And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27
This week’s video is presentation 17 in our study of Acts. In it we review the ongoing work of Christ as it becomes established in churches, such as those in Jerusalem, Corinth, and Ephesus. You can view it by clicking here (scroll down to Lesson 17).
Read and meditate on Acts 19.8-10.
Paul picked up where he left off, taking the Gospel to the synagogue, speaking boldly, reasoning and persuading people concerning Christ and His Kingdom. For three months in Ephesus he carried on this ministry, but then certain influential people had had enough. It will always be thus in the ongoing work of the Lord.
1. Paul considered that he’d done all he could in this synagogue, so when some began to speak evil of the faith, he took his followers to a new venue. Whether Paul rented this hall or it was given to him for his use is not clear. We note the Gospel does not require some “sacred space” in order to flourish and bear fruit. How can you see that, under the influence of the Spirit, Paul used the pressure of unbelieving opposition for the progress of the eternal Kingdom? What can we learn from this?
2. For two years Paul taught the Word of the Lord – as he will remind the Ephesians in chapter 20, “the whole counsel of God” – concerning Christ and His Kingdom. What do you suppose that entailed?
3. He also put the church in order, ordaining elders and probably deacons, and arranging for pastors to shepherd the churches in Ephesus and beyond. We don’t read about this, but the fact that elders from these churches came to Paul in Acts 20 suggests strongly that they all knew the apostle. What’s involved in preparing shepherds to care for the Lord’s flocks? Should local churches have a role in this work?
4. The truth took hold, began to spread, and before long all Asia – the southwest part of what is today Turkey – had heard the Gospel. Paul didn’t do all this work himself. Those who heard him understood that they, too, were to be witnesses to Christ, and so they were. The seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 are part of the impact of Paul’s – and later John’s – ministry in Ephesus. The ongoing work goes on! How does it appear that your church is contributing to the ongoing work of Christ in your community?
5. Churches require sound teaching in order to flourish. But they also require a certain order, and the New Testament spells that order out clearly. We ignore God’s preferred order for His churches to our detriment. How confident are you that your church’s order – the way its members are cared for and taught – is what the New Testament recommends?
Everywhere the Gospel took root, opposition arose. Should we expect this to be any different in our day? How should church leaders prepare their congregations to respond to opposition to the Gospel?
Save me, O God, by Your name,
And vindicate me by Your strength.
Hear my prayer, O God;
Give ear to the words of my mouth.
For strangers have risen up against me,
And oppressors have sought after my life;
They have not set God before them. Selah
Behold, God is my helper;
The Lord is with those who uphold my life.
He will repay my enemies for their evil.
Cut them off in Your truth.
I will freely sacrifice to You;
I will praise Your name, O LORD, for it is good.
For He has delivered me out of all trouble;
And my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.
T. M. Moore
Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.
Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. This is the work of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven. Read more about the implications of this work in our new book, The Kingdom Turn (click here).
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