ACTS 19 - THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS

Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California

Copyright 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved


The Third Missionary Journey has Just begun and the Apostle Paul and his team has just arrived at the city of Ephesus.

The Church Rebaptized

A. The question - Acts 19:2. These people were disciples (Acts 19:1), believers (Acts 19:2), and baptized believers (Acts 19:3). They, like Apollos, knew all about salvation and about the baptism of John the Baptist, but nothing about the Holy Spirit.

and he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." (Acts 19:2)

And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, (Acts 19:1)

And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." (Acts 19:3)

B. The baptism into Christ - Acts 19:4-5 and Romans 5:3-5

And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:4-5)

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

C. The experience of the Holy Spirit - Acts 19:6-7

And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. And there were in all about twelve men. (Acts 19:6-7)

1. It is God's will for our lives - Ephesians 5:17-18

So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, (Ephesians 5:17-18)

2. It is for believers - Acts 1:8

but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

3. It produces results

D. The witness of Paul - Acts 19:10

And this took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. (Acts 19:10)

The Church Renewed

A. Extra-ordinary miracles - Acts 19:11-12

And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. (Acts 19:11-12)

B. The itinerant exorcists

1. The exorcists were unknown to the evil spirit - Acts 19:13-15

But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches." And seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" (Acts 19:13-15)

2. The evil spirit overcame seven men - Acts 19:16

And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (Acts 19:16)

3. People practicing magic and witchcraft turned from it and burned their books valued at 50,000 pieces of silver (about $10,000 today) - Acts 19:17-20

And this became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. (Acts 19:17-20)

The Church Rebuked

A. Paul sends scouts ahead - Acts 19:21-22

Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome." And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. (Acts 19:21-22)

B. The anger of the silversmiths - Acts 19:23-27

And about that time there arose no small disturbance concerning the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, "Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. "And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all. "And not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship should even be dethroned from her magnificence." (Acts 19:23-27)

The principal industry of the city was in jeopardy! The temple of Diana (Artemis) took 220 years to build. It was 425 feet long, 220 feet wide and was supported by 127 pillars of marble each 60 feet high. The month of May was "Diana's Month." There were many activities including chariot racing in the 25,000 seat theater, gladiatorial combats, and processions of priests and priestesses carrying images of the goddess. During the procession, the people shouted "Great is Diana of the Ephesians." The souvenir business was important to the image makers.

C. The riot - Acts 19:28-41

And when they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" And the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia. And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him. And also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater. So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and the majority did not know for what cause they had come together. And some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander, since the Jews had put him forward; and having motioned with his hand, Alexander was intending to make a defense to the assembly. But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" And after quieting the multitude, the town clerk said, "Men of Ephesus, what man is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis, and of the image which fell down from heaven? "Since then these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash. "For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. "So then, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against any man, the courts are in session and proconsuls are available; let them bring charges against one another. "But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly. "For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today's affair, since there is no real cause for it; and in this connection we shall be unable to account for this disorderly gathering." And after saying this he dismissed the assembly. (Acts 19:28-41)

Study Questions

1. What was John's baptism? - Acts 19:4

And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." (Acts 19:4)

2. What does it mean to be baptized into Christ? - Romans 6:3-5

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, (Romans 6:3-5)

3. What two spiritual gifts became evident when they were filled with the Holy Spirit? - Acts 19:6

And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. (Acts 19:6)

4. Is it possible for a person to come to God because of fear? - Acts 19:17-18

And this became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. (Acts 19:17-18)

5. What did the people do when they realized that some of their practices were demon inspired? - Acts 19:18-19

Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. (Acts 19:18-19)

6. Why was Demetrius upset? - Acts 19:24-25

For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, "Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. (Acts 19:24-25)

7. Diana was a Roman goddess. What was the equivalent in the Greek world?

8. What evidence do you see here of mob psychology?

9. Did the town clerk speak wisely? - Acts 19:35-41

And after quieting the multitude, the town clerk said, "Men of Ephesus, what man is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis, and of the image which fell down from heaven? "Since then these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash. "For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. "So then, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against any man, the courts are in session and proconsuls are available; let them bring charges against one another. "But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly. "For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today's affair, since there is no real cause for it; and in this connection we shall be unable to account for this disorderly gathering." And after saying this he dismissed the assembly. (Acts 19:35-41)


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