Welcome to The Cyber Church of Eufaula, Oklahoma Pastor,  James  West  -|-  This Sermon published July, 1997

The Power of the gospel!

Acts 19:1-7  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  And all the men were about twelve.

Ephesus grew at the mouth of the Cayster River. It was a Greek Colony, a trade center. Tourists came to worship Diana, the sex godess. Gold and silver smiths thrived in Ephesus making images and icons of Diana and other, mostly pornographic figures.

It may be compared to San Francisco or Los Angeles. Or Sodom or Gomorrah. What Aphrodite was to Corinth, Diana was to Ephesus.

And Paul came to Ephesus and found certain (12) disciples. These were already disciples but they had not been exposed to the Holy Ghost.

Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Acts 18:24-25  And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, [and] mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.  This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

Apollos had been to Ephesus. Might have been among this very group and just not present when Paul came through. At any rate, he knew only the baptism of John when Aquila and Priscilla ran on him in the Ephesian Synagog.

Acts 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto [them], and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

Apollos had been a believer twenty six years. He had been taught in the great schools at Alexandria. He had studies to show himself approved. He was fervent (very hot) in the spirit.

He taught diligently, BUT he was not baptized in the Holy Ghost!

When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they knew he needed something! Have you ever listened to a preacher and KNEW he needed something?

So they expounded the way of the Lord more perfectly! They brought him to the baptism of the Holy Ghost! I've seen and listened to preachers that made me want to grab them by the throat and shake some anointing into them! So much effort, so much studying! Such dull and boring sermons!

Apollos was "FERVENT in the spirit!" When we are first saved - before the Baptism, we are "ON FIRE for God!

We study, learn everything we can!

Compare the steam engine:

Cold water has no power.

As it becomes warm it becomes pleasant to the touch.

Just before boiling it can cause severe burn. It can kill some germs and plants.

At 211 degrees it is as powerful as it can get without boiling, but not as powerful as it CAN be!

BUT at 212 degrees it turns to STEAM! It's POWER is released!

THIS power cannot be contained! It can move trains and ships! It can run sawmills and automobiles! It can take an old oily, greasy, filthy engine and clean it as clean as the day it came off the assembly line!

AND we can tell people about Jesus. If we are fervent enough, some will believe. We can live for God. We can go to heaven. We can give to the poor, support the Church and exhibit the Love of Christ . . .

But something is missing! We do not have the Power of the Holy Ghost! We need "The Way of God more perfectly!"

We see in verse 28 that Apollos now MIGHTILY CONVINCED the Jews!

Acts 18:27-28 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:  For he mightily convinced the Jews, [and that] publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

At first he taught diligently, as if by obligation. NOW he was effective! What he said MOVED people! Changed their lives! Brought them to Christ! He spoke Mightily! Powerfully!

Paul went to Ephesus. Aquila and Prescilla LEFT Ephesus and Apollo moved on to Achaia where he worked with others who "believed through grace!", probably teaching them "The Way of God more perfectly!" AND bringing the Jews to their messiah!

When they are empowered with "Power from on High", God's ministers:

Go WHERE they are needed!

Go WHEN they are needed!

AND they are able to do WHAT is needed!