Sermon Summary - Evangelism, The Spirit, and The Word - Acts 19:1-10
Evangelism, The Spirit, and The Word
The three major points that we see in today’s passage are evangelism, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the ongoing teaching of sound doctrine, which overall produces more evangelism. Paul returned to Ephesus and met some disciples of John the baptist, who were not familiar with Jesus, but knew of the coming messiah due to their baptism. Having talked to the disciples, Paul sensed that something wasn’t right, so he asked if they had received the Holy Spirit. They said “no, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:2). The disciples knew about the existence and promise of the Spirit, but they did not know that the day of Pentecost had taken place. They didn’t know about Jesus and his substitutionary death and resurrection. Paul explained to the disciples that “John baptized with the baptism of repentance”, and told the people to “believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus” (Acts 19:4). When the disciples heard this, they believed and were baptized in the name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to speak in tongues and prophesying” (Acts 19:7). Though they had faith from their previous baptism, they still needed to be evangelized.
Paul continued to preach at the synagogue for three months reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God, but many of them were “stubborn, continued in unbelief, and spoke evil of the Way” (Acts 19:9). The most religious people often oppose the gospel because they take pride in their religiosity. The second point of the passage is how the gospel along with the work of the Holy Spirit has the power to divide people and create new Christians. Paul preached in the synagogue but withdrew with the disciples and continued to reason with them in the hall of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9). The Holy Spirit is a major indication of whether a person is saved or not. “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Romans 8:9). Luke purposely wrote that the disciples spoke in tongues and prophesied, to prove they genuinely received the Holy Spirit. Many who profess in Jesus don’t have lifestyles that prove the Spirit dwells in them. This should cause us to ask if we received the Holy Spirit when we believed. This probing question is an ongoing self-examining test for all of us baptized Christians. “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed ou fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
This leads us to the third point, the ongoing need of teaching doctrine, training and growing in the Lord. Paul stayed with the disciples for two years, reasoning with them in the hall of Tyrannus. This produced more evangelism “so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10). We should constantly examine our own hearts to see if the Holy Spirit dwells within us. We as Christians should also be prepared to evangelize and probe questions that confirm the validity of a person’s claim to be a Christian. The gospel along with work of the Holy Spirit strengthens us, creates new Christians, and indicates whether a person is saved or not. As we study the word and learn sound doctrine, the Holy Spirit will work in us to produce more evangelism.
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