Acts 18

Author

Rick Olson

Scripture

Acts 18

Observation

This chapter documents the end of Paul’s 2nd missionary journey (v 1-22) and the beginning of his 3rd missionary journey (v 23 – 28). Luke has chosen to emphasize different aspects of these two journeys in ch 18. For journey 2, Luke emphasizes Paul’s evangelism, but in journey 3, he emphasizes the one-on-one discipleship that resulted from Paul’s labors. I am sure that both of these things were going on during both journeys, but Luke has chosen to draw this distinction in ch 18. During journey 2, Paul forms a relationship with Priscilla and Aquila. Then, during journey 3, we see Priscilla and Aquila making an investment in the life of Apollos. Later in the chapter, Apollos goes to Achaia and makes an investment in the lives of the believers there. I wondered why Luke chose to point out this aspect of Paul’s ministry so specifically. The conclusion I reached is that it is important. God does not want us to mistakenly believe that our total emphasis should be on evangelism. God wants to emphasize that we should spend energy and industry on building up our brothers and sisters in Christ, and in this way, equip other believers to become disciple makers.

Application

It was essential for Paul to equip other believers to become equipers… or Christ’s Church would not have grown the way it did. The same is true today. If we don’t equip others to equip others, Christ’s Church cannot grow today. I need to be involved in growth. I need to be getting one-on-one input into my life in the form of a small group, shepherding group and/or one-on-one discipleship so that I am cultivating relationships that build me up. Also, I need to be cultivating relationships in my life where I can speak into others’ lives… where I have responsibility to be involved in other people’s growth. This is the way of Christ. I am not to be a consumer only, but God wants to turn me into a “people builder”. And, this takes decision, planning and perseverance. Christ wants to make me into a people builder, and I want to cooperate with Him.

Prayer

Lord, open my eyes to opportunities to let others equip me, and give me the perseverance to stay with the effort. Open my eyes to opportunities to build into a few people around me so that You can manifest yourself in them through my labors. Amen.

17 comments (Add your own)

1. Jim Asselin wrote:
Thank you Rick
This chapter is a great example of discipleship.
I couldn't read this without my heart feeling heavy for Sosthenes, poor guy seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I looked up the name in my study bible and in 1 Cor. 1 Paul greets a Sosthenes - in Corinth - as a brother in Christ. Something happened between those two events. No doubt Paul could relate to unjust persecution and I can imagine that the fellowship of suffering, among other things, had something to do with his life transformation. I have often prayed for someone to hit rock bottom so that they have nowhere to turn but to God. In my own life I pray that God would give me the strength to handle difficulty so that it droves me and others closer towards Him.

Fri, February 27, 2015 @ 8:04 AM

2. Michelle Wilson wrote:
Thank you Rick, it gives a great example of what I believe we are doing at Trinity through Shepherding. I pray that we will be faithful to God as we live life-on-life with each other, to be empowered in our giftings & also to empower brothers & sisters in their giftings too.

Fri, February 27, 2015 @ 8:42 AM

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