Explaining the Way of God More Accurately
“Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.” – Acts 18:8
Thank you for remaining along in our study of Restoration! We’re still looking at how New Testament Christians lived and worshipped and what people did in the New Testament in order to be saved. Hopefully we can all come together on one accord like the early church did and be restored to that one church.
I encourage you to read the full text of Acts chapter 8, as I will hone in only on specific parts of it. Paul is on his second missionary journey and we continue to see him preaching the gospel everywhere he goes. He converted the ruler of the synagogue, Crispus, in Corinth. And after hearing, many of the Corinthians believed and were baptized (Acts 18:8).
We know that faith in Christ comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). And, the person who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16). So, those who heard the word, believed it, and were baptized were saved. We can do the same thing today.
The problem is that there are so many different baptisms that are taught. Some teach that a person does not need to be baptized to be saved – the exact opposite of what Jesus taught. Others teach and believe that baptism is only an outward sign of an inward change – a teaching that we do not find in Scripture. And others teach that baptism is optional with optional modes of doing it – sprinkling, pouring, or submerging – and not only submersion which is what we have examples of in the Scriptures.
Note that when Paul got to Corinth he stayed with Aquilla and his wife Priscilla and worked as a tentmaker. Aquilla and Priscilla left there and journeyed to Ephesus with Paul. There they met a man named Apollos who was “an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures” (Acts 18:8).
“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” (Acts 18:25).
Notice that the baptism of John and the baptism which Christ taught saves were two different types of baptisms. John proclaimed a baptism of repentance, preparing people for Christ who would come after him. In the baptism which Christ instituted in Mark 16:16, we are baptized into His death – buried (submersed) with Him in baptism and raised to newness of life (Rom. 6:4). And, Christ’s baptism puts a person into Christ (Gal. 3:27).
Apollos was eloquent in speech, knew the Scriptures, and preached to others. Yet he still needed to be taught the way of God more perfectly. That’s a lesson for us. We can never be to a point where we can’t learn something, where we can’t be taught, or where we are too proud to receive instruction.
It doesn’t matter how much schooling we’ve had or how much teaching we do, we can all learn something. And that’s what Apollos did when Aquilla and Priscilla “took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26).
So since he only knew of John’s baptism, they had to have taught him the baptism instituted by Christ. And, following along all the other examples we’ve seen in Acts when people heard the gospel of Christ and believed it and were baptized, it only makes sense that Apollos was baptized with Christ’s baptism, too.
If he had not, then why would the brethren write to the disciples in Achaia exhorting them to receive him (Acts 18:27)? Well, they did, and he greatly helped the disciples there and refuted the Jews vigorously.
We can discuss all day about what Apollos’ response was to being taught the gospel of Christ. But the real question is how will you respond to the gospel – to being taught about a different baptism than, maybe, the one into which you were baptized. If you were not baptized (submerged) to be buried with Christ, to contact His blood for forgiveness of sins, to be baptized into Christ, and to put Him on in baptism, then it’s time to think about how you will respond to the hearing of Christ’s baptism.
I’m so thankful for and to my dear friend and brother in Christ who taught me the way of God more perfectly. I had not been baptized with Christ’s baptism, but one that was for an outward show of an inward response. Guess what my response was to learning the gospel message more accurately. I was baptized with the baptism of Christ.
You can do the same thing. If you are not a Christian, believe that Jesus is the Christ, repent of your sins, confess the sweet name of Jesus, and be baptized – with the right baptism. Then the Lord will use you in His kingdom, just like He did Apollos.
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