Summary: When we encounter Christ and hear, accept and respond to the truth we are changed.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Out of the mouth of babes?” Certainly you have. It comes from the simple truth that sometimes it takes a child to reveal lasting wisdom. It seems foolish but it isn’t! For example: • Patrick, age 10, said, “Never trust a dog to watch your food.” • Michael, 14, said, “When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?" don’t answer him.” • Michael, wise man that he was also said, “Never tell your mom her diet’s not working.” • Randy, 9 years of age said, “Stay away from prunes.” One wonders how he discovered that bit of wisdom. • Kyoyo, age 9, said, “Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.” • Naomi, 15 said, “If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.” • Lauren, age 9 said, “Felt tip markers are not good to use as lipstick.” • Joel, 10 years old, said, “Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat.” and • Eileen, age 8 said, “Never try to baptize a cat.”
Sometimes wisdom seems humorous or foolish. But when we hear the truth we know it and when we receive the truth, accept it and respond to it what a difference it makes in our lives.
In this text there are 13 men who have an encounter and every one of them is different at the end than they were at the beginning. Today we will all encounter Christ at some level. My prayer is that we would all leave this place a little different than when we entered.
Our text today takes place approximately 20 years after the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Christ. In chapter 18 Paul meets Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth. Later, they follow Paul to Ephesus and establish a church in their home there. Apollos was an educated Jewish man from Alexandria and he came to Ephesus while Paul was on a missionary journey. Chapter 18 says, “being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”
Apollos then leaves Ephesus and goes to Corinth where he preaches that Jesus is the Christ.
The Apostle Paul travels to Ephesus which was the largest and most populous city in the Roman province of Asia which was the most populated and prosperous province of the Roman empire and is now western Turkey.
Paul meets with "some disciples" whom Paul asked about receiving the Holy Spirit. These men had not even heard of the Holy Spirit. As Paul probed further, he discovered that they knew only of John’s ministry announcing the Messiah was at hand. It was "John’s baptism" (as a sign of repentance) rather than Christian baptism (as a sign of faith in and union with Christ) that they had received. Paul shared the Gospel message, and the men immediately responded. The Holy Spirit "came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied."
I remember as a young child I believed that there was a God. I believed he existed. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home and only went to church a few times as a child. I was always fascinated by the Bible and I remember asking my Dad when I was 6yrs old to bring home a Bible for me. He was a 1SG and I would ask him over and over every day when he came home from work if he remembered the Bible. One day he brought home a Guideon’s New Testament and that Bible was my treasure. I believed that God existed like I believed that George Washington existed but I wasn’t trusting Him to do anything for me. As I grew up I was searching for something that was missing in my life. I didn’t know what it was but I knew I wasn’t happy and so I tried to find whatever it was that was missing. I looked for it in relationships, in alcohol, in careers, in job title, in money in different locations of the world. Every time I achieved that new position or job opportunity that I thought would be it I realized that something was still missing.
One day when I was 34 I decided to get up and go to church. I went to a large church where nobody knew me and I didn’t know them. The worship center seated approximately 1000 people and I sat down in the very last pew on the very edge closest to the door so I could leave quickly at any moment. During that sermon I felt like the preacher was talking directly to me and I knew what I needed that day. But I left the church that day emptier than when I went in because I knew what I needed but I was too afraid of what other people would think. You see, in order to get what I needed I had to walk this long aisle up to the front to the Pastor. I was too proud to let these people that I didn’t know and that didn’t know me see that I needed help and that I could not live my life in peace without help.