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parture) had an opportunity of hearing his doctrine. These christian Jews immediately sought his society, and inviting him to their home, they explained to him the full gospel of Jesus Christ in a more accurate manner, and brought him into communion with the Church.
After his establishment in christian knowledge, Apollos felt a desire to assist the christians in the province of Achaia, where his scriptural knowledge would be of great importance in controversy with the learned Jews of Corinth. The church at Ephesus approved of his desire, and sent him across the Sea, with letters of affectionate commendation to the brethren in Greece. Upon his arrival there, he became an important instrument in building up those who by God's grace, were believers already; engaging in public discussion with the Jews, his powerful arguments, drawn from the Old Testament, had great effect in proving that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah.
When Paul had travelled through the northern provinces of Asia Minor, he came to Ephesus, according to the promise he had made to the Jews there about a year before. (Acts xviii. 21.) He arrived after Apollos had gone from thence to Corinth. Here he met with a company of about twelve persons, who had been converted under the instruction of Apollos, previous to his fuller acquaintance with the gospel, which he had gained through the teaching of Aquila and Priscilla. Paul asked these men if, since they had become christians, they had received the evident gifts of the Holy Ghost, such as had marked the first descent of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They did not understand what he meant by this enquiry, and answered him by saying, that they had not even heard that any gift of the Holy Spirit had been given. Upon this Paul asked them, what was the object of their baptism; and was told that they had been baptized according to the doctrine of John the Baptist. This led Paul to instruct them in the difference between the baptism of John, and christian baptism. John administered a baptism of water indeed, as a token of repentance in those whom he baptized; but he bid them expect one to come after him, on whom they were to believe, and who would “baptize them with the Holy Ghost and with fire,” (Luke iii. 16); this was the
Anointed One—Jesus the Christ. Upon hearing this, the twelve men received christian baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus, after which Paul added the solemn imposition of hands; and then it pleased God to bestow the Holy Spirit with outward tokens of his presence, similar to those at first imparted in Jerusalem—the men were enabled to speak at once in languages which they had never learned, and of which they were before entirely ignorant. Besides this, they prophesied or spoke according to God's mind and word, in a manner beyond the power of man without the direct teaching of the Holy Ghost.
1. The circumstances and conduct of Apollos are very instructive, by the proof they afford of the benefit of diligence and zeal to employ the advantages we possess, in combination with humility and teachableness in receiving instruction from any who may be able to impart it. Apollos
an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures;" he was fervent in spirit while striving to convey to others the blessing he had found himself, although his knowledge of the Lord was very imperfect. But when he met with a christian who pretended to no ministerial gifts or office, but who had been taught by the Holy Spirit the deeper and more perfect truths of the gospel, he gladly sat at his feet, and received the knowledge conveyed to him through the conversation of this man and his wife with readiness of mind, and without the pride that would have checked the flow of information to him. How rarely is the gift of eloquence free from the ensnaring pride which hinders the gifted one from receiving solid benefit from those who are inferior to him in secondary matters! Those who possess but imperfect knowledge of truth, but by a facility in communicating what they know obtain the applause which is so fattering to human feeling, too often fall into the error of despising some who are better instructed than themselves; and of refusing the benefit which they might derive by humble teachableness of spirit. As pride is the special snare which Satan spreads for those who are gifted, so humility is the special grace which ought to be sought and cultivated in proportion as we find ourselves possessed of power.
Do I think I know better than others, when I find I express the little I know better than they? Am I ready to receive instruction, even from those whom I conceive to be inferior to myself in some respects ?
2. The baptism of John was an ordinance of preparation; it is called “the baptism of repentance.” Faith is necessary to a christian, and it must be held in union with such a conviction of sin as humbles the heart with “repentance toward God," while we possess “faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts xx. 21.) John baptized with water; Christ baptizes with the Holy Ghost (John i. 33), with which indeed He has associated water as the outward and visible sign, though that sign may be used where there is no gift of the inward and spiritual grace. The persons who, under the instruction of Apollos in his imperfect state of knowledge, were baptized with the baptism of John, had to be baptized again with the baptism of Jesus; and where the blessing of baptizing infants has grown into a national custom, many persons who have received water-baptism are unhappily too likely to make the statement which these at Ephesus made to Paul, when he asked them whether they had received the Holy Ghost; for though professing christians must have heard that there is a Holy Ghost, yet multitudes, alas ! know not what is the power of that Spirit, in whose name they receive the outward baptism of
The christian baptism of these persons was followed by the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit; but no christian baptism is effectual for the purpose for which it was appointed, unless it be accompanied or followed by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost with his ordinary manifestations.
QUESTION. To what have I been baptized? Have I received the Holy Ghost in connection with my baptism? Do I place my dependance for christian privileges on the baptism of water, and the feeling of repentance? or on the baptism of the Holy Ghost, with the power of faith?
O God, the giver of all good gifts, without whom nothing
is strong, nothing is holy, I give thee praise and glory for every good thing thou hast been pleased to bestow upon me. And I beseech thee so to endue me with a knowledge of my own imperfections, and with the gift of humility, that I
may be ready thankfully to receive instruction in thy holy word, from any person whom thou hast enabled to teach me.
I confess my ignorance, and the need I have of advancing in the knowledge of the Lord. I thank thee that thou hast been pleased to appoint such means of grace as those by which thou strengthenest the faith of thy people ; and I praise thee that through thy mercy I have been brought into the visible church of thy dear Son here upon earth; but I beseech thee to renew me daily by the Holy Spirit, that being baptized with the true baptism from on high, I may manifest in my life and conversation that thou hast gathered me into the true church of thy elect people, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
May God, for the sake of Jesus Christ, give me the Holy Spirit, that I may
understand this portion of His Holy Word, and profit by it. AMEN.
XVI. 10-12 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of 8 three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but 9 spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which 10 dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: so that from 11 his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the 12 diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call
over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, 14 “We adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth.” And there were
seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “ Jesus I know, and Paul I know; 16 but who are ye?” And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on
them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled 17 out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the
Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, 18 and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that be19 lieved came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them
also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned
them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it 20 fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
1 Cor. IV. 17. 17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son,
and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
1 Cor. XVI. 10-12. 10
Now if l'imotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear : 11 for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man there
fore despise him : but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come 12 unto me: for I look for him with the brethren. As touching our bro
ther Apollos, 1 greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
The apostle Paul had been received in a kinder manner by the Jews at Ephesus, than by those of any other city where he had hitherto preached the gospel. Upon his first visit, they had wished him to remain with them; and it was according to the promise he had made to them upon that occasion, that he now returned. (Acts xviii. 19-21; see page 248.) Under these circumstances he went into their synagogue, and there laid open the doctrines of the gospel, setting forth the kingdom of God's grace in preparation for the kingdom of his glory; discussing the subject with great freedom of speech, and earnestness of persuasion. He continued this course of instruction for three months, during which the power of divine truth was mani