· Paul traveled to Ephesus
· There he found some believers who knew of Jesus, but had not heard of the Holy Sprit
· They had heard of Jesus but the power of God’s presence, the Holy Spirit was not taught
· They had baptized the same way John had been baptizing
· Paul explained that John’s baptism was to for repentance to prepare people for Jesus
· But that the true object of their hope was in Jesus
· They were then baptized in the name of Jesus and received the Holy Spirit
· (There seems to be an interim time here where many folks believe Jesus is the Messiah, but only know part of the story. Once they experience the full gospel - life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of sin – they receive the Holy Spirit as true members of God’s family.)
· Paul started teaching in the synagogue but the message was rejected.
· Those who did believe followed Paul who began teaching in the Gentile public areas
· Paul stayed for two years in Asia as the Gospel spread throughout the region of Asia
· This was a special time of extraordinary miracles through Paul
· Some try to imitate Paul and drive demons out by the name of Jesus
· Seven sons of a Jewish priest tried this but the demon possessed man just beat them
· People saw both the power of Jesus and the seriousness of following him
· This motivated many to confess their sin and get rid of their paraphernalia used for sorcery
· After the Gospel spread throughout that region Paul decided to visit the churches that were started on the last journey, go to Jerusalem, and then to Rome and a new mission field
· Around this time a silversmith who was losing money because people were not buying idols anymore stirred up others who were either losing money or had devotion to the false idols
· A mob formed grabbing to Christians and holding them in a great theatre.
· Paul wanted to address the crowd but many counseled him not to
· There was much spiritual fervor for the idol Artemis of the Ephesians, but no coherent reason for why they were doing what they were doing.
· Finally a city clerk addressed the crowd and pointed out there was no real reason for the commotion, and that the accuser really needed to take their case to the courts (if they really had one). The crowd then left.
· Salvation, the Holy Spirit, and how God works cannot be determined by a simple formula. The core issue is that Jesus is the Messiah who died and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins. Those who put their trust in this good news receive salvation as evidenced by the Holy Spirit.
· Just because one person or group rejects the good news doesn’t mean we stop sharing. We could be just one more person away from a massive response to the gospel.
· The power in the name of Jesus is real and is to be taken seriously
· When the Gospel threatens the livelihood or conscience of those who do not accept it, they will react strongly
· Trust in God in the face of opposition
Forgive me for trying to figure you out and put you in to a box I can measure and control. Help me live by faith in Jesus who gave his life for me and rose again that I might be forgiven and spend eternity with you. Continue to stir in me the passion to share the good news with others, and strengthen me to continue to share even when the message is rejected by some. Father, I pray for a great harvest. May you lead me, and those in our gathering, to folks who desire your Good News and need Jesus.
In the name of Jesus I pray, AMEN
Posted on Mon, March 2, 2015
by Joel King