There are many people in our lives with whom we become acquainted. However, one must be cautious that those we spend the most time with have a true knowledge of Jesus and a love for God’s Word. We are to understand that words alone do not make one a child of God. A very dangerous position in which to be is to be one who does not hold the truth of salvation. What is the condition of those who do not have a true knowledge of Jesus? “12. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 1:12-13). When one does not hold the truth of salvation, they might just look and sound like a Christian, yet they have never known the truth of the Gospel message. What a sad place to be! Remember the warning Jesus gave: “21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Remember an event in the New Testament to help one understand this better.
Paul had met a couple, Aquila and Priscilla, while on his second missionary journey in the city of Corinth. Paul taught in the synagogue every Sabbath, teaching the people that Jesus was the Christ (the Messiah that had come to take away the sin of anyone who would believe). Eventually, the chief ruler of the synagogue “believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed” (see Acts 18:8). Paul stayed there for a time, teaching the Word of God to the people. When he left Corinth, Priscilla and Aquila went with him until he reached Ephesus where they stayed while Paul continued on his journey.
While Priscilla and Aquila were there, a man came. “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus” (Acts 18:24). See what else God’s Word says of Apollos. “This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John” (Acts 18:25). One has to stop for a minute to remember what it means by the “baptism of John.” John (also known as John the Baptist) was preaching repentance, calling for people to be baptized, preparing them to receive Jesus when He came. John the Baptist’s job was to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (see Luke 1:17b). This meant that he was to introduce Jesus to the people as the Messiah (the Christ) for whom they had been waiting. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Somehow, Apollos missed that part of the message. He only knew of the baptism to repentance, but missed that Jesus was the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. He had knowledge of much of the Scripture, but he was missing the key part – Jesus. Repentance of sin was important, but it was meaningless unless one understood that Jesus was the One who took the sin from the individual, giving salvation.
What was Apollos doing with the information of the baptism to repentance that was taught by John the Baptist? “And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” (Acts 18:26). When Aquila and Priscilla heard that what Apollos was teaching was missing the most important part (Jesus), they went to him and “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” What does that mean? They explained to Apollos that Jesus was the Christ. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31). They had to tell Apollos about Jesus. “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). That was the key part of the message that Apollos had not yet heard. However, when Apollos heard, he believed in Jesus. How do we know that he received the message and believed in Jesus? “For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ” (Acts 18:28). Because Aquila and Priscilla were faithful stewards of God’s Word, not only did Apollos believe, but he proceeded to tell others that Jesus was the Christ, too.
Have you told others that Jesus is the Christ, and that by believing they can have life through His name?