Bible Discussion — Acts 19-20

October 22, 2008, 2:24 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Connie, David, Josh J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com moves on to the next two chapters of Acts.

PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS:
Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
11 | 12 | 13 | 14-15 | 16-17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24
Esther: 1-2 | 3-5 | 6-8 | 9-10
Acts: 1 | 2 | 3-4 | 5 | 6-7 | 8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | 13-14 | 15-16 | 17-18

 
INTRODUCTION:
David:
Paul brings the word of God to Ephesus, then hurries off to a feast. In the interim, Apollos comes to Ephesus and teaches with eloquence — but lacks the power of the Holy Ghost. Paul returns, bringing the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and spends two full years with the Ephesians.

Some surmise that in Revelation, when the Ephesian church is commended for exposing false apostles, that Apollos is meant. I don\’t think so. Paul followed up on Apollos in Corinth too, telling them: “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”

Steve:
GREAT IS ARTEMIS OF THE EPHESIANS!
GREAT IS ARTEMIS OF THE EPHESIANS!
GREAT IS ARTEMIS OF THE EPHESIANS!

Connie:
Paul’s ministry tour is coming to an end. Our chapters this week deal with the riot at Ephesus and a study in diplomacy, and the final goodbyes before Paul heads to Jerusalem, which (the Holy Spirit has told him) holds “chains and tribulations.” But he doesn’t let up at all, promising to “finish the race with joy.”

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Steve:
It’s amazing to me that the same televangelist hucksters who use 19:12 to defend their practice of praying over cloths and sending them to their sick and needy donors completely ignore the lesson of the next four verses — by accepting praise and elevating their own names above that of their Creator.

Connie:
20:2 isn’t complete. It ends with “he came to Greece,” but verse three begins, “and stayed three months.” How absolutely odd. The OCD person inside me needs an explanation or a rewrite.

My commentary says it was because of the winter. So maybe verse three should read: “Because of the wintry weather, Paul stayed in Greece for three months,” then proceed on with the narrative. Much better, eh?

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Connie: Sopater
Josh: Take No Prisoners
Steve: Uproar; The Plots
David: Tyrannus

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
Connie:
Riots are pretty much the same all over, and they usually begin with misinformation spreading into anger, fear and hysteria. This reminded me of the crowd that wanted to kill Jesus, but dispersed after He just “walked out in their midst.” This crowd wanted to explode — screaming nonstop for two hours — but in the end, they were dismissed after some reasoned discourse. What’re the odds?

Josh:
I\’ve often heard the account of Eutychus used as an illustration of the dangers of falling asleep during a sermon. But he was immediately resurrected, so I figure: no harm, no foul. Besides, in my experience, if you have a secure spot in a pew, rather than on a high, uncovered ledge, you should be all right.

David:
The economic concerns of the Ephesian tradesmen remind me of a quote from Gibbons. Emperor Julian visited the temple of Daphne in Antioch in 363 AD, greatly anticipating herds of sacrificial animals and thousands of devoted worshippers, but found “only a single goose, provided at the expense of the priest, the pale and solitary inhabitant of this decayed temple.”

They really did “turn the world upside down.”

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
David:
The clash between the Apostles and the pagan worshippers in Ephesus was indicative of the battle awaiting them in the Roman world. At every step the enemy fought with persecution and rage, but as the Christians would say, “The oftener we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow.” Tertullian wrote to Rome: “In the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

Josh:
We can fool people, but we can\’t fool God or evil spirits. We cannot masquerade in the power of faith, nor can we double-dip from the faith of another. If we want to claim Christ\’s victory over sin and evil, we must know Him ourselves and align our hearts to His. Anything less leaves us ultimately “naked and wounded.”

Connie:
Perseverance. Paul encouraged the Ephesians as he took leave, because he knew they’d be under terrible attack after he left them. Sometimes, if we’re prepared for something, it makes it easier to go through it, because as bad as it is, it’s still has an air of familiarity. You can say: “Ah. I recognize this, God warned me about it. I know what this is.” Then you can get through it, knowing if He told you, it was because He wanted you ready.

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE?:
David:
Proving to Sceva and sons that His name is not to be used as a charm or incantation.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Steve:
GREAT IS ARTEMIS OF THE EPHESIANS!
GREAT IS ARTEMIS OF THE EPHESIANS!
GREAT IS ARTEMIS OF THE EPHESIANS!

Did you know that her temple was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? Those folks really liked them some Artemis.

David:
I\’ve always wondered if Alexander the coppersmith, who later betrayed Paul and did him much harm (2 Tim 4:14), is the same man attacked and assaulted by the silversmiths here. It wouldn\’t be the first, or last, time someone abandoned their faith because of persecution from co-workers.

Josh:
A crowd draws a crowd. I love how a mob forms, but half of them have no idea why they’re there. And what kind of mob just chants for two hours?

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Josh; Connie; Steve:
20:24 — “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

David:
20:33 — “I have coveted no one\’s silver or gold or apparel.”

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Josh:
Paul preached against idolatry despite the societal and financial importance idols held in Ephesus. Money drives us as surely as it did the Ephesians, and there are plenty of unpopular messages we need to be delivering about our modern-day idols. Of course, be ready for backlash. Nobody likes being hit in the wallet.

David:
If you sleep during church, stay out of the balcony.

Steve:
GREAT IS ARTEMIS OF THE EPHESIANS!
GREAT IS ARTEMIS OF THE EPHESIANS!
GREAT IS ARTEMIS OF THE EPHESIANS!

Er, no. Actually, she wasn’t much of anything at all. Nothing earthly is, in the end, even the most ‘wondrous’ thing the world has to offer.

 
CONCLUSION:
David:
The die is cast. Paul is on a collision course with Rome itself.


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