by Rick Longva

"Apollos irrigates."
1 Corinthians 3:6

The story of Apollos in Acts should be a motivator for every believer. We first read about him in Acts 18:24-26.

"Now a certain Jew named Apollos, a native Alexandrian, a scholarly man, arrives at Ephesus, being able in the Scriptures. He was instructed in the way of the Lord, and fervent in spirit. He spoke and taught accurately what concerns Jesus, being versed only in the baptism of John. Besides, he begins to speak boldly in the synagogue. Now, hearing him, Priscilla and Aquila took him to themselves and expounded the way of God to him more accurately."

If you leave out the last half of :26, the Priscilla and Aquila section, you get the impression that this scholarly and able man of the Scriptures had no more to learn. It says he spoke, as well as taught accurately what concerns Jesus, and was instructed in the way of the Lord.

Most would stop there in their learning, no need for more knowledge.

Not Apollos.

When Priscilla and Aquila heard Apollos speaking they took him aside, out of the synagogue, and taught him more accurately the way of God. It's not that Apollos was speaking lies about Jesus or the Scriptures - he wasn't but Apollos didn't realize that there was more truth that had been revealed to Paul who had in turn told Priscilla and Aquila that God was dealing in a new way with mankind, and they were now passing on this knowledge to Apollos.

I believe that the main thing that they told him was that salvation was by grace alone, as it says a few verses later when Apollos left them and headed to Achaia that, He parleyed much with those who have believed through grace (Acts 18:27).

You wouldn't hear the teaching of salvation by grace in a synagogue.

Also, it says that he was versed only in the baptism of John. Although the baptism of John is scriptural, it was finished with - there was now only one baptism, and that is of the Holy Spirit.

Apollos is a good example of someone who was open-minded and willing to learn. Even though he was a scholarly man, he kept his mind open to learn higher truths about God and His ways with mankind as revealed to Paul. Not many scholars are open-minded.

Also, to be taught more accurately about God's ways by a tentmaker, a common tradesman - as that was Aquila's trade - to me speaks volumes about Apollos' desire for truth, not tradition and ceremony, as well as his willingness to believe that God is working in and revealing his ways to common people.

Apollos obviously became a respected teacher of the Word, as well as a huge presence in the ecclesia at Corinth.

Apollos' teaching ended up complementing that of Paul's so much so that Paul says of him in I Corinthians 3:6, I plant, Apollos irrigates, but God makes it grow up. As well as being versed in the Hebrew Scriptures and Paul's revelations, Apollos was probably very humble, as Paul uses himself and Apollos as examples for the Corinthian ecclesia to follow, who were in danger of becoming puffed up one over the other, and going beyond what was written to them.

Paul tells them;

"Now these things, brethren, I transfer in figure to
myself and Apollos because of you, that in us you
may be learning not to be disposed above what is
written, that you may not be puffed up, one over the

(I Corinthians 4:6)

Apollos wasn't carried away by various false teachings that were permeating the church, he remained in the teachings revealed to Paul, as Paul tells us in his epistle to Titus (one of Paul's last letters), that Titus is to tell Apollos to come to Nicopolis so he could be with him there.

In this era when Paul's letters are practically ignored, Apollos is a great example for all who are searching for truth.

So with Apollos as an example, don't stop with the knowledge you now have: keep digging and searching.

Also, don't be afraid to ask questions, and with that, don't be afraid to question the answer.

Keep an open mind.

Apollos did.



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