Summary: THIS PORTION OF ACTS FINDS US WITH PAUL STILL IN THE CITY OF EPHESUS. UP TO THIS POINT, PAUL HAS HAD SOMEWHAT OF A SUCCESSFUL ENCOUNTER WITH THE CITY AND ITS RESIDENCE. PEOPLE HAVE COME TO KNOW CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND PAUL CONTINUES TO TEACH DAILY AND SUPPORT HIMSELF IN MINISTRY WITHOUT INCIDENT.
THE PROCESS AND PITFALLS OF LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
Acts 19:23-41 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. 25 He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all.
27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty."
28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man into the theater.
30 Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. 31 Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater. 32 The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. 33 The Jews pushed Alexander to the front, and some of the crowd shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. 34 But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 35 The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: "Men of Ephesus, doesn't all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? 36 Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to be quiet and not do anything rash. 37 You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. 38 If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges.
39 If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly.
40 As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of today's events. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it."
41 After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.
INTRODUCTION: THIS PORTION OF ACTS FINDS US WITH PAUL STILL IN THE CITY OF EPHESUS. UP TO THIS POINT, PAUL HAS HAD SOMEWHAT OF A SUCCESSFUL ENCOUNTER WITH THE CITY AND ITS RESIDENCE. PEOPLE HAVE COME TO KNOW CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND PAUL CONTINUES TO TEACH DAILY AND SUPPORT HIMSELF IN MINISTRY WITHOUT INCIDENT. ALL IN ALL, THIS IS A PRETTY GOOD DEAL. THAT IS UNTIL, …..
TRANSITION: AS WITH MANY THINGS, BEING FOREWARNED IS BEING FOR ARMED. THIS PASSAGE PREPARES US FOR SOME OF THE UPS AND DOWNS THAT COME WITH THE UPS AND DOWNS OD BOTH SHARING CHRIST AND SERVING CHRIST.
1. OBSERVATION #1 – IF THERE IS A HONEYMOON TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF IT.
a. PAUL HAD A RELATIVELY EASY TIME IN EPHESUS
b. THE CONDITIONS WERE FAVORABLE TO HIM, HIS MESSAGE AND MINISTRY.
c. THIS IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO LAY THE GROUNDWORK FOR WITNESS AND GROWTH.
i. LIFESTYLE EVANGELISM
ONE DAY IN THE POLICE STATION, I WAS NOTICED THAT THERE WAS THE NEED FOR A PLACE FOR AN INTERVIEW. THE OTHER TWO ROOMS WERE TAKEN, SO I OFFERED UP MY “OFFICE”. I TOOK MY COMPUTER AND NOTES AND WENT INTO THE SQUAD ROOM SO THAT THE DETECTIVES COULD USE MY OFFICE FOR THEIR INTERVIEW. AFTERWARDS IN SPEAKING WITH THEM THEY SAID, ”CHAP, I DON’T IF YOU PLANNED IT OUR NOT, BUT HAVING YOUR OPEN BIBLE ON THE DESK WAS VERY BENEFICIAL TO OUR INTERVIEW.”
NOW, I GUESS THAT THE PRESENCE OF A BIBLE ASSISTED THEM IN GETTING TO THE TRUTH, BUT THE POINT I AM TRYING TO MAKE IS THAT THERE IS A BENEFIT TO CREATING AN ATMOSPHERE WHERE THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD IN YOUR LIFE IS EVIDENT!
2. OBSERVATION #2 – BE AWARE OF THE SALVATION THRESHOLD
a. YOU WILL NOTICE THAT PAUL DID HAVE SALVATION DECISIONS IN EPHESUS.
b. YOU WILL ALSO NOTICE THAT PAUL DID HAVE A TIME OF INSTRUCTION, DISCIPLESHIP AND TEACHING THAT WENT ON MOSTLY WITHOUT ISSUE.