Useful Ordinary Christians

20 February 2022 AM – Acts 18:1-3 – Evangelism – Scott Childs
Introduction: D. L. Moody, a converted shoe salesman, wrote the following words next to Isaiah 6:8 in his Bible: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.” [Use Mediterranean map]
            Like D. L. Moody, Aquila and Priscilla were ordinary Christians who determined by God’s grace to do whatever they could to spread the Gospel where they lived. Each of the six times they are mentioned in the Bible, their names are always together. They worked together as a team. They gladly served, sacrificed and suffered for God’s glory.
Transition: This morning we are going to take a close look at the lives of this useful ordinary Christian couple that we might gain some ideas of how we can become useful ordinary Christians just like them.
  1. What made Aquila and Priscilla useful?
a.         They shared with Paul (Ac 18:1-3)
1)         Paul found Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth through work. He came to them. Because they did the same work of tent making, they invited Paul to work with them.
2)         They had recently arrived in Corinth from Rome. They were expelled from Rome because Aquila was a Jew. Priscilla may have been a Roman. Because her name is sometimes listed before Aquila’s, she may have been from an upper class Roman family.
b.         They learned from Paul (v.4-5)
1)         Whether they were already Christians or Paul led them to Christ, certainly, they grew spiritually under Paul’s mentoring. Likely, during long hours of work, Paul was able to fill their minds and hearts with spiritual truths.
2)         Being a Jew, Aquila would have taken his wife to the synagogue each Sabbath where Paul weekly reasoned and persuaded the Jews and Greeks (v.4).
a)         As Paul reasoned in the synagogue, he conversed, discoursed, argued and discussed Scriptures regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
b)         Paul also persuaded the unbelievers with convincing words that they ought to trust Christ to save their souls from judgment.
c)         This is precisely what God had commissioned him to do. (Acts 26:18) “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
3)         Aquila and Priscilla heard Paul preach that Jesus was Christ (v.5). “It is not certain when Aquila and his wife, Priscilla, were converted to Christianity, but it was before Paul left Corinth, for they accompanied him to Ephesus.” Unger’s Bible Dictionary
4)         Under Paul’s preaching and mentoring, this faithful couple learned well the Word of God.
c.          They testified for Christ (v.18-26)
1)         Paul spent a “good while” there at Corinth (at least 18 months, v.11) during which time Aquila and Priscilla had grown spiritually and had become close friends with Paul.
2)         When God led Paul to leave Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla went with him (v.18).
3)         When they came to Ephesus, Paul left them there (v.19). They begged Paul to stay for a while with them, but he determined to move on (v.20-21). This couple may have begun the initial work for Christ in Ephesus.
4)         While in Ephesus, the Jewish preacher named Apollos came to Ephesus and preached a limited version of the Gospel (v. 24-26). After hearing him speak, Aquila and Priscilla took him aside and “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” (v.26). They simply taught him the Gospel of Christ that they had learned from Paul and their study of the Bible. Apollos became a powerful preacher.
d.         They opened their home for church services
1)         There in Ephesus, the home of this ordinary Christian couple became the meeting place for the Ephesian church.
2)         When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthian church from Ephesus, he included a salutation from Aquila and Priscilla. (1Cor 16:19) “The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
3)         During Paul’s third missionary trip, when he wrote his letter of Romans from Corinth. Evidently, by this time, Aquila and Priscilla had returned to Rome and were holding church services in their own home (Romans 16:3-5).
e.         They became Paul’s helpers (Romans 16:3-5)
1)         Paul addressed this dear couple as his helpers in Christ. (Rom 16:3-5) “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house …
2)         The word “helper” refers to a fellow-worker. We have no evidence that Aquila was a preacher. He and his wife got involved. They did what they could to help the ministry. They supported the work physically and financially.
3)         They even risked their lives to protect Paul from persecution.
4)         All the Gentile churches that knew them gave thanks for them.
  • Without question, Aquila and Priscilla were very useful ordinary Christians.
2.        How can you become useful for the Lord?
What have we learned from Aquila and Priscilla?
a.         Be hospitable
1)         Aquila and Priscilla began by simply spending time with Paul during work. It appears that they opened their home to him as well.
2)         Be friendly. Invite people from church over for a cup of tea. Build good godly friendships. (1Pet 4:9) “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
b.         Learn the Bible well.
1)         Daily study the Bible privately. Dig and ponder what you read. Write down things you are learning in an exercise book. Meditate on God’s word by pondering it during the day and night. Let it change your life. Memorise verses.
2)         Come to the Sunday night services, which are geared to help you grow spiritually. Attend the Wednesday night Bible studies where you can learn Bible facts and applications. Study the Bible with a friend from church.
c.          Seek to edify others.
1)         Share your faith with people you meet. Pass out tracts. Include talk about God in your conversations.
2)         Let me or another mature Christian teach you how to share the Gospel with others.
3)         As you learn the Bible better, you will gain more confidence in defending the Bible and talking with unbelievers about it. Build up fellow Christians.
d.         Get more involved in our church
1)         Become a fellow-worker. Do not be content to attend only Sunday morning. Get involved and become a useful, ordinary Christian.
2)         Become a church member and get busy for the Lord. Be available. Volunteer to serve the Lord. Come early for services and help set up. Stay after the service to put things away.
3)         God may have a specific ministry for you. Ask God to show you what He wants you to do. Jesus said that the harvest is great but the labourers are few (Luke 10:2). There is a HUGE need for preachers and missionaries.
4)         Open your home for church meetings and activities. This can be a great help and blessing. Host a Bible study for unbelievers you know.
5)         Look for new opportunities to get involved. Come and ask me for ideas.
Conclusion: You do not need a seminary degree in the Bible to be useful. God delights in using ordinary Christians just like you. God greatly used Aquila and Priscilla in the work of the Lord, and He wants to use you as well. Will you let Him? Why not volunteer right now and ask Him where He would have you begin!
Song: Where He Leads Me – 384