior?. We must obey what Jesus has asked us to do in The Great Commission. And, water baptism is part of the Great Commission.

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051 – The Example of Naaman

Welcome to A Faith that Obeys Podcast. This is the last scripture in our lengthy series about baptism and, it is quite a scripture. This story is found in the Old Testament, so you might wonder how an Old Testament scripture could be related to a New Testament baptism. Surprisingly, this scripture is very popular for the pro-baptism proponent and is used to prove that water baptism is connected to the washing away of sin. Let’s read it and see what we can discover.

2 Kings 5:1-14
Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.


Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

A Foreshadow of Baptism

Well, I don’t really suppose there is much to discuss here. It is pretty obvious that Naaman washes himself and the leprosy goes away. This appears to be a foreshadowing of what will happen in baptism and it seems, on the surface, like a pretty good scripture to use in support of the claim that baptism washes away sin. I can certainly understand the “foreshadowing” nature of the claim but, I also see some problems.

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050 – What Baptism Did You Receive?

In our last Podcast, we met Apollos, an amazing preacher of Christ who had not quite obeyed the Gospel until Priscilla and Aquila were able to identify a doctrinal error which they heard when Apollos preached in the Synagogue at Ephesus. Paul was not with Priscilla and Aquila when this happened. But eventually, he arrives back at Ephesus and apparently, soon after his arrival, we are graced with another fascinating conversion story. It’s in Acts 19.

Acts 19:1-7
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.

Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.

So, Paul meets some “disciples.” At first, we might assume these are disciples of Christ but as we read further, we come to understand that, like Apollos, these are actually disciples of John the Baptist, who knew only the baptism of John. They state that explicitly.

What Baptism Did You Receive?

Now, this whole event begs the question, “Why does Paul make this radical jump in the discussion from “What Spirit did you receive?” to, “Then what baptism did you receive?” And, why did he ask this initial question to begin with; it feels a little out of the blue! Let’s think this through. How can we reconcile these two questions? What in the world was Paul thinking?

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049 – The Conversion of Apollos

Apollos learned the truth about Jesus from Pricilla and Aquila.

The next conversions in the book of Acts are the conversions of Cornelius, Lydia and the Philippian Jailer. All three of these were discussed in previous podcasts. Let’s quickly mention them and then move on to the next full blown narrative which deserves full discussion, the conversion of Apollos.

A Quick Review

As a reminder, we are in the middle of the last section of our study about baptism and unlike the anti-baptism arguments which rarely use scriptures that mention baptism, we are focused almost solely on scriptures which use that word. It is difficult to craft a good argument if we avoid the very scriptures which mention the word we are trying to explain.

Our first quick review is the conversion of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion. We studied this conversion story, in great detail, back in Podcast 031 – Pagans with Spirit. Please go back to that podcast or blog post where the issue of baptism is dealt with thoroughly.

The next conversion in the book of Acts is the conversion of Lydia in Acts 16. There is not much to say about this conversion other than to note that baptism is involved but infants are not. After this, in the same chapter, we read about the conversion of the Philippian Jailer. This is another major conversion story and we dealt with this in Podcast 017 – Anti Baptism Scriptures Part 3. Please review the details of that conversion in that blog post or podcast.

The Conversion of Apollos

Now, we come to the conversion of Apollos. There are two very distinct and separate parts to this story. Let’s dive in.

Acts 18:24-28
Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, 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 spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

Analysis of the story.

This is quite a story. Apollos is probably a Grecian Jew; the name gives that away. He was very intelligent and had a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. These of course, would have been the Hebrew Scriptures or the Old Testament. At some point in time, Apollos learned about Jesus. He had been given enough information about Christ to come to a belief that Jesus was indeed the Christ. Apparently, this fired him up enough to begin speaking to people about his discovery. But how do you think that happened? What might have happened to bring Apollos to a point where he became a preacher of Christ?

I suspect the case of Apollos is not an unusual case. John the Baptist preached for quite a while in Judea and the surrounding area. We know he had a pretty good following. All of the people who followed John believed the Christ was eminent and were baptized by John in preparation for that event. Many of these folks would have been around when John declared Jesus as the Christ, “the one who’s sandals he was not worthy to untie.” Some of those same people left John and began following Jesus.

But, not everyone who was a part of John’s ministry was able to stick around and see the complete fulfillment as Christ suffered, died and was resurrected. Apollos may have been one of these transients who did not know the rest of the story. In essence, these people got all fired up and went off half cocked! John proclaimed the Messiah had arrived and that is exactly what they continued doing after they left Judea but before the conclusion of Jesus ministry..

Eventually they would learn the rest of the story. This is the case with Apollos. He is a disciple of John and is about to see the bigger picture.

Regardless of how Apollos came to be in the position he is in, it does leave him with an interesting problem. Apollos is not a Christian! Apollos has not yet obeyed the Gospel. He knew “only” the baptism of John. He did not know about baptism into Christ.

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