Our text is Acts 18:18-28.
The Book of Acts is filled with examples of God’s people fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). This section of Acts (18:23-19:10) reinforces the importance of Scripture driven disciple making and gives us some illustrations of what it looks like. It introduces us to a variety of teachers and students in a variety of contexts. As we observe these examples, we should examine our own disciple-making practices.
Children’s Message: Pastor Chad Sadorf has been including a series of Children’s Messages. These messages will parallel the sermons from Acts to help guide the children through the concepts that are taught in the sermon. Today’s message is provided as a video; this link appears just after the Gloria Patri in the service (where it would normally occur in our church service). Click on these links for a children’s bulletin and printable coloring page to accompany this message: Children’s Bulletin and Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos coloring sheet.
Service for Family Worship:
Call to Worship: Psalm 57:9-11
9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! (ESV)
Almighty God, we bow before you in awe of your holiness, your transcendence and your immanence.
And as we present ourselves to you in worship, we come before you acutely aware that there is nothing in ourselves that would commend us before you.
We are not good enough to be here. We do not know enough to be here, and we have not been obedient enough to be here.
But Father, we are here because you said so, and because you have welcomed us as sons and daughters through the blood of your own Son. You have also given us a desire to worship you.
So we stand humbly, but boldly in your presence because of the righteousness of Christ.Will you enable and guide our worship by the power of Holy Spirit that we might worship you in spirit and in truth, and that it would be pleasing and acceptable in your sight. In the matchless name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Based on Psalm 76, this hymn pulls from the psalm’s main themes: God defends Zion and makes his name known; God requires commitment, worship, and praise, even from the kings of the earth. The words of the hymn celebrate God’s awesome act of judgment that brought relief to Zion: God’s unequaled power overcomes human might in verse 2. And not even human hostility can frustrate the plans of God who pronounces judgment from heaven in verse 3. The good news is that all who trust in the King of Kings, Jesus, will indeed escape God’s wrathful judgment and be eternally saved.
Corporate Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:15
15 “You shall not steal. (ESV)
Father of mercies, we confess that we have sinned against you. By Holy Spirit, come and work repentance into our hearts. Help us to see you as you are: with outstretched arms, a loving heart, and power to save. Help us to see Jesus, the friend of sinners, and to follow him more faithfully. As we have received him, so strengthen us to walk in him, depend on him, commune with him, and be conformed to him. Give us an experience of your grace that makes us bold for others, that we might joyfully tell our friends and neighbors of your saving mercy. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: : Ephesians 1:3,7-8a
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us. (ESV)
Through faith in Christ we are forgiven! Glory be to God!
Affirmation of Faith:
The Westminster Larger Catechism
Q. 141. What are the duties required in the eighth commandment?
A. The duties required in the eighth commandment are, truth, faithfulness, and justice in contracts and commerce between man and man; rendering to every one his due; restitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof; giving and lending freely, according to our abilities, and the necessities of others; moderation of our judgments, wills, and affections concerning worldly goods; a provident care and study to get, keep, use, and dispose those things which are necessary and convenient for the sustentation of our nature, and suitable to our condition; a lawful calling, and diligence in it; frugality; avoiding unnecessary lawsuits, and suretyship, or other like engagements; and an endeavor, by all just and lawful means, to procure, preserve, and further the wealth and outward estate of others, as well as our own.
Teaching and Learning the Right Things About Jesus (Click here to link to the video of the Children’s Message)
(You may want to take a moment to pray with your child or children for your family, your church family, our country and world.)
Offertory: Psalm 24:1-2
1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. (ESV)
God has commanded us to be stewards over the resources he has entrusted to us. May he use our time, talents and resources to glorify his name and advance his kingdom powerfully.
(Online giving is now available for your convenience. This link, https://www.faithpresarp.org/give/, will take you to the page that explains this process and includes a button which will redirect you to the secured giving platform.
In the month of September, our focus will be Psalm 46. In introducing this psalm, Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Happen what may, the Lord’s people are happy and secure, this is the doctrine of the Psalm, and it might, to help our memories, be called THE SONG OF HOLY CONFIDENCE, were it not that from the great reformer’s love to this soul-stirring hymn it will probably be best remembered as LUTHER’S PSALM. ” And in the words of Martin Luther, “We sing this Psalm to the praise of God, because God is with us, and powerfully and miraculously preserves and defends his church and his word, against all fanatical spirits, against the gates of hell, against the implacable hatred of the devil, and against all the assaults of the world, the flesh and sin.” from The Treasury of David, by Charles Spurgeon, www.spurgeon.org/treasury/treasury.htm.
Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)
Sermon: More Laborers for Gospel Ministry
Another hymn by the prolific Isaac Watts, this one was written in 1719 and is based on Psalm 72. The first line is unusual for a hymn based on a psalm: “Jesus shall reign.” Watts believed that the psalms should reflect Christian experience. Therefore it is common to find Christological references in Watts’s version of the psalms. The words reflect the world-wide advance of the gospel and in stanza four we see the liberating freedom that the gospel brings with the words, “all prisoners leap and loose their chains,” “the weary find eternal rest” and “all who suffer want are blest.”
Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)
Questions for Further Discussion
1. What do Paul’s follow-up visits (verse 23) teach about the importance of follow-up discipleship and the value of the local church?
2. What can we learn about instructing leaders from the example of Aquila and Priscilla?
3. What can we learn about how to receive instruction from the example of Apollos?
4. What about the ministry of Apollos resonates with you?
Teaching and Learning the Right Things About Jesus
In our message today: a man named Apollos came to the city of Ephesus to teach others about Jesus, BUT he was missing important information!
Acts 18:24-26 says: 24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. (ESV)
• Apollos came to Ephesus
• He was Jewish
• He was from Alexandria, Egypt, in Africa, a city of great teaching and learning with a world-renowned library of 700,000 books.
We are told that Apollos was smart: “learned, thorough knowledge…he was taught by others, he was passionate, he was a good speaker,” but he was missing some information about Jesus and needed to learn more.
Priscilla and Aquila, the friends we met last week, heard Apollos speaking, but Apollos was only telling part of the Good News about Jesus – He had an incomplete message!
So, Priscilla and Aquila invited Apollos to their house and explained things clearly and accurately about Jesus’ life and ministry! Apollos became an even better speaker and teacher.
I hope you will always be ready to learn and get smarter – just like Apollos did, when he learned the right things about Jesus!