Helpers In Christ

Helpers In Christ

Romans 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.

The Helpers Understanding Revealed In Service

We don’t know when it was that Priscilla and Aquila had believed the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ but we do know when they first appear within the scriptures. 

We’re not sure if it was through Paul’s preaching that the gospel was first shared with him but we are sure that he first met them in the city of Corinth.

turn in your bibles to the book of Acts chapter 18

Acts 18:1–3 

After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

When Paul had first met them they had recently come from the city of Rome, there was an order by the emperor that all Jews would depart from Rome and here they are found in the city of Corinth. But in this gospel to the Romans, both Priscilla and Aquila are saluted in Rome.

It is clear therefore that there had come a time when they had been able to return to the city of Rome meanwhile however they had gone on quite a ministry journey and they did not conclude their journey in Rome but in the city of Ephesus.

Paul in this salutation refers to them as “Helpers in Christ Jesus”, and helpers they certainly were. The service they rendered to the Lord, we will see, was one of self sacrifice, preparation, diligence and celebrated in thanks giving of all the churches including the gratefulness of the apostle Paul.

Aquila was a Jew, we are told in Acts 18:2, he was born in the region of Pontus, this today is the North Eastern portion of Turkey, Galatia was on its western border. 

He had recently come from Italy, specifically from the city of Rome under commandment of the emperor who expelled all the jews from the City and he came to Corinth with his wife Priscilla.

Aquilla shared the same trade skill as the Apostle Paul, both of them were Tent makers and, while ministering the Gospel of the Lord in Corinth, they earned a living from this occupation together.

Now the passage in the book of Acts from the first meeting of this couple in the first few verses goes on to speak of Paul’s other commitments and his trouble in Corinth, and then they reappear in verse 18

Acts 18:18–19 

18 And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shornhis head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow. 19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. 

Priscilla and Aquilla had journeyed with Paul from Cenchrea (where we met Phebe and her church last time) to Syria and then on to Ephesus where Paul parted from them.

Their desire was for him to stay with them (v20), but his was to continue on to Jerusalem and hoped to return to them if the Lord will (v21).

Now while Paul was taking his journey we see that both Priscilla and Aquilla remained ministering in Ephesus, they met a man fervent in the Gospel named Apollo who they took under their wing, (we will come to this event again in the next point). 

Now while Apollo journeyed on to Corinth (Acts 19:1), they remained in Ephesus and began a Church there in their house.

Turn to 1 Cor 16:19

Now Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians after his second missionary Journey, from the City of Ephesus, we see him speaking of tarrying there until Pentecost in 1 Cor 1:16:8.

1 Corinthians 16:19 

19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 

Now it is about a year later that they are returned to Rome when Paul writes his Roman Epistle and salutes them. 

But their ministry service was not yet concluded.

Nearing the end of Paul’s life he writes what we may see as his final letter and addresses it to Timothy. It was the second letter addressed to him in the Bible, and lo we again see both Aquilla and Pricilla returned to minister in Ephesus, for this is the city in which Timothy himself was a pastor.

Turn to 2 Tim 4:18-19

Paul writes this letter, knowing that the time of his departure is at hand (2 Tim 4:6) and again addresses his first salutation to Priscilla and Aquilla in verse 19;

2 Timothy 4:18–20 

18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus

Now, why have I spent so much time showing you the extent of the Ministry of this couple?

I have done so that you might see that no person would ever spend such devoted time in such ministry as this, willing to take themselves off wherever the Lord would have them, without a deep understanding of the infinite value of the Gospel!


Those who truly understand the infinite value of the Gospel, the joy of eternal life, the freedom and courage of a life no longer fearful of judgment, the Faith in knowing that “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose” 

Those who truly understand the Gospel and its value, these and these alone have the desire to live the balance of their lives as “Helpers in Christ Jesus”.

Priscilla and Aquilla, and countless Christians throughout history, revealed their understanding of all Jesus had done for them and for the world, BY THEIR SERVICE.


If you are called by God to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ in any capacity, do not stop along the way to become a King!

If an UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT IS TO BE A “HELPER OF CHRIST JESUS” in the ministry of life ETERNAL, why place that on hold to be a PRIME MINISTER?

Ephesians 2:10 

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 

Priscilla and Aquilla used their employment as a tool to enable them to be HELPERS OF CHRIST JESUS.


The Helpers Preparation Revealed In Serendipity.

Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 

There is a voluntary preparation through which all helpers in Christ Jesus desire to prepare themselves. 

When a man, woman or child is born again and new life is given them, they are as children and desire to learn more and more of the truth of that which has occurred to them. They have new life and now they have hope and joy they desire to share, but how?

Much of all they had once believed as true has proven to be false and now they know they have seen the way, the truth and the life and desire to learn all they can that other may also have hope.

So preparation is undertaken.

To what end?

To opportunities end!

Serendipity is when opportunity and preparedness meet.

Priscilla and Aquilla demonstrate just such Serendipity in Acts 18.

Acts 18:24–28 

24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 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. 26 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. 27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. 

O there is much we could speak of the character of Apollos, his willingness to listen and to hear the exposition of the way of God more perfectly, is a testimony of his humility.

Apollos went on to become a great preacher of the Lord in the city of Corinth, in Achaia. Paul refers to him no less than seven times in his first letter to the Corinthians. 

But none of this would have occurred had not Priscilla and Aquilla prepared themselves to understand the Gospel more perfectly to bless this man at this “Chance” meeting.

Now we call it chance, we call it “Serendipity”, but we know all things ordained of God for good purpose. Nevertheless, we speak to it as an OPPORTUNITY THAT MEETS PREPARATION.

This couple saw the opportunity to present to this wonderful ORATOR, who knew ONLY “the baptism of John”, the way of God more perfectly, preaching unto him Jesus.

They could not have done so had they not been prepared, had they not spent those many days with Paul to hear the truth of God with understanding and share it with clarity.

Now, the word of God as we have it was not complete in those days. We have before us the FULL COUNSEL OF GOD and therein have all opportunity at our disposal to gain the preparation we need to share of this wonderful hope.

Priscilla and Aquilla learned at the feet of Paul the Apostle, yet here and today we learn the word of God at the Feet of THE WORD himself, Jesus.

They had not neglected this opportunity, knowing Paul would not remain long with them, what of we when we have the ready opportunity always?

Ahhhh, perhaps its not good for us to read of this couple in too much detail. Perhaps it convicts us far too much of our own lack. But if the comparison is not given here where will it be given?

We live in a time when OPPORTUNITY for the Gospel abounds. Under every rock there is a chance of GOLD, yet we turn NONE OVER??? 

Are we even prepared to share the hope of Christ?

Do we understand the Gospel of Christ?

Are we willing to even be as that young sixteen year old girl who said to this teenage boy… “God is…open your eyes and look around”?

Have we even prepared our hearts?

Perhaps this is the first place we need to go. 

Do you care for the lost around you that when OPPORTUNITY comes knocking at your door, ringing on the phone, stumbling in the street or looking for direction, have you have prepared your heart to love them enough to direct them to Christ?

What is clear by this couple’s service and willingness and ability to answer Apollos, is that they have both heart and mind prepared through prayer and knowledge that any opportunity is able to be taken advantage of.

What of you?

Are you willing to VALUE this Gospel enough that you might sacrifice some time on your knees and in his word?

The Helpers Value Revealed In Sacrifice

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. 

It is perhaps not properly referred to in this point headline, but the “Helpers Value” that titles this point does not refer to the ‘value of the helper’, but what the Helper Values.

What the Helper values most is revealed in what they are willing to sacrifice most for its attainment.

There are multitudes of people around the world who place a value on their time.

They are willing to sell their time for money and place a price on that time. They are willing to sacrifice time, which they might spend in other pursuits, to an employer to gain food, fuel, education, transport, shelter… money that is easily transferable to all of these ends.

The willing sacrifice for multitudes of people is time.

Some make poor choices in the use of time, some make good choices, and others seem to have the ability of multiplying their time attending to many services at one time.

What the “Helpers Value” most is REVEALED in what they are willing to sacrifice for its attainment.

This is what is revealed here respecting Priscilla and Aquilla. 4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks

The phrase “laid down their own necks” refers to resting the head on the executioners chopping block and exposing the neck to the axe.

Both Priscilla and Aquilla had demonstrated their willingness to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of Paul. There was an event, not described in the Bible, to which they willingly offered their own lives in the place of Paul, that they would die so Paul may live.

We don’t know what that event might have been, there are speculations but there was a great deal of ministry had between them up to this point historically, it is impossible to say. But suffice to say that God had delivered them from death and so blessed a continuation of their faithful ministry.

Three short subpoints to this matter;

Paul’s life valued more.

Jesus said that John 15:13

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

There would need to be an evaluation going on in the minds of Priscilla and Aquilla to have determined a value, a level of importance between their lives and that of Paul. Something concerning whatever event transpired, must have crossed their minds to consider Paul’s life as greatly worthy of protecting and preserving for the sake of the Gospel than their own.

If God would see it as acceptable, they trusted the Value of the Gospel better propagated in the hand of Paul than themselves, and so were willing to sacrifice their lives for his.

Every youth camp we play a game called ‘Underground Church’ on the last night of camp. The game is over when the pastor or pastors are caught. It is the duty of the youth to willingly sacrifice themselves for the sake of the Pastor that the game would continue as long as possible and more points through Church services would be attained.

And so these congregation members are taken into “prison”, and temporarily removed from participation in the game.

What they value is the continuation of the game more than they do the freedom to practically participate for a time.

They valued the Pastors participation greater than their own, for his participation benefits many.

Turn to 2 Samuel 18:1–4

And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also. But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it isbetter that thou succour us out of the city. And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.

And so did Priscilla and Aquilla ascribe value to Paul, and for that the text tells us;

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. 

We will speak more to their impact revealed by Celebration in the last point.

Souls of the Lost valued more.

If it be true that Paul has reached and will reach, through his ministry, far more souls than they, and they valued the souls of the Lost, both then and now, greater than their own lives, then so are they willing to sacrifice themselves for the Gospels sake.

Beloved, many believe that the event in which Priscilla and Aquilla had willingly “laid down their necks” for Paul, occurred when he first met them in the city of Corinth. 

They believe this to be the case because, though Paul salutes them often, after he departs from them in Ephesus he is not seen again with them, and there was violence in the city when Paul preached there (See Acts 18).

Now should Paul not have survived the event, almost all of his letters would never have been written, for most of them were penned during and after this second missionary journey.

How many people have been saved when a loving friend took them through the Romans road of salvation since the time of Paul?

How many have heard of the liberty we now have in Christ through the epistle to the Galatians, that we excitedly share this glorious Gospel to all who would hear?

You see, it was not only the immediate value of Pauls ministry in the heart of this couple, but all who would gain from his writing from that time forward. 

Your life multiplies its value when you value the souls of the lost more than you do your own life.


Your life multiplies its value when you value the souls of the lost more than you do your own life.

The person you touch with the Gospel today may go on and reach thousands for Christ in the future. But what do you value more?

Priscilla and Aquilla believed the sacrifice of, not only their time, but their very lives, was worth the value of the Gospel even for one more person.

So I ask you, what do you value so much to spend your time doing? 

Let me answer for you. 

What you value most is what you spend your voluntary time doing!


On Friday, January 6th, 1956 five young men in their early to mid twenties finally made contact with the Auca tribe of Equador.

One man and two women approached them. The five missionaries showed them rubber bands, yo yo’s and other gifts.

On Sunday January 8th they were due to radio in at 4:30 pm, but no message came. Silence for several hours and a search party was launched.

Four of the five bodies of these young men was recovered, all lanced to death, the fifth was never found.

All the men were married, four of them were fathers, one of the wives had a new born baby. Her three year old son was heard to tell the crying baby, “Never you mind, when we get to heaven Ill show you which one is daddy”.

Jim Elliot was one of the young missionaries who died. It was he who wrote;

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”.


What do you value so much you are willing to exchange your voluntary time doing? 


The Helpers Impact Revealed In Celebration. 

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 GentilesLikewise greet the church that is in their house.

God alone knows the true impact everyone has on one another. 

God alone knows the blessings accomplished by faithful ministry, he knows who are touched by the work of the Gospel, he knows the impact on the heart, both immediate and in time.

He alone knows how much that impact has multiplied one person after another, he knows those through whom the Gospel stops, and those through whom a hundred fold increase is manifested. 

When I see in this passage that the Apostle Paul gives thanks to the sacrificial ministry of one couple, and that this thanks is multiplied through “all the churches of the Gentiles”, I am struck that such an impact was made by this couple to have it eternally recorded in holy writ.

God does not put anything in the Bible that has no value, and the impact upon multitudes must have been accomplished by the simple and faithful ministry of this couple, and the only way we can have it revealed is through the thankful celebration of those who know the impact.


Jesus spoke a parable in the Gospel of Luke that gives to us yet another small indication of the impact of the gospel when it is received.

Turn to Luke 15:4–10

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.


Mark 9:41 

41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 

If this be true, if this is an indicator of the eternal impact of all we do as “Helpers of Christ Jesus”, then how should we consider the use of our time?

Angles in heaven rejoice over one sinner that repents.

Reward eternal for but one cup of water given in the name of Jesus.

How much do you value your time and what you spend you time doing in the light of such impact? I mean, is not the potential impact of your own life for things eternal INFINATE?

Just one sinner you share the gospel with…and angels in heaven rejoice?

JUST ONE CUP of water given in Jesus name…and rewards eternal are given?

It was a Sunday school teacher who purposefully passed by a shoe store in Boston in 1858. He was quite nervous and went by the window a couple of times before he found the courgage to go in and speak to the young sales assistant.

Edward Kimbal was his name, and he was also young, but he always took the time to personally give each student in his class the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. 

But there was this one fellow that he was concerned about and so he determined to see him personally at work.

He went in the store, he spoke to the young man of Jesus Christ and eternal life, and right there Dwight, Leman Moody was born again.

DL Moody became the greatest evangelist in modern history…but the story does not stop there;

Moody became an international speaker and toured the British Isles.  He preached in a little chapel pastored by a young man named Frederic Meyer.  In his sermon, he told the story of his Sunday School teacher.  That message changed Pastor Meyer’s ministry, inspiring him to become an evangelist like Moody.  Meyer eventually preached in America, where a young preacher heard him say, “If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?”  That remark led J. Wilbur Chapman to respond to God’s call on his life.

Wilbur Chapman went on to become an effective evangelist.  He enlisted the help of a volunteer named Billy Sunday who helped him set up for his evangelist ministry.  Billy Sunday learned how to preach by watching Chapman and eventually took over Chapman’s ministry, becoming a dynamic evangelist.  Billy Sunday’s preaching brought thousands to Christ.

Inspired by a Billy Sunday Crusade in Charlotte, North Carolina, a group of Christian men dedicated themselves to reaching their city for Christ.  They invited an evangelist Mordecai Ham to come and hold a series of evangelistic meetings.  The year was 1932.  A local farmer loaded his pick-up truck with neighbors and brought them to the meetings.  One was a 16 year old boy who sat in the crowd each night spellbound by the message.  Each evening the preacher seemed to be shouting and waving his finger at the young man.  Night after night, the teenager came and finally on the last night, he went forward and gave his life to Christ.  

That teenager was Billy Graham.

Billy Graham went on to communicate the Gospel to more people in history, to this day the MCG in Melbourne has never had a greater crowd than when Billy Graham preached there in 1959. The Australian evangelistic ministry by Graham in that year draw 3 million people to attend in person during, it was said that half the population of Australia either attended or tuned in on Television to hear the Gospel of Christ by Billy Graham. 

The Sydney Morning Herald called the Crusade “one of the most remarkable religious phenomena ever experienced in this city”.

All this because one hundred years earlier a nervous Sunday School teacher shared the Gospel with a young man he was concerned about!

Psalm 115:1 

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.

Beloved, the reality is this;

  • Your understanding of the value of the Gospel will motivate you to do the most wonderful work that only God will know the impact and reward accordingly.
  • Your preparation in prayer and in knowledge will be able to take advantage of any opportunity, even if you are nervous to do so, The Lord will take over and multiply the result.
  • You’re valuing the Gospel to the extent it warrants will have you willing to surrender anything for its work
  • Finally, your impact will one day be revealed in the eternal celebration where thanks will be made and your Saviour will say, “well done my good and faithful servant,… enter thou  into the joy of thy Lord

So many wonderful truths were gleaned from this faithful couple. 

How I pray it impacts you too.



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