3-Week Series: Double Blessing

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Summary: 1. Be available. 2. Be teachable. 3. Be dependable. 4. Be flammable.

Four Great Goals for Christian Growth

The Book of Acts - Part 64

Acts 18:23-28

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - November 9, 2014

*When we trust in Jesus Christ, we are born again as baby Christians. But the Lord wants us to grow in Christ. And the good news is that we can grow.

*Greg Warren asked some people of all ages to share a few words of wisdom. And I like their replies, because they show us that we can grow over the years:

-A 7-year-old shared this wisdom he must have learned from experience: "You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk."

-Age 13: "Just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up."

-Age 29: "Brushing my child's hair is one of life's greatest pleasures."

-Also age 29: "Wherever I go, the world's worst drivers have followed me there."

-Age 44: "I've learned you can make someone's day simply by sending them a little card."

-Age 52: "You can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles three things: "A rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights."

-Age 58: "I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life."

-Age 61: "If you want to do something positive for your children, try to improve your marriage."

-Age 66: "Whenever I decide something with kindness, I have usually made the right decision."

-Age 73: "It pays to believe in miracles. And, to tell the truth, I've seen several."

-Age 82: "Even when I have pains, I don't have to BE one."

-And age 92: "I've learned that I still have a lot to learn." (1)

*Growth is good, and that is especially true of spiritual growth. Paul reminds us of this truth in 2 Thessalonians1:3. There the Apostle said: "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other."

*The good news is that we can grow as believers, and God wants us to grow. Tonight's Scripture gives us four great goals for Christian growth.

1. The first goal is be available.

*We all will need help in life, and by God's grace we will also be able to help others, -- if we will make ourselves available.

*In vs. 23, the churches In Galatia and Phrygia needed help, and Paul showed up to give them strength. He "went over all the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples."

*This was the beginning of Paul's third missionary journey. Paul went all through the region to give moral and spiritual support to those churches. He was encouraging those new believers, giving them a boost, building them up in the faith. Those churches needed help, and Paul was available.

*Then in vs. 24-26, Apollos needed help:

24. Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.

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.

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.

*Apollos had a lot going for him. He was a great speaker. He was an expert in the Old Testament. He was very committed and courageous. But apparently, he wasn't saved. Albert Barnes explained, "It seems that the knowledge of John the Baptist's preaching and baptism had spread extensively in other nations beside Judea (Acts 19:1-3). The Messiah was expected about that time. The foreign Jews would be waiting for him; and the news of John's ministry, doctrine, and success would be rapidly circulated from synagogue to synagogue in the surrounding nations. John preached repentance, and baptized with reference to Him who was to come after him (Acts 19:4), and this doctrine Apollos seems to have embraced." (2)

*Dr. Thomas Binney described Apollos as "an advanced Jew, for 'he was instructed in the way of the Lord,' so far as that could be done by the teaching of John the Baptist. That teaching was the teaching of preparation and repentance -- a readiness to receive the coming One. Whether Apollos had got so far as to know that John had recognized in Jesus the Christ whose forerunner he was, it is impossible to say. He certainly knew nothing of the Savior's death, resurrection, and ascension, the outpouring of the Spirit, with the great doctrines underlying these facts; but, so far as he knew, he believed." (3)

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