Who are you?
Acts 19:1-7, 11-21
This is not a direct at you Fathers day message. Fathers sitting here this morning will have the same opportunity as everyone else to take a look at their lives. Men, we don’t always communicate well. We don’t always listen 100 %. Some times that get us in trouble. Can some one say Amen Women, let me help you. When a man says- “ it would take to long to explain’. He really means “ I have no clue how it works”. When a man says, “Take a break, honey, you are working too hard” He really means- “I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner”. When a man says- “Can I help with dinner?” He really means, “Baby, I’m hungry, isn’t it done yet:” When a man says “I’m not lost, I know exactly where we are”. He really means- if you do not buy me a garman, we will never be seen alive again”. This mornings text is about the
Apostle Paul doing things in the power of God working in his life. It is also about the seven sons of Sceva trying to imitate the power of God in their lives, and the consequences they suffered for it.
Acts 19:1-7, 11-21
If I was to have a journey chart available, at one end was birth and on the other end was the Spirit filled life. On that chart would be a bunch of events that happened in our lives. For those that know Christ, conversion, the day we accepted Christ would be there. For some, they are seekers, not sure yet, all that would be recorded on that chart. Everyone of us would be able to tell, at least in our minds, where we were on that chart. God wants to take us to a new level. Wherever that is for each one of us. Half way serving God is not an option for a believer. Wherever you are at in your journey, and we are all different. He want us to move forward. God takes us to new levels in three ways. 1. Growth process- trial, errors, experiences. 2. Relational- both with God and with people. (Importance of the church family) 3. Maturity- learning from our mistakes, better yet, learning from other peoples mistakes. The city of Ephesus was a corrupt city. It is sin city, it was materialistic, and a city that thrived on statues of all kinds of idols including the fertility god of Artemis. The apostle Paul and his disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit had went on a missionary journey through Athens, Berea, and Corinth. He had been imprisoned several times but they saw the power of God do some amazing things. Now they are in Ephesus and they needed God to do some powerful things in the life of the Ephesians. They come to a group of John the Baptist disciples, and Paul senses that this bunch of men needed the Holy Spirit active in their lives.
19:2- “And finding some disciples he said to them, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? So they said to him, we have not as much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit” John the Baptist taught- repent and be baptized. After conversion, there would be a water baptism. Apostle Paul, after spending time with Jesus knew that it did not stop there. He knew that to live the victorious life that Jesus Christ wanted for each of us, it was repent, be baptized, and filled with the Spirit of God. Paul ran into Jews that did not understand that there is more than just being saved (as important as that is) but that we can be empowered by the Spirit of God to help us in our everyday life.
“And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” They did not understand that Jesus must leave, so the comforter(Holy Spirit) could come in His followers.
The Spirit is involved- there is results.
The Spirit is involved- comfort, strength, wisdom comes.
John the Baptist brought people to a readiness of change. Jesus came to live in them, in the person of the Holy Spirit. John came to ready change. Jesus came to change their lives.
Acts 1:8- “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you”
Fathers- your job in life is:
connect with God.
connect with family.
connect with your church family.
If I could build a father- I would put these traits in them. If I would be a good father, I would hope I have these traits in me. Weather, we say it aor not, our children hear (by our actions) follow me. Scripture tells us here that 2 years Paul was in Ephesus and that God did some extraordinary things, so much that even his handkerchief and apron that touched people caused them to be healed. That evil spirits came out of them. Here we go Listen a few more hours.
“some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out. Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this one day, the evil spirit answered them, Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you? Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. God worked in mysterious ways. (Handkerchiefs and aprons) Make no mistake about it- God did the miracle, not Paul. Healing power was in God, no the handkerchief. God gives us some other visual aids in Scripture.
Mark 5- touch of Jesus cloak.
John 9- Mud in the eyes of the blind man.
Acts 5- shadow of Peter
It was God doing it. The Jewish priest Sceva, and his seven sons were in the demon chasing business- they did it by magic and incantations. They thought they were the ghost busters of the 1st century. They watched the apostles do it “In Jesus name” and they thought they could do the same. There is power in the name of Jesus. No other name under heaven but the name of Jesus. There is no power in the name of Jesus without Jesus. You cannot cast out demons in your own strength Jesus I know, Paul, I have heard of, but who are you? It angers hell in Jesus name” because they have to submit to the name of Jesus Christ They do not have to submit to the name of Sceva. Sceva and his boys get run out of dodge naked and embarrassed. I get a visual here- it;s not funny they took a beating, but it is funny that someone would attempt to do the things of God, without God in their life. Jesus name is not a magic formula that can be used for profit and for getting fame. This chief priest and his sons were trying to make a living casting out demons. They saw that it worked well by doing it in Jesus name. The thing they found out is that you cannot cast out demons by the faith of someone else. In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches does not have power. God is always the one who gives us the power. The Bible tells us that power is the evidence of the Holy Spirits presence in our lives.
Power reveals God’s presence to a lost and dying world.
Power draws attention to God and away from man.
Question as we wind down. Does Satan know your name? Does he know who you are? Jesus I know, Paul, I heard of, but the imitator he says- who are you? The devil knows exactly who the believers are. The ones who he has to watch out for. You will get his attention when: (1) believe in Jesus name. (2) live your life in Jesus name. Belief (inside job) difference between facts/faith and heart/ head. Life (outside job) a personal relationship translates into a public lifestyle for Christ. The moment you have a life changing encounter with Jesus, the devil is aware of it. The problem is, most don’t have a life changing encounter, they met Jesus and try to fit Him into their life. He says you give me your life and I will change you. We ask Jesus to save us, but we don’t ask him to change us or fill us with His Spirit. When it comes to spiritual matter- name recognition is important. The enemy of your soul worries at the name of Jesus, and those that are in Jesus. Those who live in the power of Jesus name. Live in Jesus name. Pray in Jesus name. Witness in Jesus name. Minister in Jesus name. Worship in Jesus name. Disciple people in Jesus name. Acts 19:20- “In this way the Word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” listen- since the devil knows he can’t take your soul to hell, because you are a child of God, He will try to make your life hell. That is why we need the power of God in our lives. Galation 2:20- “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me” some of us are on God’s disabled list. God loves you the way you are, but he loves you to much to leave you that way. Live in the power of the Holy Spirit, and make a difference. The devil knows who are empowered by the Spirit of God. The devil knows who live in the power of Jesus name. The devil knows who put their trust and life in Jesus.