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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Sharpening one another

Pastor Jim Alblas

Pioneer Christian Reformed Church
Cedarfield Community Center

3592 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs

In Acts 18 we meet a group of Christian people named Aquila, Priscilla and Apollos. This trio is a highlight for any Biblical reader not just because they had some pretty cool names but also because they teach us a very important and practical lesson. Aquila and Priscilla were a married couple that were very helpful to Paul in his work as a Christian missionary. They most notably worked together in the city of Corinth promoting the name of Jesus Christ. Likewise, Apollos was a valued ministry worker who we first learn about through his ministry efforts in the city of Ephesus. Apollos was described as a learned man with a thorough knowledge of the scriptures who spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately. 

However, when Aquila and Priscilla made there way to Ephesus and heard Apollos speak, it says that they invited him to their home to explain the way of God more adequately. That’s kind of shocking because he already had a thorough knowledge of the scriptures. Someone in their position might be a little intimidated to extend such an invitation especially with the credentials that Apollos boasted. However, both Aquila and Priscilla knew that there were things that Apollos needed to be strengthened in and felt it important to help him with these. Perhaps what’s even more shocking is that Apollos was willing to be tutored by this couple. Someone in his position might be too prideful to accept such an invitation, but instead he welcomes it. Apollos recognized that he didn’t know it all, and looked forward to becoming even more learned about Jesus.

What Christians today can learn from this is the importance of sharpening one another. Proverbs 27:17 says: As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. People in the church should always be asking two questions: first, who can I help to draw closer to God? And secondly, who can help me draw closer? No matter how long or short we’ve been in the church, there is knowledge, insight and spiritual growth that others can help us with, and we can help them with. There should be no pride, no doubting our ability to help others, just sharpening. This is what we see from the trio in Acts 18 and look what happens as a result. Apollos goes on to the city of Achaia and was a great help to the believers there and vigorously refuted the nonbelievers. He was strengthened by the sharpening that Aquila and Priscilla offered. Later on, we also see Aquila and Priscilla start a church in their home. Its not just being sharpened that helps, but when we actively sharpen others, it puts a charge in us too.

Let us be like Aquila, Priscilla and Apollos—not too afraid to sharpen others and not too prideful to be sharpened.

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