Ready to re­ceive

Chris­tian­ity means be­com­ing a stu­dent for as long as one lives

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - RELIGION - BY REV D. BLAIR SORREY Rev D. Blair Sorrey is with the United Pen­te­costal Com­mu­nity Chapel in Lower Montague (www.up­c­c­mon­ A guest ser­mon runs reg­u­larly in Satur­day’s Guardian and is pro­vided through Chris­tian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Acts 18:24 “And a cer­tain Jew named Apol­los, born at Alexan­dria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scrip­tures, came to Eph­e­sus. This man was in­structed in the way of the Lord; and be­ing fer­vent in the spirit, he spake and taught dili­gently the things of the Lord, know­ing only the bap­tism of John. And he be­gan to speak boldly in the syn­a­gogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and ex­pounded unto him the way of God more per­fectly.”

Please al­low me to pose a ques­tion. How much does your will­ing­ness to learn af­fect God’s ef­forts to help you be­come all he wants you to be? One thing is cer­tain, no mat­ter how much you think you know about Je­sus Christ there is al­ways more to learn and un­der­stand.

Apol­los was an ed­u­cated man who was eloquent in speech and he was on fire for God. How­ever, his mes­sage and un­der­stand­ing were in­com­plete. He knew about the Old Tes­ta­ment and the Bap­tism of John unto re­pen­tance so it was clear he longed to see the Mes­siah. The hus­band and wife team of Aquila and Priscilla heard this man speak and they rec­og­nized that he was se­ri­ous about serv­ing and obey­ing God. This cou­ple had spent many months with Paul the Apos­tle so they knew they had some things to share that would change this man’s life and min­istry. They took him aside pri­vately so as not to em­bar­rass or of­fend Apol­los and shared with him the good news of the Gospel of Je­sus Christ. This was done with an at­ti­tude of love, not con­dem­na­tion.

How thrilling it must have been for this man to hear that the Mes­siah had come and paid the price for our sal­va­tion at Cal­vary. I can only imag­ine his joy as truth af­ter truth was re­vealed and scrip­ture af­ter scrip­ture was brought to light.

You see, truth re­quires a heart that is will­ing to re­ceive. Apol­los pos­sessed a hum­ble and teach­able spirit and was not ashamed to re­ceive in­struc­tion from an or­di­nary cou­ple. He who had swayed and cap­ti­vated the crowds was will­ing to listen to and learn from a cou­ple of tent­mak­ers!

With so many abil­i­ties, he could have eas­ily be­come proud and stiff­ened his neck against guid­ance and missed out on the sal­va­tion of his own soul. All the pieces of the puz­zle fell to­gether for this man as he heard about be­ing born again of the wa­ter and the spirit.

I have no doubt he was ea­ger to be bap­tized in Je­sus won­der­ful name for the re­mis­sion of his sins and filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost as Peter and the dis­ci­ples were on the day of Pen­te­cost.

Apol­los was anointed with a new en­ergy and bold­ness and be­came a tremen­dous bless­ing to the early church for the Bi­ble says he “might­ily con­vinced the Jews, and that pub­li­cally, show­ing by the scrip­tures that Je­sus was Christ.”

The key to this story is that this man did not have a sel­f­righ­teous or a “who are you to tell me” at­ti­tude.

Friends, it ought to be clear that what­ever we think we know or how­ever faith­ful we have been there is al­ways more to learn about our Lord. Some­times that in­struc­tion can come from the most un­likely and un­pre­dictable sources. Je­sus said that those who hunger and thirst af­ter right­eous­ness would be filled. We live in an hour when many folk are bound by re­li­gious tra­di­tions, rit­u­als, and dogma.

Just like Apol­los, they are miss­ing out on the spir­i­tual truths that can have an im­me­di­ate and life chang­ing ef­fect with re­gard to their soul sal­va­tion.

In clos­ing I re­fer back to my orig­i­nal ques­tion. Is it pos­si­ble that some­one could ex­pound unto you the way of God more per­fectly? If you think not, then you may just be clos­ing the door on a mir­a­cle in your life. Chris­tian­ity means be­com­ing a stu­dent for as long as we live. Be­fore Aquila and Priscilla be­came teach­ers they were stu­dents them­selves. They reached out with love and com­pas­sion to a man that was hun­gry for more of God and be­came shin­ing ex­am­ples of what it means to be a wit­ness for Christ. Thank­fully, Apol­los had a heart that was will­ing to re­ceive. How open is your heart to­day? It may just sur­prise you how much more God has for you to ex­pe­ri­ence and un­der­stand!

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