19 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practised magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- v5 The immersion of Jesus is to identify with his death, burial and resurrection, which then leads to the Spirit living in us, which is the same Spirit who performed miracles through the disciples of Biblical times.
- v.9 Acts 20:34-35 also mentions that Paul combined teaching with tent-making. It is encouraging to know that God can work powerfully through all occupations and all types of people.
- v10 Paul had a back-up plan and was undeterred by obstacles. Purposeful meeting and discussions spread the message of the Lord like wildfire, and all of Asia heard in 2 years.
- v17 Is the name of God regarded with honour today? If not, as Christians, what can we do to change that?
- v18 The believers were convicted to confess their sins openly and this led to action which was sacrificial.
submitted by Kay Lau
PRAYING IN FAITH
Ask God to show us areas in our lives which we need to bring to the Lord in confession, and that we may truly repent and start afresh with God’s grace.
For Your Five
Pray for your five, asking that God might reveal his very real power to them.
For Our Church
Pray that God might lead our church to speak boldly and purposefully about our faith as Paul did.