Book of Acts Chapter Nineteen (Part One)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that believers should be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. Today, we hope to continue our look at Paul’s ministry in Ephesus.

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Body:

Read Acts 19:1-16

D. The Third Missionary Journey. 1. Ephesus: The Power of The Word. In this section of the book of Acts, Paul went to Ephesus. He helped some disciples who experienced John’s baptism to be baptized into the name of Jesus, and they received the Holy Spirit. They spoke in tongues and prophesied.

Paul ministered in the synagogues and then the lecture hall, after things got tense in the synagogue. Many miracles were performed. Some people who were trying to act in the name of Jesus without anointing were beaten up by the possessed man.

Applications –

- Helping people grow in the Lord. Notice in vss. 1-7 that Paul ministered to people who had not received the Holy Spirit nor had they been baptized into Jesus. First, it is important to understand the transitional nature of this text. It seems that this text shows us that the same Holy Spirit that came on those in Jerusalem came on those in our text. Thus, we see the mention of speaking in tongues here, as in Jerusalem.

Second, anyone who doesn’t have the Holy Spirit today is not saved. When we accept Jesus as our savior by faith, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. No Spirit, no salvation. Now, it is possible that one is saved and unconscious of having the Spirit, but it is not possible to be saved and be without the Holy Spirit.

Third, baptism is an outward sign of a saved person’s identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. So the baptism of those who have not accepted Christ and the baptism of those who are not committing to Christ are not Christian baptisms.

Fourth, tongue speaking, in the congregation, is only godly when there is an interpreter (see I Cor. 14:27-28). Otherwise, it is self-centered, instead of edifying to the body.

This is also the case with the “tongue of silence.” When a supposed believer sits like a bump on a log during praise and worship, his/her silence is an uninterpreted tongue. Let’s work on helping people get saved and growing to live out the symbolism of Christian baptism.

- Faithfulness, in spite of responses and location. Notice the dynamics of vss. 8-10 of this section of the book of Acts. First, as you minister to people, it is good to remember some people will be receptive to God’s word and some will not. In fact some may become hostile.

As with Samuel, in I Samuel 8:6-8, it is not personal. Those who oppose the word of God and become hostile are actually hostile against God (see Acts 9:4-5).

Second, although it may be time to go, God may be calling you to simply go next door. You should prayerfully consider the options that are before you, seek wise counsel, and decide if God is calling you to leave or stay. If you decide that God wants you to leave, notice that it can be leaving one place to go right next door. Seek God’s wisdom about leaving and where to go.

Third, faithfulness is so important. Whether you stay where you are, go next door, or go somewhere else; whether people are receptive to your ministry or not – you are called to be faithful. Don’t let the record show that you quit on God. Let’s work on being faithful in obeying God, no matter how people respond and no matter where we are located.


- God’s use of Paul. Notice in vss. 11-12 of the book of Acts that God did great work through Paul. First, it was more God and less Paul. There are too many who put too much emphasis on the person and not enough emphasis on the Lord. We should remember that it was the Lord who did great things through Paul.

Second, since God is as great today, as He was yesterday, God can still do great things through whomever He chooses. God can work through you and through me. Let’s allow God to do whatever He wants to do in and through our lives. We already know that God wants to do the great works on evangelizing, edifying, loving, and worshipping through our lives.

- The danger of acting outside our anointing. Notice in vss. 13-16 of this section of the book of Acts the danger of perpetrating or acting without anointing. There are too many people who behave as if they are entitled to do what they want to do in the local church and directly or indirectly in the name of Jesus.

The danger of this is that the devil respects anointing, but he has no regard for the unanointed. “Anointing” is a reference to being authorized and accompanied by the Holy Spirit.

God sends Pastors to feed and lead the church. When members go off and do what they want to do without the blessings of the God sent leader, they run the risk of experiencing negative results similar to what is seen in in the book of Acts.

We ought not forget that God’s church is a spiritual situation. We have God’s Spirit and the devil’s spirits wrestling for control. Let’s make sure we don’t act outside of our anointing.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.

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