Chapter Eighteen — Part Three: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 07/10/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 18:19-28

1. Ephesus.
a. Acts 18:19 AMPC — Then they arrived in Ephesus, and [Paul] left the others there; but he himself entered the synagogue and discoursed and argued with the Jews.
b. Ephesus was across the Aegean Sea from Cenchrea and Corinth.
c. It was one of the most flourishing cities in Asia Minor, with many eminent orators and philosophers.
d. One of the seven ancient wonders of the world was there—the temple of Diana.
e. Acts 18:20-21 NKJV — When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, 21 but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.
f. Paul appears to be on a deadline, perhaps to keep the feast of Passover, and also something to do with his vow (Acts 8:18).
g. He promised to return if it was in the plan of God.
h. He did return later and spent three years there (Acts 19:1; 20:31).

2. Antioch.
a. Acts 18:22 AMPC — When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and saluted the church [at Jerusalem], and then went down to Antioch.
b. When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to the Church at Jerusalem, no doubt to show his respect for them, hear from them, and to testify of all that the Lord was doing out on the mission field.
c. After the feast, he went back to Antioch, which was the conclusion of his second missionary journey.
d. Acts 18:23 AMPC — After staying there some time, he left and went from place to place in an orderly journey through the territory of Galatia and Phrygia, establishing the disciples and imparting new strength to them.
e. Paul then began his third missionary journey.
f. He went by land, in order, through Syria, Cilicia, Galatia, and Phyrgia, visiting and strengthening all the churches that had been established there.
g. Strengthening (Greek epistērizō) — confirming; strengthening; to establish besides; strengthen more; to render more firm; confirm.

3. Apollos.
a. Acts 18:24a AMPC — Meanwhile, there was a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, who came to Ephesus.
b. Alexandria was an Egyptian city, built by Alexander the Great.
c. Its architect was Dinocrates, who also designed the famed Ephesian temple of Diana.
d. One of the seven wonders of the world was here, The Tower of Pharos.
e. Many of the most celebrated schools of antiquity flourished in this city.
f. Including the Museum, the famous philosophical academy, founded by Ptolemy Soter.
g. Alexandria is where the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, was translated in 285 B.C.
h. Acts 18:24b AMPC — He was a cultured and eloquent man, well versed and mighty in the Scriptures.
i. Apollos was a well-educated and eloquent man from Alexandria (Acts 18:24-28; 19:1; 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4-7; 16:12; Tit. 3:13).
j. Being a learned man, he would have been a man of letters, skilled in literature and the arts, and especially versed in history and the antiquities.
k. He was also well-versed—thoroughly acquainted—with the Law and the prophets and skilled in the Jewish method of interpreting them.
l. Acts 18:25 AMPC — He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and burning with spiritual zeal, he spoke and taught diligently and accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he was acquainted only with the baptism of John.
m. Instructed (Greek katēcheō) — to teach orally, to instruct; to inform by word of mouth.
n. Someone preached the Gospel to him, and it appears that he became a Christian, but was only acquainted with the baptism of John.
o. Fervent (Greek zeō) — to boil with heat; be hot, used of water; metaph. used of boiling anger, love, zeal, for what is good or bad etc.; fervent in spirit; said of zeal for what is good.
p. Romans 12:11 KJV — Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.
q. He had a good head and a good heart; he was full of zeal to preach and share the Gospel, which he did, diligently, accurately, and courageously.

4. Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
a. Once a person is born again, having received Jesus Christ, the next step is water baptism, and baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire.
b. Acts 18:26 AMPC — He began to speak freely (fearlessly and boldly) in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him with them and expounded to him the way of God more definitely and accurately.
c. Expound (Greek ektithēmi) — to place or set out; put outside; expose; to set up; exhibit; to set forth; declare; expound.
d. More perfectly (Greek akribesteron) — more definitely and accurately.
e. Priscilla and Aquila may not have been as educated as Apollos, but they knew about the Holy Ghost and fire from Paul.  
f. Apollos was intelligent and highly educated, yet humble and hungry enough to receive the Word from Pricilla and Aquila.
g. Acts 18:27a AMPC — And when [Apollos] wished to cross to Achaia (most of Greece), the brethren wrote to the disciples there, urging and encouraging them to accept and welcome him heartily.
h. Apollos earned the respect and trust of the brethren, and they wrote letters to the disciples in Achaia, encouraging them to thoroughly accept and receive him.
i. Acts 18:27b AMPC — When he arrived, he proved a great help to those who through grace (God’s unmerited favor and mercy) had believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ as Lord and Savior).
j. With his boldness and eloquence, he proved to be a great help to the Christians there.
k. Acts 18:28 AMPC — For with great power he refuted the Jews in public [discussions], showing and proving by the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah).
l. Like Paul, because of his deep knowledge and thorough understanding of the Scriptures, he was able to prove the Truth of the Gospel to the Jews.
m. As to their respective ministries, it could be said that that Paul planted the Word, and Apollos watered it.
n. As Paul declared: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Cor. 3:6).