Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

Witnesses to Me

To The End of the Earth!

- A Study In Acts -

Chapter Eighteen – Third Journey of Paul and Interlude

ACTS 18:23-28:

In our previous lesson, we actually completed the second journey as Paul would return to the point of the journey’s origin; Antioch of Syria (Acts 18:22). The chapters are not broken by the end of the second and the beginning of the third journeys, but by the insertion of an interlude. Luke is going to share with us by the Spirit of God, the continued work of Aquila and Priscilla.

Text #1:

Acts 18:23 After he had spent some time there, he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.”

Here is verse 23, we actually have the start of Paul’s third preaching journey. Paul is going to return to these regions for the second time (the first time was in Acts 16:6; at the beginning of the second journey.

Paul makes mention of the first visit to Galatia, whereby he preached the Gospel to these brethren – see: Galatians 4:12-14. He mentions at this time, that he would remain there for a time (something Luke does not refer to) because of a trial in the flesh (something to do with his eyes – Galatians 4:15). 

It is believed that Paul wrote this letter to the Galatians from Corinth after this second visit (Acts 20:3). Because of the similarity in subject and language, it is believed written hastily after Paul would write the letter to the Roman Christians from this same location (shorter and more compact version of the material on Romans, and missing his customary prayer for these churches; all of which indicate his haste in writing this letter). He may have just found out about the problems in these churches just prior to having to leave Corinth (read about the problems in the churches of Galatia: Galatians 1:6-10, and then the reason he would have to leave Corinth: Acts 20:3).

Luke states that Paul visits these regions in order (the order listed), and strengthens all the disciples (foundations in the doctrines of Christ – see: Acts 14:21-23, for an example of this practice. Not much is spoken of the region of Phrygia. It may be that Paul would instruct copies of his instruction for these brethren (see: Colossians 4:16), or that they did not suffer from the same issues as their brethren in Galatia.

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Text #2:

Acts 18:24-28 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 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. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.”

It is in this portion of the text that Luke will share with us the interlude, before we pick back up on Paul’s travels. The interlude is not coincidental. Not only will Apollos become an intricate part of the work of the Gospel of Jesus as the Christ, the pattern of his conversion sets the stage for the events that Luke records of Paul in Ephesus (Chapter 19).

Apollos: His name is the short version of the Greek, “Apollonius”. He is identified by Luke as being from Alexandria, Egypt (a Hellenistic learning center, as well as significant in the synagogue worship of the Jews); and that he is additionally highly educated in the Old Law, and eloquent of speech.

He is described as having come to Ephesus (another Hellenistic learning center), and teaching concerning only the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah and John’s testimony (the one to come after John would be He!) – Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 1:7; Luke 3:16-17; John 1:32-34; 3:22-36. 

Luke also records that Apollos only knew John’s baptism. John’s baptism was preparatory, as his message to the children of Israel was, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” Matthew 3:2. The same message the Lord Himself would present to His own (Jews) – Mark 1:14-15.

This sets the stage for his encounter now with Aquila and Pricilla (Review: chapter 18:2, to reacquaint yourself with these fellow workers of Paul; in the Gospel and as tent makers).

More Accurately: No matter how good a man is, he is not infallible. Apollos was not informed concerning Jesus now as Christ, nor the baptism of the kingdom. In saying that there is no difference between the two baptisms, or that it is just a mere external rite, is to ignore the important work of education offered here by Aquila and Priscilla, as well as the Apostle Paul in the next chapter.

They Took Him Aside: It should also be noted that outside of the collective work, whereby God has established a specific order – 1 Timothy 2:8-15; Priscilla took part with her husband in giving Apollos the needed instruction that Jesus is now the Christ. This illustrates where certain faithful women were eminent helpers in the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 Achaia: This is the southern portion of Greece where Corinth is the capital. As Apollos desires to travel there, now having obeyed the Gospel of Jesus as the Christ, the brethren will practice a New Testament foundation, by presenting a letter of approval to accompany Apollos to Corinth.

Vigorously Refuted the Jews Publicly: Upon arriving in Corinth, Apollos’ education in the Old Law allowed him to be of great assistance to the brethren in Corinth. In addition, he was more than well-equipped in the knowledge of the Old Law and all it had to say concerning the coming of the Messiah, that now that he knows Jesus is that Messiah, he was able to refute the stone hearts of many of the Jewish leaders in Corinth.

“Refuted” is from the Greek, “Diakatelegchomai”, which means to, “Maintain discussion strenuously and thoroughly”, or “To disprove with rivalry and effort or in a contest”. This was being done factually (“showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ”).

Luke is going to leave Apollos in Corinth, and we will find him mentioned several times in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (1:11-12; 3:4-6, 22; 4:6; 16:12), as well as in Paul’s late letter to Titus (3:13).  

Next: “Paul’s Third Journey Continued!”