A Time In Ephesus

Witness to the world: Book of Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  56:27
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3rd Missionary Trip continues

Without a doubt I think we can agree Paul was a man on the move with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was fulfilling his calling as the apostle to the Gentiles and in our passage tonight this continues. But first a quick look back before we look within the mission work in Ephesus.
Paul’s 3rd missionary trip started out from Antioch of Syria (Act18:23)
Acts 18:23 NASB95
23 And having spent some time there, he left and passed successively through the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
This is the same place started other trips (Act13:3-4, 16:1-5)
Trips were to preach the gospel, plant churches, to encourage (strengthen) planted churches and instruct churches, and yes even correct when needed.
Maybe better keep in context
Acts 18:22–23 NASB95
22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to Antioch. 23 And having spent some time there, he left and passed successively through the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
Prior to going to Antioch to give mission report he had to fulfill a vow and offer his sacrifice in Jerusalem.
Paul had previously been to Ephesus, and promised to return if it were God’s will (Act18:19-21)
Acts 18:19–20 NASB95
19 They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he did not consent,
Acts 18:21 NASB95
21 but taking leave of them and saying, “I will return to you again if God wills,” he set sail from Ephesus.
The stay in Ephesus as Luke records here in (Act19) is the longest stay; three years. This is believed to be 52-55 AD. This was a great ministry work and was very productive for the mission efforts being put forth by Paul.
Tonight we are going to survey Act19 and Luke’s account, and then look in other places to add to it so to get a clearer picture of the time in Ephesus and the impact it had on the kingdom of God.

Ephesus from Luke’s view

Luke the investigator and proclaimer of what he had investigated records some great things to learn about Paul’s time in Ephesus
Paul’s known ministry work conveyed by Luke
The converting of the twelve disciples of John (Act19:1-7)
we looked at this passage last week, in summary Paul upon arriving in Ephesus before met some disciples that only knew of the baptism of John.
Paul preached the truth, results were the conversions by baptism of the disciples
Acts 19:4–5 NASB95
4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
As was Paul’s custom he taught in the synagogue (Act19:8; ref: Act13:42-45, 14:1-3, 17:1-15, 18:4-6)
Acts 19:8 NASB95
8 And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.
Question: How long did Paul teach in the synagogue in Ephesus?
For three months, reasoning and persuading.
Look at that verse again, it was reasoning and persuading about the kingdom of God. Here is does not say about Jesus and his death burial and resurrection. Does that mean he did not do that? Of course not!
When Paul was in Antioch it was recorded two Sabbaths he was in the synagogue (Act13:42-45)
In Iconium was there a long time (Act14:1-3)
In Thessalonica three sabbaths (Act18:1-10)
In Corinth, every sabbath (1.5 years) (Act18:4-6)
Taught in school of Tyrannus (Act19:9-10)
Acts 19:9–10 NASB95
9 But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
Question: What were the results in the synagogue that caused Paul to withdraw (v.9)?
People were becoming hardened, disobedient and speaking evil against the Way.
In other places Paul was chased out of the synagogue, here Paul walked out.
Question: How long did Paul teach in the school of Tyrannus (v.10)?
He did it for two years, and resulted in all Asia hearing the word of the Lord.
If God closes one door He opens another, from the Jews to the Gentiles and the Greeks, from one group of people in the synagogue to “all” who lived in Asia. So in other words the word spread out.
Now Paul did not work alone, he always had the Holy Spirit and workers that came along side him in the work, we have seen Barnabas, Mark, Timothy, Titus, Silas, and if you were to look at Col1:7, 4:12-13 you would see Epahras who was in the area and could have assisted in the work too in all Asia (modern day Turkey)
Working of unusual miracles in Ephesus (Act19:11-12)
Acts 19:11–12 NKJV
11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
Question: Who was performing the unusual (extraordinary) miracles (v.11)?
It was God who worked the miracles by the hands of Paul.
Question: What were God’s tools used (vv.11, 12)? And what were the results (v.12)?
Paul’s hands, handkerchiefs or aprons
The handkerchiefs, aprons that were brought out, taken from Paul and brought to the people.
Resulted in diseases leaving, evil spirits went out.
Can you imagine Paul wondering where were his handkerchiefs, or his apron? I think when he found out he did not complain about it but praised God for it!
Now we are going to have to just survey this portion of scripture and I encourage you to read the entire chapter in full so to get the full impact of the ministry work of Paul there
Brought about an exercising an uprising, a riot because of his teaching leading to conversions (Act19:13-41)
God working miracles at the hands of Paul even using handkerchiefs and aprons brought out others and issues.
Acts 19:13–14 NASB95
13 But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.
Acts 19:15–16 NASB95
15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Question: Whose name were the Jewish exorcists attempting to cast out evil spirit (v.13)?
In the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches.
Question: Who were performing these exorcisms in the name of Jesus (v.14)?
The seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish priest.
Question: The evil spirit made a statement (v.15) what was it?
I recognize Jesus, know Paul, but who are you?
The Word of the Lord impacts and changes hearts and lives
A man freed of spirits attacked the Seven Sons of Sceva (v.16) and hey streaking did not just come in the 70’s it was back in the first century too. they fled naked form the house.
Fear fell on both Jews and Greeks (v.17)
Many confessed their deeds, burned magic books, and it was costly to do it, fifty thousand pieces of silver (vv.18-19)
Acts 19:20 NASB95
20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.
Question what grew and prevailed (v.20)?
The word of the Lord was!
Paul planned in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem via Macedonia and Achia and then onto Rome (vv.21-22)
It was about there the problems started because you hit someones livelihood and it may cause a push back ( vv23-27)
The push back filled people with rage, and even confusion (vv.28-29)
But now Paul was ready to jump in, let’s look together.
Acts 19:29–30 NASB95
29 The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia. 30 And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him.
Paul wanted to defend his friends, his ministry partners Gaius and Aristarchus, but the disciples would not let him, But God still had His hand in it, look.
Acts 19:32 NASB95
32 So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together.
Question: what were the results God caused (v.32)
Assembly in confusion
Majority did not know why there were even there.
God caused another help too that exonerated Paul’s companions Gaius and Aristarchus (vv.35-41)
It was the city clerk (v.35) and you can read the response (vv.36-41) on your own.
Paul then set’s out after the uproar, the riots, the uprising for Macedonia (Act20:1)
Paul’s great sucess in Ephesus as recorded by Luke can be seen.
Acts 19:10 NASB95
10 This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
Acts 19:20 NASB95
20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.
(Transition) There is still more to know about Paul’s time in Ephesus and elsewhere so now may we turn to other sources outside of Luke’s account.

Paul’s ministry work

Paul served the Lord wit ha clear conscience (2Tim1:3) and all through the Epistles you can see the hands and the impact of his ministry work.
His work in Corinth
Excursions: (Act18:1-18, 20:1-3, 2Cor12:14, 13:1)
We know the 18 months he spent there from Act18:1-18
Made a second trip there (Act20:1-3)
Made even a third trip there (2Cor12:14, 13:10
2 Corinthians 12:14 NASB95
14 Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.
and add
2 Corinthians 13:1 NASB95
1 This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Paul’s apostleship was under attack, problems were riddled in Corinth and Paul made a painful trip to them. Most commentators believe that the this trip was the quick trip and was while he was in Ephesus.
Epistles (1Cor5:9, 1Cor16:5-8, 19)
There is the what is known as the lost letter to the Corinthians as noted:
1 Corinthians 5:9 NASB95
9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
And then the letter we know as 1st Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 16:5–6 NASB95
5 But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia; 6 and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go.
1 Corinthians 16:7–8 NASB95
7 For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost;
Emissaries (Act19:22, 1Cor4:17, 16:10-11; 2Cor8:6, 16-19, 12:17-18, 2:12-13, 7:5-7, 13-16)
Emissaries like Timothy
Acts 19:22 NASB95
22 And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
According to 1Cor4, 16, Timothy and Erastus came to Corinth after 1st corinthis was put tegther.
Emissary like Titus and another brother who were sent to encourage the churches regarding the collection for the saints in Jerusalem.
2 Corinthians 8:6 NASB95
6 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.
and then a few verses later
2 Corinthians 8:16–17 NASB95
16 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness on your behalf in the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord.
2 Corinthians 8:18–19 NASB95
18 We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches; 19 and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness,
Titus was sent to encourage and also to find out how the church was doing and report back to Paul (2Cor12:17-18). He was delayed in his return and that concerned Paul (2Cor2:12-13) but eventually did bring Paul good news
2 Corinthians 7:5–6 NASB95
5 For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
2 Corinthians 7:7 NASB95
7 and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more.
oh you can read on down and see this
2 Corinthians 7:13–14 NASB95
13 For this reason we have been comforted. And besides our comfort, we rejoiced even much more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I was not put to shame; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, so also our boasting before Titus proved to be the truth.
2 Corinthians 7:15–16 NASB95
15 His affection abounds all the more toward you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice that in everything I have confidence in you.
Now, who does not like to be comforted?
Expounding more (1Cor1:1, 16:17-19; Act20:17-19; Act20:21, 25-27, 31, 20:33-35)
while in Ephesus, Sosthenes was there and helped in the writing of the letter to the Corinthians (1Cor1:1)
Paul had visits from Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus
1 Corinthians 16:17 NASB95
17 I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have supplied what was lacking on your part.
And His co-workers, labors in the world and for the gospel - Aquila and Priscilla
1 Corinthians 16:19 NASB95
19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
Paul suffered while in Ephesus as in many other places he stopped but look at a little of it
Acts 20:17–18 NASB95
17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them, You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time,
Acts 20:19 NASB95
19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews;
and then looking at and to the Corinthians
1 Corinthians 15:30–31 NASB95
30 Why are we also in danger every hour? 31 I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
1 Corinthians 15:32 NASB95
32 If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
Paul did not change, he had to preach the gospel
Acts 20:21 NASB95
21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
and then a few verses later
Acts 20:25–26 NASB95
25 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. 26 “Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
Acts 20:27 NASB95
27 “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.
Paul worked had for the gospel, working, laboring so not to be a burden, so he did manual labor while in Ephesus
Acts 20:33–34 NASB95
33 “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34 “You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me.
Acts 20:35 NASB95
35 “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
(Transition) Ministry is where God takes us and ministry impacts more than just where you are. while in Ephesus Paul greatly impacted the Church at Corinth, impacted people like Sosthenes, Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus as well as Aquila and Priscilla. How is your work in the ministry impacting people?
Drawing a conclusion too:
The Gospel Paul brought to Ephesus was the same that spread throughout Asia
Acts 19:10 NASB95
10 This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
His time was productive there (i.e. Act20:17-21)
The gospel had the power to transform lives (Act19:18-20)
May we make the most out of the time God has us placed somewhere, we all have work to do.
(Prayer) (Exit)
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