Writings on Christianity

Acts 19:1-10 Sermon Outline

Here’s my sermon on Acts 19:1-10 “Gospel Ministry in Ephesus” preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship on 1/7/24 in Naperville. You can hear it here and below.

Acts 19:1-10 “Gospel Ministry in Ephesus”

Intro: Stanley Cup: 40-ounce, $50 cup, some hundreds even thousands [29k]
      -Recently went viral (Target selling out); Initial spread: Mom’s blog; Influencers
                  -Stanley hopes the popularity will help spread the brand and grow the business.
-How does God’s kingdom advance? àThrough ministry of the Word, in particular: discipleship and evangelism.
m.s. The kingdom of God advances as God’s people engage in discipleship and evangelism.
      -Who wrote Acts?
      -What’s it about? Establishment and expansion of God’s kingdom on Earth: beginning and growth the church.
      -What have we covered so far?
                  -Resurrected Jesus gave disciples a commission and promise (1:8)
                  -Jesus returned to heaven and Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church
                              -Kingdom of God spread: Jerusalem, Judea/Samaria, north/south/east/west
                                          -God called Paul to be an apostle (Christ’s chosen instrument [9:15])
TODAY: Kingdom of God spreading in Ephesus through the ministry of Paul and other Christians
      -How does the kingdom of God spread through?
                  àThrough the ministry of Word, in particular: through discipleship and evangelism.
                              –If we want to see the kingdom of God advance in Naperville, we must be committed to discipleship and evangelism too!

1. Kingdom Advance Through Discipleship (1-7):
-SETTING (1a) 1 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus.
      -Paul returns to Ephesus (see 18:21)
                  -Ephesus city of over 250,000!                               -Paul’s 3rd missionary journey
intentionally coming alongside another believer to help them grow as a Christian.
      –Utilizing Word of God, prayer, instruction, correction.
-GROUP OF “Disciples”(1b-3)
   -Group of disciples (1b)
There he found some disciples.       -Commentators are divided as to whether they were actually Christians or not
                  -Called “disciples” but context is determinative
                              -From the text, it sounds they were either very immature or ‘nominal’ 
       -They were “disciples” in some sense, and were “baptized” in John’s baptism
                  -John the Baptist baptized a baptism of repentance, as forerunner of Jesus
      -IGNORANT of the Holy Spirit
                  -Most likely they knew of the Holy Spirit, but were ignorant of Pentecost and life in believer.
                              *NOTE: Paul’s use of questions.
                                          -Sometimes this is the best way to forward in discipleship: asking good questions. -Paul ministers the Word of God and leads them to faith in Jesus and obedience of baptism (4-5)
      -Paul explains John the Baptist’s Ministry (4)
-John’s ministry was to point people to Jesus
      -The “disciples” are baptized as Christians (5)
-If you are a Christian, you should get baptized.
                              -Baptism does not make you a Christian, but it is the right thing to do.       

-God the Holy Spirit Comes Upon them and this reality is visibly manifested (6-7)
-Paul laid hands on them (6a)
                  -To pray over them
      -Holy Spirit came on them (6b)
      -Began speaking in tongues and prophesying (6c)
                  -A supernatural sign God gave to show the reality of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power
                              -Key moments in Acts this happens (Pentecost [Acts 2:5-11]; Cornelius [10:46])
QUESTION: What about today? Some people say that speaking in tongues is the definitive evidence that one has received the Holy Spirit. Do you really have the Holy Spirit if you do not speak in tongues?
      -I don’t believe speaking in tongues is the definitive proof you have the H.S.
                  -Not everyone is called or gifted to speak in tongues (1 Cor 12:30)
                              -I also don’t think what many Pentecostals refer to as ‘speaking in tongues’ is same as Acts
      -Everyone who is a Christian has received the Holy Spirit: Romans 8:9
-Proof you have the Holy Spirit is shown in conviction of sin, faith in Jesus, and fruit of Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)
                              -Holy Spirit’s ministry is to make Christians more like Jesus.

SUMMARY: –The Kingdom of God advances through discipleship.
                  -Kingdom advanced in Ephesus as Paul discipled these 12 individuals

Kingdom advances in Naperville as disciple those around us.
      -There will be some like these disciples of John, who may or may not be Christians
                  -Our task is to disciple them where they are: explain gospel; call them to follow Christ.
QUESTION: Who is God calling you to disciple?
      -Children? Newer Christians? Neighbors? Those in Church?

2 Kingdom Advance Through Evangelism (8-10a)
Evangelism=sharing the gospel with others.
Bill Bright: sharing the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.
      -Paul took the initiative to share the good news of Jesus with those who were not Christians.

                                   Evangelism to the RELIGIOUS and the IRRELIGIOUS!

-Paul preaches in the Synangogue (8)
      -Spoke boldly
      -Reasoning and persuading
                  -Place for reasoning and persuading in our evangelism!
      -CONTENT: “Kingdom of God”
                              -Acts 1:1-4
      *Mistaken View of religious pluralism: We don’t need to call people to believe in Jesus if they already have a different religion.
                  -Priest in the Episcopal Church I spoke after I became a Christian.
           -Truth of the gospel (John 14:6)
                  -Religious people need the gospel
                              -Being religious does not save you from your sins, only Christ can.
                                          -Hindus, Mormons, Jews, Buddhists, Spiritualists need the gospel.
-The gospel is rejected (9a)
      -Stubborn and continued in unbelief
                  -Speaking evil of the Way before the congregation.
                              –APPLICATION: If Paul experienced this, we should not be surprised when we do too.

-Paul took the gospel to the public square (9b-10a)he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years,
      –Hall of Tyrannus=likely a public hall or lecture area
                  -Two years DAILY!
      -Meetup Ministry=Our Hall of Tyrannus
-Overview of ‘Coffee & Conversations’
      -Last Fling
      -Taking on missionary-mindset here: hospitality and ministry of the word

-How can we more actively take the initiative to share the gospel in 2024?
      -Invite to church

3 Kingdom Advance through the Word of God (10b)
SUMMARY STATEMENT: so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks
-This is Luke’s summary about the triumph of gospel ministry at Ephesus
                  -Good goal for us: all who were in Naperville heard the word of the Lord
      –NOTE: “both Jews and Greeks
                  -Gospel is for everyone!

CONCLUSION: The kingdom of God advances as God’s people engage in discipleship and evangelism.
May God grant us the grace to engage in these faithfully in 2024 by the power of the Holy Spirit.

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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