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Receiving Correction (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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January 4, 2024 6:00 am

Receiving Correction (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 4, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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You can be passionate and wrong about something. Just because you're zealous doesn't mean you're automatically correct. In fact, you can win a debate and be wrong. Just the other side couldn't find it.

Just because you win a debate doesn't mean you're right. It still will come down to truth. Well, where else do we see this? Someone that is passionate about God, knowledgeable of the Old Testament, but still missing something. Well, we do see some of it in the Apostles before Pentecost. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of Acts.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Now, let's join Pastor Rick in the Book of Acts chapter 18 for the conclusion of his message called Receiving Correction. John the Baptist was a priest by birth. We never read of him ministering in the temple because it was infested with rabbinical Judaism. The rabbis saying how they should live.

When Moses never said these things, and of course the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus just viscerates rabbinical Judaism, and they were against him for it anyway. Here in verse 24, the narrator Luke gives us a glimpse into the absence of Paul from Ephesus. We go back to Ephesus where he left Priscilla and Aquila, and Luke says, well, let me just tell you what was happening there because this is a pretty big deal, how it was handled, and we can all learn from this. But first, let's talk about the city that this man, Apollos, was born in.

Even though he's named after a pagan god, his life is jettisoned that any connection to that. This Alexandria was on Egypt's Nile Delta, the bread basket. Rome got much of her food from here. The second largest city in the Roman Empire, very well developed. Famous for its lighthouse, one of the wonders of the world. Famous for its museum, and famous for its library. Over 700,000 volumes were in their library. It all burned up. Some believe a jealous librarian burned it up from another city, but we won't go into that. Anyway, a large Jewish colony there. Now, this is very important to us, too. It is said in New Testament times that a third of the population of this big city was Jewish.

Well, what did that do for anyone? Well, they gave us the Septuagint, the translation of the Old Testament Hebrew Bible into Greek. That's the Septuagint. Jesus would have used the Septuagint.

He would have used also the Hebrew, but he used the Septuagint. Now, versions of the Bible is not synonymous with contradictions. Just because you have your version, I have my version, when we talk about most things in conversation, we mean we don't agree. But that's not how it is with the Bible. We have different versions of the dictionary. But knucklehead means knucklehead in whatever dictionary you use. So there's no contradiction.

Not automatic. So, I mean, you can go online and you find the 1875 translation. You've got all these different, not translations, dictionaries. Although, if you get a dictionary from 1915 and you look up the word gay, it does not mean what the language hijackers have done to the word gay.

Now, if you say, I was happy and gay, people are like, oh, whoa, what do you mean? But that's not a contradiction. That's the evolution of language, which should also tell us the monumental task that translators are faced with when they come to the existing documents and translate them into a language.

It's quite a challenge and they do pretty good. Very good, as a matter of fact. Anyway, he was an eloquent man and mighty in the scriptures, like me, came to Ephesus. Well, it doesn't say that, but it would say that if I was living then.

Just seeing who's gullible and who's not, right? You can't mean that. He's arrogant.

Anyway. He was an effective public speaker. Well, there have been many of them and he was one. His eloquence strongly appeals to the Corinthians and they're going to make a problem with that. He became very popular in Corinth to a fault. You had people saying, well, I'd really like Apollos more than Paul. Well, I still like Paul more than Apollos. Yeah, well, I like Peter.

Well, Rick's better than all of them. And that's what the kind of stuff was going on there. And Paul had to drag us out in the line and say, stop this.

Who are you people? I didn't leave that kind of church there. The popularity contest caused divisions and it nested in that church. These lessons, you know, people act so surprised. Christian church did that?

What did he grow up? Look what Aaron did. You know, Aaron making a golden calf. There's war. There's a spiritual war going on.

Doesn't mean you approve it, but don't act like, oh, it's so shocking. Anyway, verse 25. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. You see what a gentleman Luke is? He doesn't say, here's what he got wrong. He just kind of gives us an overview and he doesn't give us the dirty details.

And he's not the only one. In the Gospels, we have similar things. People, they're not trying to air laundry, but they are trying to make and preserve a critical point. This is 20 years or so after the crucifixion and resurrection. There is no New Testament Bible as we know it.

There are some, the James letter may be around, the Thessalonians, the Galatian letter, but they're not yet centralized. They're not put into a volume known as the Bible. Really, their Bible at this point was just the Old Testament and the New Testament was evolving.

And there's nothing wrong with that word evolve, not the evolution of the species. That's a religion, not a science. It pretends to be a science, but really it's a religion.

Islam pretends to be a religion, but really it's a political entity. Anyway, coming back to this, it says here that he was fervent of spirit, fervent in spirit. Well, he was passionate, but he was missing parts. You can be passionate and wrong about something. Just because you're zealous doesn't mean you're automatically correct. In fact, you can win a debate and be wrong. Just the other side couldn't find it.

Just because you win a debate doesn't mean you're right. Still will come down to truth. Well, where else do we see this? Someone that is passionate about God, knowledgeable of the Old Testament, but still missing something. Well, we do see some of it in the apostles before Pentecost. They were fervent, but they lacked that fuller experience of the Holy Spirit.

There are a few moving parts with this, because Luke doesn't give us too much information, so you've got to tread a little lightly here. The fact is he's lacking, and it's linked to the baptism. Absent from Apollos was that God-given element that opens up the deeper understanding of Jesus Christ, of the Jewish Messiah, who is also the anointed for Gentiles, if they would receive him. He's everybody's Messiah. Everyone's Christ who comes to him.

Jesus said, I will in no way turn them down, those who come to him. He spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord. Well, he's a redeemed Old Testament believer in New Testament times at this point, and he's going by the scripture, not rabbinical Judaism.

That's big for those days, teaching the Old Testament scripture without the rabbis, as did John the Baptist. But it is hard to imagine. Now, many commentators will come along, good commentators too, and they'll say, well, he did not have knowledge of the crucifixion and resurrection at Pentecost. Well, that's a tough one for me. It would be hard to imagine by this point anyone who did not hear about the crucifixion of Christ and the resurrection in Jewish circles.

But it is possible. He certainly did not have Pentecost or an understanding, so I kind of have to leave that out there because we just don't have the exact information. In fact, in chapter 28, when Paul gets to Rome and he starts engaging the Jewish people there in the synagogue, this is what they say to him. We desire to hear from you what you think, for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere. And what we get out of that is that in these days, and it's not too far from a few years from this event here, the knowledge of Jesus as the Messiah had spread in Jewish circles. And they were still classifying Christianity as a sect of Judaism, when we are not a sect of Judaism. We're completely independent of Judaism, though our origins are in Judaism, Old Testament. I should make that distinction, Old Testament teachings.

Because when you say Judaism, you imply the rabbi's influence, and that has nothing to do with Christianity. Anyway, it says, though he knew only the baptism of John. Well, John's baptism, what was that? Well, he called the Jews to repent and to submit to Old Testament teachings. That's what John's ministry was all about.

And to demonstrate that, he called for public cleansing. You'd go and get baptized. It's not the same as Christian baptism. The same idea in the sense of drawing close to God, wanting God, wanting to obey, but not identical. It drew the Jews to obedience according to revelation, and not teachings of men.

But it did not develop. John's understanding of the water baptism did not develop into the Holy Spirit baptism, and John knew that. And so we read in 1 John, John the Apostle, writing about John the Baptizer, I did not know him, John the Baptizer speaking. I did not know him, speaking of Jesus. But he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. So John makes this distinction, that I'm baptizing you with water, but more is coming. Well, he died before it came. So here is Apollos, and he is stuck at John's baptism.

Aquila and Priscilla picked this up. They're listening to him and saying, well, he's a man of scripture, no question. He's not quoting rabbis, he's quoting Moses, he's quoting Isaiah, he's a man of the word. But he's missing key points about Messiah, and we're not told what those points are outside of the baptism. So it says, though he knew only the baptism of John, he had to have been unclear about the substitutionary death that we sing about. He is the sacrifice in my place. I don't have to take a sacrifice to the temple. Christ is my sacrifice.

I don't have to worship at the altar in Jerusalem. We have an altar that they know nothing of, and it is Christ. He is both the altar and the sacrifice. He is a place where the sacrifice is placed. He is everything that I need to be right with God. And evidently, that was missing from his teachings.

This is kind of encouraging. Go back and think a young pastor steps in a pulpit, and he's repeating a lot of things he's been reading. He understands them, he believes them, and they are right. But they're really not his yet.

And he's going to make some mistakes. Well, again, grow up, it's life. As part of the congregation, you've not experienced this here. But as part of the congregation, to endure your pastor. You're going to make mistakes.

I promise you, they do. I like separating myself from failures. It's just that it's all fake. I can't get away from failing sometimes. Maybe your pastor says something to you the wrong way, and he doesn't mean it that way. I mean, goose, why don't you be merciless? You know what, that comes with a heavy price. If you don't show mercy, you're not getting it. God is very upfront about that. I cringe when I hear Christian people just be unforgiving. It's like, man, you better lighten up on that. That's a big one. Anyway, coming back to this, here is Apollos. He's preaching from the scripture.

He's got a few spark plugs that just aren't firing. And here is a divine setup where God has put in his life these two people. What would have happened if they weren't there?

And these were the right people, incidentally. Yes, he missed Pentecost. He didn't get that Messiah was not only the Jewish Messiah, also the Gentile Christ. Acts chapter 1, Jesus said this about his baptism. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, to the end of the earth.

What's the distinction? What makes us different? We understand Messiah. We understand the cross of Christ, the resurrection, and we really get this part of it. Messiah is divine.

He is the Son of God. You don't get that without the Holy Spirit. That's why Jehovah Witnesses are upside down. They refuse, they blatantly change words in the scripture.

They tailor them to fit their theology. So where it says that Christ was worshipped, and in the New Testament is only applied to him, that word worship, not applied to anybody else. They change it to, you know, they showed him respect or obeisance.

That's not the same thing. I show you respect and you show me respect. We don't worship each other. That's reserved for the Christ. Anyway, verse 26, so he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

You see them with Nerf bats clubbing him in the head. So he began to speak boldly because he knew the scripture, and he knew the Jews wanted scripture and weren't even getting it. And they didn't even know they were missing it. They thought the rabbis were the guys to listen to. This was Jesus' contention with them. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, again, whatever it is he lacked, it was the Holy Spirit.

When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside. How kind. How wise that was. Not in front of everybody.

They had the decency and the respect. They dared to correct him, and he dared to be corrected. Those of you youth growing up in the home, you know, one of the irritating things about being in the home under mom and dad is they correct you all the time. All the time is going to come when you're going to have to correct yourself or suffer the consequence, and then you're going to have kids and the cycle repeats itself. Your kids are going to resent being corrected. But he who resents correction, what does the Bible says? He's stupid.

That's what it says. It's from God's mouth to your ears. Anyway, rather than kicking against it all the time, when you have your prayers, thank the Lord for those who correct you in love. And hopefully, parents, on purposely belittling, although there are some people, no matter how you correct them, you're wrong.

This is one of my favorites. You correct somebody for doing something wrong and then they find something to correct for you. You know, one even.

Like, yeah, well, that shirt doesn't go with that coat. I mean, it's just a petty shot. It's like, oh, man, they missed the whole point. Now I got to yell at them. No.

Anyway, just think about it. If you were Apollos and you knew the scripture, and here these two in the audience come up and say, can we talk to you a minute? You're missing some points here.

How would you have responded to that? It would not have been easy, but the Holy Spirit was in it, and Apollos didn't even know it at the time. God does not need our approval to work in our hearts. Well, he does at the initial, certainly to come to Christ. He's going to knock on the door. He's not going to kick it in.

I stand at the door and I knock if you will open. But once he's in, it's a different game. And Jonah found that out. Jonah belonged to God.

He was the prophet of the Lord, and yet he felt he could just run away. So let me influence you a little bit in another direction. 1 Corinthians 14, 15, you know, if I'm going to pray, I'm going to pray with understanding. If I'm going to sing, I'm going to sing with understanding. Understand a big part of what we do.

And those who say we Christians are irrational, well, some are, but that's not Christianity. It says they explained to him the way of God more accurately. So they listened, they discerned, they pinpointed, and they acted on that.

You can't always do that. They had that opportunity, verse 27. And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote exhorting the disciples to receive him, and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who believed through grace. So again, Luke just says, okay, that's it. He missed a few parts, they fixed it, we move on. He doesn't dwell on us.

And another thing about Apollos, he doesn't do that. So this region, he leaves Ephesus, he's going to Corinth and Athens and Corinth, that part of Greece. He's not known over there. So they're going to write a letter for him, because they just came from there. And it says the brethren wrote exhorting the disciples to receive him, and when he arrived, they received him.

Why? Why did they write? Because of imposters. That's why they wrote the letter. The first Christians had to deal with the first false teachers. It wasn't like, oh, Christianity is here, and it took a while for Satan to catch up. He was on the job from Judas. That's the way it was, lurking everywhere, ready to take advantage of some sleeping church or some sleeping Christian. How come when a Christian has a sacred cow, you're not allowed to even talk about it in a negative? What does 1 John say? Beloved. I wouldn't have started that way.

I would have sent pinheads. Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone into the world. Even in the days of the apostles, the place was infested with false teachings, and so the apostles were sounding the alarm. Do we have a move for people to say, well, is it the Holy Spirit going on, I think, in Kentucky, wherever it is? Okay, it might be, might not. It is fine to say, we will see. That is testing the spirit. And if anybody, how can you not like that? I got the feeling, brother. Please.

It's just talcum powder sprinkling on them. Anyway, that's enough with the sacred cow. Just lighten up. If it's God, it will prevail. And if it's not God, He will expose it.

And what does that have to do with you anyway? Who made you a champion for all the causes of events that are going on? So just focus on the field you have to plow. That should take all your energy anyway. Energy. Slurring words up here.

I feel fine. He greatly helped those who believe through grace. He's in Corinth, and he's an instant asset to the church. Verse 28.

For he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from scriptures that Jesus is the Christ. You got to like Apollos, but he's going to stumble. Not here in this section, but I'm going to give it to you anyway, because I like pointing out other people's failures. No, I don't. I don't.

I do not. Anyway, now he's not only fervent. The vigor is there like Stephen. Nobody can say, well, that's not in the Bible, because he knew his scripture, and he'd take him to task, showing from the scriptures that Jesus is Messiah.

The scripture's our final authority. Now he's armed not only with this knowledge of the scripture, but with the Holy Spirit. His hiccup in service, and this is not to pick on him. This is to alert us.

There's a hiccup. 1 Corinthians 16. Now concerning our brother Apollos, Paul writes to the church at Corinth, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time. However, he will come when he has a convenient time.

Now can I put some inflection on that? I strongly inverged him, but he was quite unwilling. He'll come, though, when it's convenient.

You see, that's exactly what's going on. The Hebrew brings that out. I mean, the Greek, when it says I strongly urged him, it means strongly urged him. He wouldn't have to do this with Titus or Timothy or Silas. He would say, I need you to go to Berea.

They'd be gone. But Apollos knows the Bible just as good as Paul. Maybe there's some of that going on. The commentators go easy on him and say Apollos wasn't led. Well, that's not what it says. I think he was strongly urged, and I think that urging came from Paul through the Spirit. Now granted, at the time Paul wants to send him, Corinth is in great distress, a church in distress.

And he's saying to Apollos, look, I just want to preach. I don't want to do this pastoring stuff. And this is a problem in New Testament Christianity. I just want to be a Bible teacher.

I don't want to have to deal with the people. Then you can't teach the Bible. If you can't stand the heat, don't teach the Bible. They go together because dealing with the people of God will shape your theology and your heart. And you will find that, Lord, why do I love this guy? Because it's the Holy Spirit. And it's probably going the same way, too. They're saying to their pastor, why don't we keep going to that church? Because love compels us.

Anyway, hopefully, in an ideal world, I need to finish this. Paul wasn't going to push him up the hill. Paul was not going to get in the flesh and start stomping his feet. I am the great apostle Paul.

He's fine. He doesn't want to come right now. But he'll come when he shoots that. And what does the church in Corinth say when that's read to them?

At a convenient time. What is that? Don't we count? We need this guy here. Some of the good Christians will be saying, what is that? Knowing Paul.

We know a lot about him. He's disappointed in Apollos at this time. But he's not disowning him.

Don't come to that. A convenient approach to ministry is missing from the life of Paul. This is the man that gets stoned, dragged out of the city, and then goes back into that city. That's not convenience.

Convenience is dialing 911 to get help. As I mentioned, Silas, Timothy, Tychicus, who was a troubleshooter for Paul. When Paul said, I need you to go somewhere, it would have been aye aye, sir, and execution of orders. That is what Paul wanted from Apollos. However, even though Apollos kind of pushed back here, he remained useful to the Lord. I need to hear that.

Because maybe I am an underachiever of some sort in some area, and I drop the ball, I get other chances. Titus, chapter 3, Paul writes to that pastor named Titus. He says, Send Zenas, the lawyer. Why?

And Apollos on their journey with haste, that they may lack nothing. There we see him in action. He's still an asset. He's still serving.

He's out in the field doing what he's supposed to do. Whatever shortcomings Apollos had, arrogance was not one of them. He was useful to Christ. See these lessons. They abound off the scriptures. They challenge all of us. Let's pray. Our Father, always, I think the born again are always impressed with your soft touch that is very, very heavy in other ways. We thank you. We thank you that it is this way.

It gets things done. And we ask that as the week unfolds before us, that we would take these lessons to heart, that we could better serve you and each other. You've been listening to Cross-Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit That's We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross-Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at or simply search for Cross-Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the Book of Acts, right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-04 09:10:34 / 2024-01-04 09:21:32 / 11

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