Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I write to you, the Body of Christ who are zealous to hear the truth and speak the truth and who hunger to see Christ reign as king in your midst. This is a burden in my heart with which I wish to share with you, especially to Pastors, Evangelist, Prophets and Teachers of the word; and all those who handle the mysteries and oracles of God.
We must note most importantly that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:5-6).
I want to be begin with a story of a certain Jew named Apollos, which most of us are familiar with, but the Holy Spirit is using this to bring an important message to those called of God and are ready to do His will.
Let’s look at the book of Acts 18:24-26
“Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. We should note the word “eloquence and mighty in Scripture.” 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.
We should also note the word “he knew only” does this not talk about knowledge and revelations? What he knew was what he was talking about, he didn’t know any other thing, He was ignorant but zealous. Probably today he will talk about John, tomorrow the biography of John, next is the baptism and it ends there. Weak message, no depth no heights, no power to deliver and set free. Everything was boring and lukewarm. No ministry will thrive in such a condition. But there is a Christ whose wisdom is unsearchable, and His power we cannot comprehend. You have not been effective because you are ignorant of what you posses in Christ Jesus. Let us continue with verse 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.”
What we must note from the above Scripture is that he was eloquent and mighty in Scriptures. In other words, he had all the knowledge required, he is also an eloquent man that speaks with boldness but lacks authority. It is authority that commands results, and it is the presence of the Spirit that gives authority. That is why the sons of Sceva were beaten and embarrassed by a demon because they wanted to do the work of God without the Spirit of God. Jesus demonstrated authority in His ministry because, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and He returned in the power of the Spirit. By so doing, exploits was inevitable.
You can teach the Bible as accurately as you can, but without the Spirit, you won’t be different from a university lecturer or an orator. What makes the difference is the Spirit of God. Peter’s speech on the day of Pentecost would have just been an ordinary speech without the Spirit of God. It is one thing to speak with intelligence, boldness and charisma, but if your speech is not birthed by the Holy Spirit, it won’t produce life.
Now the underlying truth behind every word Peter spoke that day was about the revealed Christ and the Holy Spirit. The truth was made plain. As it was prophesied by Prophet Joel, the Holy Spirit is the only solution to the world. So, what do you think will become of you as a minister if you lack or you are not filled with the Spirit?
I want us to note the word in verse 25. “although He knew only the baptism of John.” What does this mean? He needed to upgrade. The message he was carrying about is stale and sour, the fresh new message is that Christ has died, not only did He die, He has resurrected, not only that He has ascended and it didn’t stop there, the biggest news is that His Spirit has been poured out among all flesh. This is the kingdom of God that has come among men. A lot of minister struggle with life, habits and some are estranged and entangled with all manner of vices, bound in chains and oppression of the devil. How do you want to speak freedom and life to your members? You haven’t experienced peace and you want to speak about peace into other peoples’ lives; it is not possible.
The letter profits nothing, it is the Spirit that gives life. Jesus also said the words that I speak to you are Spirit and they are life the flesh profits nothing. No wonder this Apollos couldn’t do much because he was not equipped with some things he needed for ministry.
A church/minister of God without the demonstration of the power of God through the Spirit is nothing but a clanging cymbal and a noisy vessel. They are missing the real thing, there is a need for upgrade.
Now after he was instructed by Aquila and Priscilla, see what happened in verse 28. The Bible says “For he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.”
Now, this man Apollos took a posture of humility when he was called aside to be instructed by this couples. A lot of ministers of God are a sharp contrast with Apollos, they lack teachable spirit, they don’t know but pride and ego won’t allow them to learn. After they were done with him, His message changed from the importance of water baptism to baptism of the Holy Ghost, he began to preach in the name of Jesus and his ministry blossomed. Every minister of God must see Christ as the centre focus of his ministry. See what apostle Paul said which is very fundamental and instructive for us .
1Corinthians 2:1. I will read from the message Bible. He said; “You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy.”
The new King James Version puts it this way, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.”
The message Bible explains it this way: “I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did–Jesus crucified.” The effectiveness of your ministry can only be measured by how much souls have been converted by the power of the Holy Spirit through the message of the Cross. Psychology and other fables won’t be able to accomplish that. See what verse 2 says. “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Nothing else, it is about the crucified Christ. If your message is not pointing men to the cross, then you are missing it and you need to retrace your steps.
Doing great works is not by power nor by might, it is simply by the Spirit, it is not by speaking as a genius, but does it carry power to transform lives and change destinies? Read the letters but most importantly uncover the Spirit behind it.
God bless you!
[Centre for New Dimension Leadership]