Today in Acts we get an extraordinary vision of the church in action. It speaks volumes about the character of the early church—and the DNA of its leaders.
Paul is passing through the region, and comes to Ephesus (which you will get to see if you come on my Mediterranean Cruise Journeys of Paul Tour through Italy, Greece, and Turkey!). He finds there some disciples, and asks them if they have received the Holy Spirit. They answer no, stating they were baptized into John’s baptism—a baptism of repentance and believing in the Messiah, the one to come, Jesus.
So Paul baptizes them in the name of the Lord Jesus, lays hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them. Then they spoke in tongues, prophesied, and spent years preaching and arguing daily about the good news. “This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.”
Despite this obvious exaggeration that all the residents of Asia heard the good news, this testifies to the importance of the Ephesian mission. Paul is the single greatest shaper of our religion, with only one exception – Jesus Christ. That’s how important he is to Christianity!
They move on, and he goes to the “lecture hall of Tyrannus”. Most certainly this is a place of trade or philosophical instruction. It is certainly not a religious institution. God’s word is spilling out into places almost unthinkable, and Paul and the disciples at Ephesus are key to this.
How extraordinary! How different we think of “church” in these days, with all our Sunday-only castles. Back then it was on the move, elusive. How do we recapture the vigor of Acts 19? Where is the fire for the gospel? Where is our bold speech?
I am not arguing that we should all cash in our chips, leave our families, and venture out into the streets of Asia, but what I am challenging us to consider is to take God’s Word out of our churches and transport them to our daily lives—to our work—to our rest—on our vacations. We are called by God to share the good news of the gospel, not just come hear it on Sunday mornings, but to make it portable and accessible for 21st Century ears.
How will we spread the good news in this day and age?
My first recommendation is for you to get energized!!! Have the Bible come alive!
I would seriously encourage you to join me on the Oct 2018 Cruise. That is the easiest way to make the Bible come alive! Journeying where Paul journeyed is truly a life changing experience.
And aboard a luxury cruise ship. How can you beat that!? I will be joined by Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, NT professor from Southern Methodist University, who will be the guest lecturer while we are at sea.
Think about it. See more at: mattmeinke.com/trips
If you are interested in giving yourself the gift of one of my biblical tours, let’s talk.