Brethren in Service
1 Cor. 16: 10-12
In serving the Lord, we need somebody to help us. We cannot do it all alone by ourselves. The term
“one-man army” or “one-man band” will never work no matter how gifted and good you are. God
did not intend us to do so. Paul is mentioning two of his trusted co laborer in the Lord, Timothy and
Apollos. Though we are in the end part of this letter, I think I still have to continue and change my
original schedule for a week or two yet before finishing this lesson and start with a new one.
Illustration 1: Willing to do Little Things
A good many are kept out of the service of Christ, deprived of the luxury of working for God,
because they are trying to do some great thing. Let us be willing to do little things. And let us
remember that nothing is small in which God is the source.
D. L. Moody, quoted in The Berean Call, Bend, Oregon, March, 1997
I. Timothy (1 Cor. 6:10-11)
A. Timothy was saved and called under Paul’s ministry (1Tim. 1:2; Acts 14:19-21; 16:1-
3). Timothy’s mother and grandmother were believers, and they had taught him the
Word of God (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:15). Timothy accompanied Paul on his travels and was
left in charge of certain of the churches they started (Acts 17:14-15; 18:5; 19:22;
20:4; Rom. 16:21; 1 Cor. 4:17; 16:10; Ph. 2:19; 1 Thess. 3:2,6; Heb. 13:23).
Timothy’s position of authority in the early churches is seen in the fact that he is
mentioned as co-author of some of Paul’s epistles (2Co 1:1; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1; Phm.
B. Here we can see that the Apostle Paul have sent Timothy to Corinth. (1 Cor. 4:17).
C. Paul asks the Corinthians that he be treated kindly. Timothy was a young preacher
and Paul doesn’t want the Corinthian Christians to belittle him because of his age.
He wants them to give Timothy the respect that he deserves because of his office
“for he worketh the work of the Lord” he is Divinely appointed, as Paul also.
II. Apollos (1 Cor 6: 12)
A. A Jew “born at Alexandria,” an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, (Acts
18:24). He came to Ephesus (about A.D. 49), where he spake “boldly” in the
synagogue (Acts 18:26), although he did not know as yet that Jesus of Nazareth was
the Messiah. Aquila and Priscilla instructed him more perfectly in “the way of God”,
i.e., in the knowledge of Christ. He then proceeded to Corinth, where he met Paul
(Acts 18:27; 19:1). He was there very useful in watering the good seed Paul had
sown (1 Cor. 1:12), and in gaining many to Christ. His disciples were much attached
to him (1 Cor. 3:4-7,22). He was with Paul at Ephesus when he wrote the First
Epistle to the Corinthians; and Paul makes kindly reference to him in his letter to
Titus (Tit. 3:13).
B. Paul called him “our brother Apollos.” The New Testament does not address
preachers with exalted titles such as “Reverend” or “His Holiness” or “Archbishop”
or “Cardinal” or “Pope.” Though Apollos was a mighty preacher, he was merely “our
brother.” Peter called Paul “our beloved brother” (2 Pet. 3:15).
C. Paul want Apollos to visit Corinth but for some reason he cannot make it. He did not
want to return to Corinth at this time. He would visit them when “he shall have
D. Two things we can see here concerning Timothy and Apollos.
1. The first is the strong sense of unity and cooperation between Paul, Apollos, and
Timothy. This is in contrast to the factions and competition which existed among
leaders and followers alike in Corinth (see chapters 1-3). Paul encouraged other
men to minister at Corinth and he commends them highly to the church. By
doing this, he enhanced and strengthened the ministries of Timothy and Apollos.
He did not consider this two as competitor or a threat to his ministry.
2. The second thing is about Paul ‘s respect for other Christian leaders and their
perception of God ‘s leading in their lives. We have already witnessed that Paul
did not claim miraculous or spectacular guidance with respect to his plans to
visit the Corinthians in the future. He expressed his desires and intentions but
with a sensitivity to the fact that God ‘s will might not confirm to his plans, and
that his plans would have to change. Here, Paul indicates his humility in
reference to the plans of Apollos. He thought a visit by Apollos would be good;
Apollos disagreed. Paul accepts the judgment of Apollos as God ‘s leading.
Illustration 2: A Servant Attitude
People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centred. Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
People really need help, but may attack you if you do help them. Help them anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.
John R. W. Stott, The Preacher’s Portrait, Some New Testament Word Studies, (Grand Rapids: Wm.
B. Eerdmans Publ. Co., 1961), pp. 100ff
Paul, Timothy and Apollos were partners in ministry. They were all divinely appointed to
serve the Lord and they all share the same passion in serving the Christ. Paul also helped
boost the ministry of this two and so that they can serve the Lord better. Paul did not
show any insecurity and jealousy to this two specially to Apollos who is a very eloquent
speaker and mighty in the scriptures. Will you be like Paul or Timothy or Apollos? We
cannot be like them but we still can serve the Lord faithfully together with other