Thursday, October 21, 2010

First century non-charismatic evangelicals? (Apollos the Egyptian)

I've been reading Acts on and off. I love the raw excitement that is the book of Acts. Personally I desire this to be the kind of activity that occurs in my own life. And why not? Jesus said that we would do the same things and greater than him. He desires to show his love and power through the body of Christ, for his glory.

I came to chapter 18. Paul has become acquainted with Aquilla and Priscilla. Paul met them in Corinth and spent quite some time there getting to know them. He must have liked them so much that he decided to take them back to Ephesus with him. Altogether Paul spent three years living in Ephesus. Ephesus, in many ways became the center of the early church outside of Jerusalem. Notably after the destruction of the temple in AD 70 in Jerusalem, the Jews were scattered everywhere. At that point John ended up in Ephesus.

Aquilla and Priscilla carried on Paul's ministry in Ephesus in his absence.  When Paul had already left them there, one Apollos came along to Ephesus. Apollos was from Alexandria in Egypt. Apollos knew his Bible very well. He was instructed in the way of the Lord and taught about Jesus accurately. But something was missing. What was it?

This is not to undermine Apollos' faith up that point. He believed in the Lord Jesus and had nothing wrong in his faith as such. Apollos had received the Baptism of Repentance, but not the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. In fact, this same pattern can be seen many times throughout Acts. Never does it say that these believers who had not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit were wrong, but it does say that there was more.

Aquilla and Priscilla told Apollos about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and he humbly received it. So it seems that the idea of Charismatics and non-Charismatics also existed in the first century. Acts certainly seems to point towards the Baptism of the Holy Spirit being desirable.

Wouldn't it be great if such humility existed in the 21st century?