Summary: 1. Walk in the Way of Christ (vs. 23). 2. Observe our opposition (vs. 23-29). 3. Find help from godly friends (vs. 30-31). 4. Remember the good that government can do (vs. 31-41).
Wisdom for Living from the Word of God
The Book of Acts - Part 70
Acts 19:23-41 (Initial reading: vs. 23-29)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - January 18, 2015
*In tonight's Scripture, Paul was on his third missionary journey. His team was reaching many people in the city of Ephesus. They saw the Hand of God at work in amazing ways. And Acts 19:10 tells us "this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks."
*By the time we get to vs. 20, the two years were just about up, and God was leading Paul to new places. Verse 21 shows us the plans that were coming together in Paul's heart. There, God's Word says, "Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, 'After I have been there, I must also see Rome.'''
*Paul had great plans, but unexpected trouble was heading his way. With this background in mind, let's get started by reading Acts 19:23-29. And as we read, please think about how this 2,000-year-old story can give us some of the wisdom we need for life today.
*Two of the guiding principles in my preaching have always been that the Bible is completely true, and it is completely relevant. God's Word is not just some ancient document. It is totally relevant to life today.
*Of course, John 3:16 has a lot more meaning for us than Deuteronomy 3:16. But everything in the Word of God has something to say about the way we live today. With this truth in mind, let's look at this near-riot in Ephesus 2,000 years ago. We will surely find some wisdom that we need today.
1. First and foremost is that we should walk in the way of Christ.
*Walk in the way of the Lord. This is the "way" Luke mentioned in vs. 23, when he said, "About that time there arose a great commotion about the Way."
*Luke used this word "Way" to describe Christianity 3 other times in the Book of Acts, and I like this word, because Christianity IS a way of life. It's the way of faith and hope. It's the way of love. And it's the way of the cross.
*In John 14:6, on the night before Jesus died on the cross for us, He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Christianity is the way of salvation. It's the way of grace. And it's the only way to true righteousness.
*In the late-2000s, our Becky was Director of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at the University of Miami. Surely, I knew that Miami wasn't in the Bible Belt. But I was really surprised when Becky told me that 95 percent of the people in Miami do not go to church. -- 95 percent!
*My sister Leslie and I were talking about that, and I guessed their religion was the beach, or sports, or golf or partying. But Leslie said, "No it's all the same. It's all the 'Me' religion. It's all about me, and what I want to do."
*Leslie was right: It's all about me. How are we ever going to overcome the "Me" problem? There is only one way: The way of Jesus Christ. Christianity is the only way to righteousness. It's the only way to Heaven. And it's the only way to eternal happiness.
*David Jeremiah told the story of lonely woman who lived in London many years ago. She was 100 years old when a missionary stopped by to see her, and she trusted in Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Later she said: "How wonderful, and how good the Lord has been in sparing me these 100 years that I might learn the way of life!" When she died, they put these words on her gravestone: "Born 1825 -- Born Again 1925." (1)
*She found the way to Heaven and happiness, because she found Jesus Christ. She trusted in Jesus as her Lord and Savior!
2. And everybody should walk in the way of Christ. -- We also should observe our opposition.
*God's Church has always faced stiff opposition in the world, and we need to understand our opposition. It does no good to bury our heads in the sand. We need to seek information and understanding. We need to be aware and get informed about those who oppose the way of Jesus. God's Word helps us in vs. 23-29. So, what can we learn here about our opposition?
 First, they are often motivated by greed.
*We see this truth in vs. 23-27:
23. About that time there arose a great commotion about the Way.