1 Corinthians 16:12–14: Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time; however, he will come when he has a convenient time. Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.
Apollos was an eloquent Jew who was brought into the full understanding of the Gospel by Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:24–28). He had ministered with great power at Corinth, and there was a segment of the church there that felt attached to him (1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4–8). It is unlikely that Apollos promoted this division, for his great concern seemed to be to preach Christ. In spite of the division (“The Apollos Fan Club”), Paul did not hesitate to encourage Apollos to return to Corinth for further ministry. It is clear that there was no envy on Paul’s part or sense of competition on the part of Apollos.
It is wonderful the way these different men worked together.
Watch simply means “Be alert! Be vigilant!” The enemy is always at hand, and we are never safe from attack. Satan would certainly attack the church and try to hinder the ministry of Timothy or Apollos. To stand fast in the faith means to have mature stability.
But even manliness needs to be balanced with love, lest leadership become dictatorship. Carl Sandburg, when addressing the United States Congress, said that Abraham Lincoln was a man of “velvet steel.” That is a good image for the Christian to borrow, for true manliness does not exclude tenderness. 1
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-6. Why do people in the Body of Christ try to turn servants into celebrities, and create a competitive spirit instead of a Spirit of unity?
Thought to Share
Jesus prayed for a Spirit of unity, because people prey for a spirit of disunity. – TWEET IT
Lord, raise us above selfish ambition so we may serve you in the fullness of pure love.
1. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.