BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 17, Day 3: Acts 19

Summary of passage:  Paul is now in Ephesus and he runs into some disciples who had not been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (this shows us still just how much misunderstanding and confusion abounded during these early days of the Church) so Paul re-baptized them.

Paul spoke in the synagogue there fore 3 months but left when some Jews were barring the Way.  He moved to the lecture hall (or gymnasium) of Tyrannus and spoke for 2 years to all the Jews and Greeks in Asia (what we call Asia Minor).  God did extraordinary miracles through Paul during this time and when the Seven Sons of Sceva tried to mimic him for their own personal gain, they were set upon by the evil spirit and beaten badly.

Yet God used this for when word spread of what happened to the Sons many more were converted and repented of their sorcery.  Others saw this and converted as well.

Then Paul decided it was time to move on.  He sent Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia while he planned to go to Jerusalem.  Before he left, a riot broke out instigated by the craftsmen who were losing business since Artemis was slowly being replaced by Jesus.  Finally, a city clerk had to quiet the crowd by saying they either bring up charges or be charged with rioting.  The group quickly disassembled.


5)  Holy Spirit

6)  Paul began in the synagogues (as usual) and preached there for about 3 months until some of the Jews became obstinate.  So he moved his teaching to the lecture hall (or gymnasium) of Tyrannus where he preached for 2 years.  He performed miracles and spread the Word to most of Asia (Asia Minor).

Paul then decides it is time to move on to Jerusalem via Macedonia and Achaia but before that happens a riot breaks out in Ephesus, led by the craftsmen who are losing customers as more people convert to Christianity.

7)  God does not like deception and to be careful when messing around with evil spirits and the occult and spiritual warfare.  What you may think is innocent or a mere profit scheme could lead to terrible repercussions.

8a)  Those who repented backed up their words with actions.  They burned their scrolls (basically flushed money down the toilet) to show their hearts to God and so no one else could use them.  Faith is more than words.  It’s actions.  You must walk the talk.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Hurtful words.

9)  In John 19:10-11 we are reminded powerfully how God allowed Jesus to be crucified even though Pilate wanted Jesus to go free.  God is in control of all.  In Acts 16:37-9, Paul’s Roman citizenship protected him in the Roman Empire and allowed him to spread the word more freely.  In Romans 13:1-7, God has established all authority over us (which includes our parents) so if you rebel against authority you are rebelling against God.  If you do what is right, you will be rewarded.

In our passage, Acts 19, a riot threatens Paul and his journey (a riot is outside the established authority) but a city clerk finally contains the crowd enough to allow reason to prevail.  Here, Paul once again escapes the wrath of non-believers because they are outside of the law.  God used the clerk to allow Paul to continue his missionary journey despite the resistance all around him.

Conclusions:  Lots of nuggets in this passage.  I see again the message of doing what is right over what is evil (2 Thessalonians 3:13) from the riot.  The Seven Sons of Sceva felt first hand what it is like to mess around with evil spirits.  People today take this lightly (like palm-reading and contacting the dead and the occult and such) but God does not.

We learned the importance of being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and how powerful that is.  You must accept Jesus or you won’t receive the Holy Spirit and eternal life.  Anything else falls short of this.

We see mob mentality and how powerful it is.  I actually blogged about this in relation to Jesus’ death (see post HERE).  The power of people to “follow the crowd” is real and something we must always be wary of.  It is outside the confines of the government authority and therefore something we should not obey since it is not in God’s authority.

Map of Paul’s Third Missionary Journey, with a great commentary to sum up his Journey: