Priscilla & Aquila (Part 2)

Sermons - Part 37

Nov. 6, 2016


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] Well, as I said when we were doing the reading, this morning we began looking at Priscilla and Aquila, this wonderful couple who are mentioned only in three or four places in the New Testament but who were very clearly a very, very important part of the New Testament church. We are introduced to them in Acts chapter 18. After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth and he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome and he went to see them and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked for their tent makers by trade. So we are introduced to this married couple and we are given a little bit of background information and we saw this in the morning but for those who weren't here, we'll just recap as to what happened. Aquila was born in Pontus which if you look this way, way, way over there on the south coast of the Black Sea but sometime in his life he ended up travelling to Rome and there is, it's probably there that he met his wife Priscilla and it seems to be that she may well have been from there, that's the indication of her name although we can't be certain about that but we do know that they lived there together as a couple but in the year 49 AD or thereabouts the Emperor

[1:28] Claudius expelled all the Jews from Rome and there's a Roman historian that speaks about this and it seems likely that this was because the Christian church was starting to grow, many Jews were being converted but of course other Jews would have been hostile to that and there was perhaps conflict and difficulty there so the Emperor just looked at them all and threw them out so Priscilla and Aquila were expelled, exiled from Rome and they travelled to Corinth which is there in southern Greece so that's the background to them, they obviously lived in different places but they were a Christian couple, an important part of the early church and the point we emphasised in the morning was that they were very ordinary, they weren't big names like Paul or Peter, they were just ordinary people in the church like you and like me but although they're ordinary they are special, just like you are special and we have got so much to learn from them because there is so much to encourage us in their lives and we split our study into three points, we're going to look at their work, their home and their marriage and this morning we looked at their work and as Act 18 of Versace tells us they were tent makers by trade and it was amazing that God brought

[2:59] Priscilla and Aquila and Paul together because of their job, because they were tent makers and it was through that work that Priscilla and Aquila were able to help and support Paul, remember as I said Paul arrived in Corinth dejected because everything had been going so badly but there he met this couple, they worked together, God brought them together through their work and they were a great support to one another and the great lessons for us was firstly that we need each other as Christians, we need to support one another, we need to help one another and secondly that our jobs, your job is an amazing opportunity to serve God every single day when you are working, now that can be paid employment or it might be your responsibilities at home, it is all a wonderful opportunity to serve and glorify God, so Priscilla and Aquila are a great example of how God uses Christians through their jobs and God can do exactly the same with you, tonight I want us to complete our study by looking at their home and their marriage, so our first point tonight which is our second point of the day if that makes sense is that God used their home, Priscilla and Aquila are a great example of how a Christian couple used their home and we know that because of the other references that are made to Priscilla and Aquila in the New Testament, here we have

[4:39] Romans 16 and 1 Corinthians 16 and we can read these verses, now where it says Prischa that's the same person, that's just a different way of saying Priscila, it's the same woman that's been referred to, so Paul writes, greet Prischa and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus who risked their necks for my life to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well, greet also the church in their house and then 1 Corinthians 16 Aquila and Prischa that's again to greet them, Aquila and Prischa together with the church in their house send you hearty greetings in the Lord, so in Romans Paul is giving them a greeting in Corinthians Paul is sending a greeting from them but both these verses emphasise that Priscila and Aquila used their home as a place for the church to meet, now this raises a few important points that we should be make sure that we grasp, the first is that it raises a really important point about ecclesiology, now when I say ecclesiology we mean the study of the church, the doctrine of the church, it says in these verses that the church met in their house and the key point is that the church is not the house, the church is in their house and exactly the same as through today, this building is not the church, the church is not these four walls and this roof, the church meets in these four walls and in this roof, under this roof, we are the church as the people of God together and so for that reason if we all go to a different building, if we go to the community centre, if we go to a shed, if we go to a house, if we go to the town hall, if we go to the school assembly hall, we are still at church, we are still the church and really every single one of us, we always looked at this building and we say oh there's the church, we all say that, I say it, if I'm telling somebody about coming to carlow if you come down, you'll see the church, beside the bridge you can't miss it, it's the huge building, we all call this building the church but strictly speaking we shouldn't do that, we should refer to this building as the place where the church meets because that is the biblical truth, the church is you and me meeting together, that's why these versions are really important, it says greet the church in their house, it's not their house that's the church, the church is in where they're home and it's really really important that we understand that because a lot of people will refer to coming here as coming to the house of God and I can understand why they say that but it's not biblically accurate, the household of God, the temple of God, the church of God is you if you are a believer, that's what we were learning about when we were studying the theme of temple running through scripture, the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of believers, not in a physical building, so that's the first point that this is emphasised, it's an important, a very very important point about ecclesiology, so not only did Priscilla and Aquila use their jobs, they also used their home to serve Jesus, now it's really really interesting to trace the travels of Priscilla and Aquila because as we said at the start by the time we come to Acts 18 they have already travelled, Aquila came from Pontus, went to Rome and now they've come to Corinth but from this point onwards they continue to travel, if we look at the map they originally came from Rome to Corinth, that's what we have as happened here in Acts 18 chapter 1, Acts 18 verses 1 to 3 but then later in the chapter we read that when Paul left they went with him and so they ended up in Ephesus which is over there just almost directly east of Corinth so they travelled on with him, but remember we read the letter to the Romans where Paul sends a greeting to

[9:20] Priscilla and Aquila so that tells us that sometime after this Priscilla and Aquila went back to Rome, so they travelled around, they were in different places, they travelled a good bit but in all of these places they had a house because wherever you go if you move house you still have a house and they used that house to serve Jesus and it's really interesting if we look back at these verses that we had, so if we take Corinthians first of all, Paul wrote to the Corinthians from Ephesus so when he says Aquila and Priscilla together with the church in their house send you hearty greetings, he is sending these greetings from Ephesus so that's telling us that Aquila and Priscilla have a house church in Ephesus, there in their home there they have a church and then sometime later Paul writes to the Romans and he says greet Prischa and Aquila my fellow workers, greet also the church in their house so we can piece it together the fact that while they were in Ephesus they had a house church there and then when they went to Rome they also had a house church there, they moved from place to place but in all these places they used their house to serve God, they used their home as a meeting place for the church and of course the brilliant lesson from that is that our homes are a great tool for serving Jesus, not all of us have the same gifts but every single one of us has got a house, we all live in a house and our homes are a brilliant place to serve Jesus, now we don't have a house church structure like they did in the first century and that's wonderful because the church has grown too big to be held in houses and we rejoice for the fact that none of our houses are big enough to hold our services but we can still use our houses to do great things for the Lord and we can think of a few examples, the most obvious of all is that we can welcome people into our homes and as Christians that is such a wonderful wonderful thing to do, we can ask people for dinner, we can ask people for coffee, for fellowship, for Bible study or simply just to catch up, our homes are a great opportunity to invite people and it's wonderful, wonderful to get an invitation to somebody's home, we all love getting an invite and so we all have the means to do it and it's a great great thing to do and we must remember that you can give dignity, real dignity to somebody by inviting them to your home because there are, I am quite sure, people in Carlyway who never get an invite anywhere and there are people whose lives are very very lonely, I remember I'll never forget, I was a postie when I left school for about a year and a half and I had a round in Stornoway where

[12:46] I was, well I did a couple of different rounds but this one in particular did sort of, from the War Memorial all the way up Pushiful Road and Anderson Road, that kind of area and I remember at Christmas, being a postie at Christmas is no fun, there's tons of things and it's so busy and you have tons of Christmas cards and I know Christmas cards aren't quite so big now but this was about 15 years ago so Christmas cards were still a very very very big part of life then, so you would deliver tons and tons and tons of Christmas cards but I will never forget the house that didn't get one and there was a man in that house, there was a man who had struggles and difficulties and I remember thinking he has not got anything and it's a reminder that there's people on our doorstep who are desperately lonely, people on our doorstep who feel that no one likes them, people on our doorstep who feel that they're a waste of space and it is the duty of the Christian church to show them some love and a great way to do that is to invite them to your home, so that's perhaps the most obvious but there's other things we can do as well, we can make things in our home and do things in our homes to help serve the work of the Gospel and so if there's a church activity planned we can contribute to that from our homes and a brilliant example of that is the buffet weekend, we've got the buffet weekend coming up in a fortnight and here is a brilliant opportunity for us to make something, to make a dinner, to make a pudding, to make a cake, to make something and to think while you're making that cake to pray that God would bless this outreach event, that God would use this gathering together as a means to bring the community into contact with the church, so you can go home and you can get your apron on and you can get in the kitchen and you can do something for the Lord in your home which is brilliant and so this is a great, great opportunity, we can use our homes to serve and glorify God, we can contribute to the work of the church by doing something in our house, so the opportunity is there, there's a sheet in the hall, go for it, you want an opportunity to serve God, there is one, a brilliant, brilliant chance to do something but what is even more amazing about the time that we live in 2016, you can reach the whole world from your home because you can pick up your iPad or your computer or your phone and you can get in touch with people who are miles and miles and miles away and it's a reminder of what you can do, you can go home after the service tonight and you can send an email to Karen in Tanzania and say I'm praying for you, you can send an email to

[16:05] Chorus McGilvery in Central Asia or to Steadfast Global or to any of the missions that we know, Katrina MacDonald in Peru, you can go home, you can pick up your iPad and in 30 seconds you can send a message that will make a huge difference to them and I think the opportunities that these things present are just amazing, in just two minutes of your time whether it's through Facebook, through WhatsApp, through whatever, you can send a message of encouragement to a missionary or if you know somebody who's going through a hard time, know somebody who's maybe had a bereavement or a difficulty, message them on Facebook or whatever way you can, write them a card from your home, you can just do something small which is actually something really big because you're showing love for them.

[16:53] So the point I'm trying to make is that our homes have amazing potential and God uses our homes and our home is something that we all have and we can use our homes to the glory of God.

[17:08] So Priscilla and Aquila, they remind us, they teach us a lesson about ecclesiology, about the fact that the church is the people of God, they also teach us about the potential of our homes but they also remind us that we belong in each other's homes.

[17:27] As Christians, we belong in each other's company, we belong in each other's homes. Now the reasons for that are theological because as Christians we are adopted as God's children and as Christians we are all united to Christ and therefore united together by faith and we are now brothers and sisters.

[17:57] Every single one of us who believes we are brothers and sisters in Christ, we are bound together, we are one with another and we belong together and that is why being together in each other's houses is normal and not exceptional in the life of the church.

[18:19] Now it's really important that we grasp that. We often think that these things are exceptional, in other words that they happen at certain times and not at others.

[18:32] But Priscilla and Aquila didn't matter if they were in Corinth, Ephesus, Rome. It was normal for people to be in their church and the reasons for that are theological.

[18:45] We are not brothers and sisters only at times of revival. We are not brothers and sisters just at times of encouragement. We are always, always brothers and sisters.

[18:59] Now sometimes I hear people say, when the Spirit comes then we will gather together. Now I can understand people saying that and they associate gatherings with particular movements of the Spirit at times of revival and people say, when the Spirit comes then we will gather together.

[19:24] But the biblical truth is the other way round. The biblical truth is that it is when we gather together then the Spirit comes.

[19:36] That's what Jesus taught, where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them. Now notice the order of what he's saying. He's not saying, when I come into the midst of a community then the people gather together.

[19:52] No. When you gather together, there I am among you. And if you read through Acts, read through Acts chapter 2, read through Acts chapter 4 and see what the order of events is.

[20:07] Is it the Spirit first then the gathering or is it the gathering first then the Spirit? And you'll see that what Jesus says is the biblical pattern. When we meet together then the Spirit comes.

[20:20] And that should give us such a sense of excitement, such a sense of anticipation because we don't have to wait for a particular time to expect God to be in our midst.

[20:33] He's promising, when you gather together then I'll come. Now that should make us so excited about church and so excited about the prayer meeting and so excited about being in other people's houses because when you gather together as the people of God, he has promised to be there.

[20:51] And God doesn't break promises. And so as we gather here, as we gather here every week, every Thursday and everything we do at church there, Jesus by his Spirit is in our midst.

[21:11] And so we belong together and that's what God wants for us. Now I know that some of us are more sociable with than others and that is absolutely fine and I'm not saying that every single one of us has to start having households of people because that does not suit us all and that is absolutely okay and as we'll talk later on we all have different gifts.

[21:34] But the key point I want to emphasise is that our homes have great potential. So whether you're comfortable inviting people, whether you're more comfortable messaging people or whether you're more comfortable doing stuff, I don't mind.

[21:46] But just think to yourself, how can I use my house for the glory of God? Because that's exactly the example that Priscilla and Akwila give to us. So they use their home.

[21:57] So they've used their work for the glory of God, you've got a job, you can do the same. They use their home for the glory of God, you've got a home, you can do the same. And thirdly, they used their marriage.

[22:09] Now as I say this, I'm not just speaking to married couples. We can all learn lessons from this section. But it is wonderful to see how they used their marriage.

[22:21] Because one of the brilliant things about Priscilla and Akwila is that they are always mentioned together. Whenever they refer to it's Priscilla and Akwila or Akwila and Priscilla, they're always mentioned together.

[22:36] As a married couple, they served Jesus together. Now it's very interesting when you look at passages that quite often Priscilla is mentioned first.

[22:49] We can see it here. In first current themes, Akwila is mentioned first. Akwila is the man, Akwila and Priscilla. In Romans, Priscilla is it mentioned first.

[23:00] Priscilla and Akwila. And that's quite a common pattern. And that was unusual at that time. It was unusual for the woman to be named first.

[23:10] And there's various suggestions as to why that could be. Some think it's because she was maybe from a higher social class. And this name Priscilla is associated with a higher class family line in Rome.

[23:24] So maybe that's why it was. Others think that maybe it was because she was the more prominent personality. Maybe Akwila was quiet and maybe she was quite chatty and outgoing.

[23:36] Maybe that's the case. In either of these, it could have been both of these. But the key point I want to emphasize is that Priscilla was at the heart of the church's life.

[23:47] And she was a she. She was a woman. And it emphasizes how important women are in the life of the church.

[24:03] Priscilla and Akwila as a pair, as a husband and a wife, were at the heart of the New Testament church and they performed a vital, vital role.

[24:13] And women throughout the New Testament and throughout the history of the church have been used by God to do amazing, amazing things to serve him. Now people often accuse Paul of being anti-women.

[24:26] But he was the opposite. He is saying that Priscilla was my co-worker. One of his best co-workers was a woman.

[24:37] Now Paul did teach that eldership was just for men. And that's the reason why only men are ministers. We don't have women ministers because a minister is just an elder.

[24:49] And we believe that Paul's teaching is clear that eldership is just for men. But that does not mean that women have a secondary role.

[25:00] It means they simply have a different role. It's like a father and a mother. Which one's more important? Neither. But are they the same? No.

[25:10] They're different roles but they're equally important. And women are vital to the life of the church. Now notice what it says. Women are not to be elder.

[25:21] Women are not to be deacons. Women are to be co-workers. Now that gives you women massive qualifications to be involved in the life of the church.

[25:33] A co-worker means sharing in everything. It means taking part in all the work of the church. Helping in all the work of the church. Participating in all the work of the church.

[25:45] Every single thing the church does you can get involved in. And that's the great, great opportunity that the church gives to women. And it's so important to remember this that in the New Testament times women were oppressed.

[25:59] Women were kept lower, a lower status in society. And it was the Christian message that gave them equality and gave them opportunity. And all the equality that we have at the heart of our nation comes from what the Bible teaches.

[26:16] Women can be co-workers. And that's just a brilliant, brilliant opportunity for service. So Priscilla is a great example for you women that you can go for it and be involved in the work of the church.

[26:34] But one of the great things about Priscilla and Aquila is that they come as a team. They come as a married couple and they served God as they could. It was quite clear that they were happier together, I think, because they're always mentioned together.

[26:51] They seemed to want to do things as a pair. That seemed to be where they were comfortable. Now they didn't have every gift because no Christian has every gift. But they used the gifts that they had.

[27:05] Now we mentioned this a wee bit in the morning, but it's a really, really important point to mention again, that the Holy Spirit has given every Christian gifts. Not every Christian has every gift, like no Christian has every gift, but every Christian has some gifts.

[27:24] Now that's really, really important for you to remember because it means that there are certain things that you are going to be more comfortable with because God has given you that gift.

[27:38] Now sometimes, maybe I've mentioned this before, but I'm going to mention it again because it's an important point, sometimes people talk about your comfort zone. Have you ever heard that phrase?

[27:48] People talk about your comfort zone and generally they use it in terms of the phrase, you've got to get out of your comfort zone. Often you'll hear preachers say that.

[27:58] And there's obviously an element of truth behind that. It's supposed to be a plea against laziness. It's saying that we mustn't just be inactive, we must be active in the service of God.

[28:10] And that's true. Often sometimes we do have to rise to the challenge of using our time well. But people often say, get out of your comfort zone.

[28:21] But part of me does not like that phrase. In fact, a big part of me doesn't like that phrase. And the reason I don't like it is because it gives the impression that in order to serve God, you have got to do something that you don't like.

[28:36] You've got to do something that you're scared of. You've got to do something that does not come naturally to you. It's giving the impression that that's all the kind of service that God is looking for.

[28:48] But that's not the New Testament teaching. The New Testament teaching is that the Holy Spirit has given you gifts. And those gifts means you have skills and abilities that will mean there's certain things that you are comfortable with, certain things that you are good at, certain things that you can use to the glory of God.

[29:06] So rather than saying to you, get out of your comfort zone, I would say to you, maximise your comfort zone. Use whatever you are comfortable with to the glory of God. If you are good at talking to people, if you're talking too much like I am, go and talk to people.

[29:21] Be friendly to them. Show them that you're interested in them. If you are good at hospitality, at cooking, at welcoming people, bring people into your home. If you are comfortable, use it for the glory of God.

[29:33] I know a woman who is very, very dear to me. She's not in this congregation. She's in another congregation. But she is very, very shy in a public situation.

[29:44] And so she does not find it easy to go to fellowships. And she doesn't find it easy to go to Bible studies, to go to a kind of small group Bible study. She would find very difficult. Some of us are far more comfortable in that situation, but she would find that very, very difficult.

[29:59] She is shy and she does not find that kind of thing easy. So if there's a fellowship at the church, she generally doesn't go. Now you could say to her, get out of your comfort zone and go to that fellowship.

[30:13] Maybe you could say that. But that woman goes home and she loves Facebook. And she picks up her iPad and she sends messages to missionaries.

[30:25] She sends messages to people who are bereaved, to people who are in hospital, to people who are in hard times. She's well off, so she sends them money. And from her living room where she is comfortable, she maximizes that for the glory of God.

[30:39] Now you might like Facebook and you can spend two hours of it reading absolute rubbish. Or you could go on Facebook and spend two hours messaging the missionaries of the world and sending them encouragement from Carly.

[30:49] That's maximizing your comfort zone. That's using the gifts that God has given us. And that's the kind of thing that we should be doing with our lives. So always remember, God has given you gifts.

[31:00] Use them for the glory of God. Don't think you have to be something that you're not. Please don't think you have to be something that you're not.

[31:10] Not everybody can stand up and preach. Not everybody can talk to somebody who's in difficulty. Not everybody can prepare a meal for people who...

[31:21] I try to cook one thing and I'm absolutely stressing out. I can't... Cooking I cannot do. I just cannot do it. But Yuna can cook for 20 people, no bother.

[31:32] Now if I put Yuna at this platform she would freeze. And she would struggle. Whereas for me I am more comfortable here than I am in the kitchen.

[31:44] Now that's probably a bad example in kitchen and preaching. You know exactly what I mean, that we all have gifts. So think about where you feel comfortable and think, how can I use that to the maximum for Jesus?

[31:59] God has given us all gifts. And one of the gifts that Priscilla and Aquila seem to have is that as a couple they were good at talking to people.

[32:10] And we get a brilliant example of this at the end of Acts. The last few verses of Acts chapter 18. Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus.

[32:20] He was an eloquent man competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord and being fervent in spirit. He spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus. Though he knew only the baptism of John.

[32:31] He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Now this is a really, really interesting incident.

[32:43] This man, Apollos, a Jew who's come from Alexandria. Now Alexandria, as I'm sure you know, is in the north coast of Egypt. A long way from the other events that we've been speaking about. Now it's clear that Apollos knows a little, but he doesn't know everything.

[32:58] And he's got a limited and a partial knowledge. Now it may be the case that because he was in Alexandria, he hadn't heard the full message of the Gospel.

[33:08] Because the general pattern from Jerusalem was that the Gospel message went north and west. Paul went up and west through Asia Minor into Greece.

[33:20] And eventually the Gospel went on to Italy. So the Gospel seemed to kind of go in that direction. Maybe more so than it came south. Maybe it was slower, I should say, in coming south to Alexandria.

[33:32] Because eventually it did very much reach that region. But at this stage, for some reason, Apollos has some knowledge, but a limited knowledge, and he seems to have not quite grasped things properly.

[33:49] And so he comes, he's good at speaking, he's eloquent, he knows the Old Testament, and he knows a bit about the Lord, and he's full of zeal, and he speaks and proclaims things concerning Jesus.

[34:03] But his knowledge of baptism is defective. He only knew about the baptism of John. And what did Priscilla and Aquila do?

[34:14] They took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Now, there is a vital lesson here.

[34:29] Notice how they handle Apollos. Apollos was full of enthusiasm, eloquent, fervent in spirit, but his knowledge was not perfect.

[34:42] And so Priscilla and Aquila do two things. They go alongside him, and they spoke to him and explained things. Now, notice what it says.

[34:52] They went to him, and they spoke to him. That's what it's telling us there. When it says this, they took him aside and explained to him. They went to him, and they spoke to him.

[35:05] Now, that's so important, because far too often, when somebody has got something wrong in their knowledge, we keep away from them, and we talk about them.

[35:18] Isn't that true? Priscilla and Aquila did the opposite. They didn't mock him, they didn't rebuke him, they didn't keep away from him, they didn't criticise him, they didn't divide from him.

[35:31] They quietly and gently took him aside and explained things to him more accurately. And that's exactly how we should be. If somebody, if an individual or a group or even a church shows that their knowledge is inaccurate, how should we respond?

[35:50] If somebody is doing something in a way that we don't do it and in a way that we don't agree with, how do we respond to that? Should we criticise them and say, look at these people, they're doing that, it's ridiculous.

[36:04] Should we criticise them? Should we mock them? Should we separate from them and say, you see them? They're obviously, they're really Christians, who knows?

[36:18] Is that what we should do? Is that what Priscilla and Aquila did of course not. They went alongside and explained things to them and that's exactly how we should be.

[36:31] And notice, they did not explain their own opinions. They explained the way of God. In other words, they explained what God has said.

[36:42] And I love the word accuracy. It reminds us that accuracy matters, accuracy to scripture. This is a fundamental principle when we are helping others. We are not going to other people with our own opinions.

[36:55] We are going to them with what God has said in his word. If we are trying to correct somebody, we do so from scripture.

[37:06] And that's something that should emphasise everything that we do. All that we should do should be biblically shaped, shaped by scripture. Here's a brilliant quotation from William Cunningham. Now, William Cunningham was one of the founders of the free church and he was one of the first professors at the free church college.

[37:24] He was the first principal, was Thomas Chalmers. William Cunningham was the second. In theology, there is of course no room for originality, properly so called, for its whole materials are contained in the actual statements of God's word.

[37:43] So what he's saying there is that we don't make up theology. There's no originality. There's no new stuff. It's just what's here already written down. And he is the greatest and best theologian who has most accurately apprehended the meaning of the statements of scripture.

[38:03] If you want to be a brilliant theologian, get to know your Bible because that's the foundation of it all. So Christianity is not about our way.

[38:14] It's not about our church's way. It's not about our island's way. It is the way of God. It is what he has said.

[38:26] And so therefore we must be biblically minded. And isn't it brilliant what it says about Apollos in verse 28? Because Priscilla and Aquila come speak to him and then it says that he then, he powerfully refuted the Jews in public showing by the scripture that the Christ was Jesus.

[38:44] They explained to him more accurately and he went on more accurately and used the Bible to explain things. So Priscilla and Aquila are a brilliant example of discipleship.

[38:56] Now discipleship is an incredibly important term where we are learning and growing as Christians. We must always, always remember that when somebody comes forward and joins the church, that's not the end of the story.

[39:09] That's the start. And from there we are to grow and to learn and we must support each other and help each other and learn from each other. That's how the church has worked from the New Testament onwards that more experienced Christians have helped support and encourage the newer Christians where they are taught, where they learn, where they grow.

[39:31] It's absolutely essential and it cannot happen if we keep away from each other. And it cannot happen if we don't talk to each other.

[39:41] That's why what Priscilla and Aquila did is such a good example. They went to Apollos and they spoke to Apollos. And at the heart of that was the fact that they loved this man.

[39:54] They didn't want to criticise him. They didn't want to keep away from him. They wanted to be there to help him. And that's a brilliant example for us all.

[40:04] As a couple they helped Apollos and many, many others. And you can be exactly the same. Now maybe you are nervous speaking to people and I certainly am.

[40:17] Take your wife with you or your husband with you. And if you're not married then you can do it with a friend. You can do it as a couple. Maybe the two of you together can support one another or pray for one another.

[40:29] Whatever our circumstances we can follow that example and we can serve and glorify God. So Priscilla and Aquila are a brilliant, brilliant example to us.

[40:40] And they use their work, their home, their marriage, all in the service of Jesus. And it's a reminder that all of life is to be lived for Jesus.

[40:52] Now this is something that we must, must not lose sight of. Calvinism, we are a Calvinistic church. At the heart of Calvinism is the fact that the whole of life is to be lived for Jesus.

[41:03] Your faith is not just for a Sunday and not just for a Thursday night. It is for every single part of life. And so whatever you do, as Christians, you are to be salt and light who are involved in the world and who are in contact with the world and who is an amazing witness because of the quality of your conduct and because of the depth of your love.

[41:24] So whatever you do, whatever you're doing this week, do it to the glory of God. Whatever you are involved in, whatever your job is, whatever your daily routine is, whether you're involved in sheep or football or the mod or first responders or community committees or parent council or whatever, it is all, all, all to the glory of God.

[41:48] And you can do it all in a way that pleases him. That's what we sang about in Psalm 19, that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart would be pleasing in God's sight.

[41:58] So whatever you are doing in life as a Christian, get involved, be involved, but be different in a good way. Stand out from the crowd by following the amazing example of Jesus and of your fellow Christians.

[42:15] So all of life is to be lived for Jesus. But the last thing I want to say as we close is the fact that Priscilla and Aquila also remind us of an incredibly important point for anybody who's maybe not yet a Christian or who's maybe not sure of things or who is seeking the Lord but uncertain.

[42:35] One of the things that can very often hold us back is because we think to ourselves, well, what will life be like if I become a Christian openly? What will life be like if I go to the prayer meeting or if I become a member?

[42:49] How is it going to affect me? Well, Priscilla and Aquila, I hope, have shown you that trusting in Jesus makes a normal life an amazing life.

[42:59] You might have a very ordinary job, but Jesus can do incredible things through it. You might have a very modest home, but it can be alive with the joy of the Lord. And you might be a very ordinary couple or you might be a very ordinary person, but if you follow Jesus, you will have joy and peace and purpose for every day and every week of your life.

[43:22] Now, the world needs to hear this desperately because so much of modern life is summed up by Ecclesiastes chapter one. This is modern, this I think speaks to modern life so much.

[43:35] And maybe, well, ask yourself if this is how your life sounds. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes but the earth remains forever.

[43:49] Sun rises, the sun goes down and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north. Around and around goes the wind and on its circuits the wind returns.

[44:01] All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full. To the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. All things are full of weariness. A man cannot utter it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

[44:14] What has been is what will be and what has been done is what will be done and there's nothing new under the sun. Now, maybe that sounds like life for you.

[44:27] Now, I can tell you that is not what life was like for Priscilla and Aquila. And if you trust in Jesus, neither will your life be like that.

[44:39] Your life will be full of meaning, full of purpose, full of joy. That is what everyone needs to hear today. That if you trust in Jesus, your life will not be like that.

[44:54] It will be a billion times better. So let's all use our lives in the service of God. Let's pray.