Summary: One of a series on the the church from Acts
New wine goes in new skins. Everybody in Jesus day knew that! - It is a simple rule.
The skins of animals were used to hold wine. As it aged they stretched. If you put new wine in old skins - they would burst. It was that simple.
The new wine is the Gospel and the wineskins are the methods we use to share it!
Now, our mission is as clear as the Kitchitikippi spring in the upper penisula of Michigan. It’s 70 feet deep and clear water all the way to the bottom. But our methods are as muddy as the Ohio River.
The mission has been approached in many different ways
over the years. I remember the 50’s when there were contests to fill the pews during revivals. In the 60’s there were cottage meetings film strips used to teach people in their homes. There were flipcharts and tracts. Later came TV Crusades and Evangelism Explosion.
None as effective as simply sharing our story - friend to friend. New wineskins for us.
We are beginning to develop our small groups into centers of ministry, evangelism and discipleship. This is a new wineskin for us.
New wine and wineskins means new attitudes. Acts 18 contains one of my most often shared scriptures. I share it because I like the attitudes it teaches us
on some very controversial subjects!
We need some new attitudes!
New Attitude #1: Be willing to accept teaching!
Now, Apollos was a sharp guy. He went to Bible college. Look at qualities of Apollos! In only one area was he lacking - He knew only baptism of John.
Paul explains in Acts 19 that the baptism of John was a baptism of repentance.
In Jewish history baptism was the method used for gentiles to be cleased and to convert to Judism. When John preached the coming of the kingdom of God and commanded his followers to be baptized they were being asked to admit publicly that they weren’t any better than a gentile. Their baptism was based upon the need to show that they were repentant.
This is not the Baptism of Christ! Paul says so on Acts 19.
That baptism is often difficult for people today is because of many different considerations. Often what men call baptism is not what God calls baptism.
I will go by God’s definition and form - not any mans
Priscilla and Acquilla evidently felt much the same. They took Apollos home and they taught the way of God more adequately.
And he listened! In 1 Corinthians 1 Paul notes that Apollos was baptizing people into Jesus!
Unfortunately, many people will not listen. Often their pride gets in their way. Years ago I was teaching a man by the name of Ron in Marquette and when we looked at this passage he said, "I just don’t believe that!".
New Attitude #2: Be willing to let the only standard for teaching be the word of God!
Priscilla and Acquilla went to the word of the lord!
how can you say more about this.
Billy Graham struggled in his early years concerning this matter. I’m told that he finally stood in woods with his Bible. He placed it on stump and declared, "I believe that this is God’s word." From that point on he has walked with God and followed his word.
Is there any among us who has it all figured out? I am learning all of the time! But, I want to biased by God’s word and God’s thinking. I want to live according to the word of God. There can be no other standard. Not tradition; not culture; not mom and dad; not the church leaders.
Apollos could have rejected the teaching of Priscilla and Acquilla. He could have said, John the Baptist taught me and if it is good enough for John - then it is good enough for me! He didn’t.
This is much harder than it looks. We all have biases and backgrounds. Do your best to let your bias come from the Bible.
New Attitude #3: Be willing to accept people where they are!
Pricilla and Acquilla stood up and said in front of the assembly - you evil man!...
No - this did not happen. They did and said nothing which questions Apollos’s integrity, belief or his salvation. They didn’t condemn him or call him a heathen.
No, Priscilla and Acquilla viewed Apollos as a brother and fellow disciple that had never been shown what the baptism of Christ was. So, they invited him home for coffee and pie and loved on him.
I do not believe in "cookie cutout" Christians. Let us not be afraid to let each other be different. Let us not be afraid to let each other have differences in opinions.