Acts 19

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“Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices” (Acts 19:18 NLT).

June 29, 2018

CONFESSION IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL
An amazing thing began to happen in the city of Ephesus, new believers began to confess their sin and turn from sinful practices. Their faith in Christ led to life-change.

The word “confession” in the New Testament has the literal meaning, “to say the same” (From “homologeo”). So, when we confess our sins to God, we are agreeing with God that we have sinned. It’s not news to Him. He already knows. Confessing our sins, we no longer deny our sinfulness, but agree with God. More than that, confession is a crying out to God for relief from the guilt that pervades the soul as sin’s consequence.

The apostle John wrote, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Our part is confession. God’s part is not only forgiveness, but also cleansing. So that even sin’s stain might be removed.

“So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord” (Acts 19:9-10 NLT).

June 28, 2018

PAUL RENTS A SCHOOL FOR CHURCH MEETINGS
Ephesus was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire during the time of Paul. It was a strategically placed seaport city with a population of over 250,000. It became the new center of Paul’s missionary efforts. Some gospel work had already been done in Ephesus, but now Paul lay a foundation for one of the greatest churches of the first and second centuries. The people of Ephesus and the surrounding province were so open to the gospel that Paul was able to rent a school from a local named Tyrannus, where Paul preached and taught daily for over two years.

Our church rented schools for our meetings for 19 years before we purchased a property of our own. I’m not sure how long the church at Ephesus rented the school of Tyrannus, for Paul felt the call to head back out on his third missionary journey after two years. Perhaps they were still renting when Jesus had John send them a letter some years later (Rev. 2:1-7).

“So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s companions in travel” (Acts 19:29 ESV)

June 29, 2016

A riot broke out in Ephesus because the followers of the “Way” (A 1st-century description of Christ-followers) were accused of causing a decline in the sales of Diana figures made by the local silversmiths. The teachings of Christ had begun to influence the citizens of Ephesus and the region of Asia Minor to the point that it even affected their spending habits. Several Christians were dragged into the 25,000 seat Ephesian theater by the rioting mob. When one of the Christians named Alexander tried to make a verbal defense, the mob shouted him down. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to offer a reasoned defense of Christianity to a frenzied mob. Yet, today the city of Ephesus with its sexually perverted temple to Diana lies in ruins, while the followers of the Way continue. This should cause us to take heart when today’s Diana worshipers are shouting so loud.

“And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way” (Acts 19:23 NKJV)

June 29, 2015

A riot broke out in Ephesus because the followers of the “Way” (A 1st-century description of Christ-followers) were accused of causing a decline in the sales of Diana figures made by the local silversmiths. The teachings of Christ had begun to influence the citizens of Ephesus and the region of Asia Minor to the point that it even affected their spending habits. Several Christians were dragged into the 25,000 seat Ephesian theater by the rioting mob. When one of the Christians named Alexander tried to make a verbal defense, the mob shouted him down. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to offer a reasoned defense of Christianity to a frenzied mob. Yet, today the city of Ephesus with its sexually perverted temple to Diana lies in ruins, while the followers of the Way continue.
This should cause us to take heart when today’s Diana worshipers are shouting so loud.

“Soon the whole city was filled with confusion. Everyone rushed to the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, who were Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia” (Acts 19:29 NLT)

June 29, 2014

Paul’s ministry in Ephesus was perhaps his longest and most productive. This Roman city was the jewel of Asia and influenced the whole province. Believers in Ephesus were growing at such a rate that it began to affect the city’s culture. People were confessing their sins and burning their incantation books. And apparently, the business of selling Artemis souvenirs was declining as a result too. Persecution of Christians is often inspired by greed more than belief. Here, the silversmith union rep, Demetrius, started a riot against the Christians in the great amphitheater of Ephesus because of his declining business and reputation. Paul wanted to enter the 25,000 seat stadium to defend his faith, but his friends stopped him. Satan often uses man’s greed and desire for power to bring “confusion” to a city and to undermine the work of the gospel. But God wants to bring light and clarity, so that hearts can repent and respond.