6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: God wants us to: 1. Comprehend His gospel (vs. 1-3). 2. Communicate His gospel (vs. 2-4). 3. Put confidence in His gospel (vs. 5). 4. Have confirmation of His gospel (vs. 6).

God's Great Desires for the Gospel of Jesus Christ

The Book of Acts - Part 66

Acts 19:1-7

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - December 28, 2014

*In 1 Timothy 2:4-6, the Apostle Paul said that God our Savior:

4. . . desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

5. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

6. who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

*God the Father wants all people to be saved, and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ is the only one who can save us. As Peter said in Acts 4:12, "There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.'' In John 14:6, Jesus also said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

*A lot of misguided people are like the man who said that getting to Heaven was like getting to Boston. There are a lot of roads that will get you there. But a wise Christian told him: "No, getting to Heaven is much more like flying into the Boston airport. The pilot has to land that plane on just the right runway, at just the right speed, at just the right time, at just the right angle. There is only one way to land that plane. And there is only one way to Heaven. It's Jesus Christ!" (1)

1. That's why God wants us to comprehend His gospel.

*In vs. 1-3, Paul met about twelve disciples who had a crucial lack of comprehension about the gospel of Jesus Christ:

1. And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples

2. he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?'' And they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.''

3. And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?'' So they said, "Into John's baptism.''

*These men were disciples. They were followers of John the Baptist. They were sincerely doing their best to follow God, but they were sincerely wrong. They were wrong, because they didn't know the rest of the story about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

*It's not enough to be sincere. And it's not enough to be devoted if your devotion is based on the wrong information. These disciples desperately needed to hear about the cross of Christ, the resurrection of our Lord, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Everybody needs a basic understanding of the good news about Jesus, because everybody needs to be saved! It's urgent and it's crucial.

*Some years ago, Pastor James McCullen went to the hospital to visit a man who had just found out he had blocked arteries. They talked about the fact that he had a sixty percent blockage in one of his heart arteries. Then Pastor James said, "There are probably a lot of people walking around with clogged arteries who don't even know it."

*It turned out that Pastor James was one of those people. He later said: "At that very moment my arteries were more blocked than the patient I was visiting." (2)

*What we don't know can hurt us, for all eternity. So, we must have a basic understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. And God wants us to comprehend His gospel. -- He also wants us to communicate His gospel.

*If everybody needs to know, then everyone who does know ought to help others know. This is exactly what Paul was doing in vs. 2-4, when:

2. he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?'' And they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.''

3. And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?'' So they said, "Into John's baptism.''

4. Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.''

*Paul was faithful, and we all need to be more faithful in communicating the good news about Jesus.

*But why did Paul start the way he did in vs. 2? Paul asked, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" That seems like an unusual way to begin a spiritual conversation with these disciples. But remember that the Holy Spirit is just as much God as the Father and Son are God.

[1] So in this verse God reminds us of the essential work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

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