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Summary: Paul’s Teaching turns Ephesus Upside Down

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I. PRAYER

II. Introduction

a. I recently read an article by a man who compared a baby monitor to the Holy Spirit. You see, one day while trying out the new baby monitor in his infant’s room, he whispered into it “Can you hear me?”

b. His house was like most others with a mother and a newborn, in that the baby monitor was turned up so much that you could literally hear a pin drop in the baby’s room.

c. So, when he whispered “Can you hear me?” Into the monitor, his teenage son was scared out of his wits and dove behind the couch, not knowing where the voice was coming from. He thought that this was a great thing, and told his teenager to clean up his room. But then, his teenager decided to turn the receiver off.

d. The idea is that we are the receivers to the Holy Spirit. He is constantly directing us. Sometimes, the volume is turned way up, and the slightest whisper is amplified into a booming voice.

e. Other times, the volume is lower, and it takes a time of prayer and devotion to listen to Him. And if we are honest with ourselves, sometimes, we turn the receiver off.

f. If we all had our receivers turned on, then maybe the world would be a better place to live. It would be pleasant to drive on the freeways, divorce lawyers would have to find other jobs, and we would no longer have a jail overcrowding issue.

g. The Apostle Paul was a man that was being constantly guided by the Holy Spirit. We have seen this as we have seen him on his journeys throughout the book of Acts, and we will look at him being guided by the Holy Spirit again today, as we continue our weekly study through the Book of Acts.

III. Background

a. Last week we were looking at the Apostle Paul as he was ministering in the city of Ephesus. This period of Paul’s ministry was one that was marked by God’s power. It was really the high point of Paul’s ministry in terms of fruit. The seven churches of Asia we see in Revelation were all birthed out of this church at Ephesus.

b. The miracles that had taken place in the two short years that Paul was in Ephesus were nothing less than extraordinary. People were healed and set free from demon possession by simply them touching the sweatbands and aprons that Paul wore as he made tents during the day.

c. We aren’t told that Paul endorsed this, and I would even suspect that Paul didn’t know this was going on. The people of Ephesus were into objects, and they believed that power resided in certain objects, and God’s grace extended out to the people of Ephesus through these objects.

d. Now, remember that Ephesus was the religious center of the Roman Empire. There were three temples there for the worship of Caesar. But, these three temples weren’t the focus of the people of Ephesus.

e. No, the focus of the people of Ephesus centered on the temple of Artemis, or as the Romans called her, Diana. Diana was the Roman goddess of hunting and fertility. The temple of Diana in Ephesus was a huge structure.

f. It had been torn down and rebuilt several time down through the years, due to various wars and natural disasters that struck Ephesus. The main temple area had 127 pillars, each sixty feet high, and was adorned with great sculptures.


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