Sunday, 19 November 2017

Acts Chapter 19 (contd.) - The Influence of Paul


Continuing on in chapter 19 of Acts today we move on to see the influence Paul had in three different situations.


We left off in verse 7 with Paul still in Ephesus in Questions are Important  and now we see he spends a lot more time there.


verses 8 - 10

This tells us about the boldness of Paul when he went into the synagogue over a period of 3 months to teach the people.

The result however was that people were hardened to the message and spoke badly of Paul and Christianity so that he and the disciples that were with him moved on to The School of Tyrannus (still in Ephesus) where he stayed for 2 years daily speaking and reasoning about the Lord.  It looks like there may now have been more than Luke, Timothy and Silas as disciples along with Paul from the way the verse is worded.

This led to another result found in verse 10

10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.


I think we can say that this was a great result - such a spread of the Gospel.

Perseverance and dedication and the truth bring the right results.

verses 11 - 20

Here now is an instance where we read about the miracles that God did through Paul.  People obviously recognised the power that was at work and sought out healing especially.

But there were others who wanted to try to use this work of the Spirit to benefit themselves even though they were not believers.

It is in this passage that we see how evil spirits can recognise the true power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of the believers in Christ; but there is no power in unbelievers that evil spirits will have to recognise or obey as we read the following in verse 15


15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; 
but who are you?”


The result from this was that the unbelievers were at the power of the evil spirits instead of the other way around.




Do we even realise the authority we have as believers?

What authority do we have?

We need to make sure we do not get the wrong idea here so the best thing to do is check this with other Scripture.  (Remember the Bereans in chapter 17  Daily Scriptures)


Let's look at the Great Commission in Matthew chapter 28 verses 18 - 20

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.


All authority has been given to Jesus and so He commands us to go and make disciples with The Holy Spirit in our lives so that we have the power of Jesus still with us.

We are not in charge and we are not powerful the only thing we can do is let the The Holy Spirit work through us as we obey God and tell others about him.


So this altercation between the unbelievers trying to use the name of Paul to do the same miracles that he did was then obviously talked about everywhere in Ephesus but even though it may have seemed like a victory for the devil the result was really that Glory was brought to God.


17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.


Great changes were made in peoples lives and nothing stopped the spread of God's Word.


20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.



The right influence works wonders.


verses 21 - 41

We are still in Asia with Paul to see some more of his influence here.


21 When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.


verse 22 mentions two of the people who ministered with Paul so this would agree with the impression from above that there were now more disciples along with Paul than we had previously known about.

Now Paul sends Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia -  an example of 2 people who he has discipled becoming leaders themselves, obviously going to help the believers in Macedonia that we heard about in previous chapters and hence now themselves going to be discipling others.
More of the influence of Paul.

What hint are we having about the future for Paul here?

He feels he should go to Jerusalem again and then later on to Rome.

But for the moment he stays in Ephesus in Asia where it is evident from verse 26 that some people do not like the influence he has had on the people there and in other parts of Asia


26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.

There was very widespread influence of Paul here that some people were getting very annoyed and there was a lot of tension in the community.

The silversmiths and others involved in the manufacturing of idols are seeing people believing in Jesus and turning away from the gods they had previously worshipped particularly the Goddess Diana and this was seriously effecting their businesses so there was a riot in Ephesus.

The story of Paul continues......




No comments:

Post a Comment