God is not human. We all agree. God is superior to humans in every way. We all agree. The most learned human is far beneath equality with God. We all agree. God's priorities, standards, values, and purposes are not parallel with human thoughts or behavior. Most of us agree. God is sovereign and Christians choose to be His slaves. Many of us agree. Humans are never in a position to question or advise God. Some of us agree. The need to change is never a "God need" but is always a "human need." Some of us agree. If I follow God, I always must be willing to change as I learn. All of us agree that others need to change, but we are very hesitant to change.

A Jewish man, born in Egypt, was a gifted speaker who was extremely knowledgeable in Old Testament scripture (Acts 18:24-28). He came to Ephesus fully convinced that the man Jesus, born in Palestine, was the Christ. He knew the Old Testament prophecies that supported his conviction. He was passionate about his understanding. What he said about Jesus was accurate. Yet, there were some things he did not know.

Priscilla and Aquila heard him speak with boldness about Jesus' identity in a Jewish synagogue in Ephesus. They quietly took him aside and explained to him things he did not know. His teaching was not incorrect. His teaching was incomplete.

After this, Christian Jews were so impressed with his ability and understanding that they encouraged him. They even wrote him letters of recommendation when he left Ephesus encouraging other Jewish Christians to welcome him. The result: (a) He received great help from the Jewish Christian community. (b) He powerfully used scripture to establish as fact that Jesus was the Christ.

Apollos is a tremendous encouragement to us! What he knew was correct, but incomplete. He was willing to change to grow closer to God! Consider these insights:

  1. No matter how well you know the scriptures, you need to grow in your understanding of God's purposes.
  2. The willingness to grow means the willingness to change.
  3. The result of growth and change produces increased usefulness to the Lord.
  4. Quietly teaching those who pursue God's purposes permits change's growth without public consequences.
  5. Our purpose as God's servants: let God work through us to encourage others to maximize God's use of their abilities.

Grow! Allow growth to produce change! Let change lead you closer and closer to God! Because we are correct about some things does not mean we are correct about all things. Godly growth and change are always difficult, but always possible. Let the difficult create the possible!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 29 June 2003

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