Bridging the Gospel to our Community - Lessons from Paul in Ephesus “Contend for the Gospel” (Billy Russell, 10/06/19)
Bridging the Gospel to our Community - Lessons from Paul in Ephesus
“Contend for the Gospel” (Acts 19:21-41)
You will never stand and contend for the Gospel without first knowing it, living it (from being taught how to apply it), and being convinced of its prevailing power. The believers were changed by the Gospel, shared it’s truth, and were targets of evil men because of it. Let us be convinced of the hope of the Gospel and contend for it in our day.
The Gospel has a prevailing impact on the community (vv.22-27):
“... there arose a great disturbance about the Way” (v.23).
The Gospel contending with the prevailing cultural values counter to
the Way of Jesus (economic impact felt by idol-worship merchants).
Incident- Demetrius throws an Artemis Party! (business/civic/religious)
“The Gospel is bad for pagan business” (D. Garland).
How believers respond & contend for the Gospel (vv. 28-41):
They exercise... wisdom- they consider what to do before they
respond. 2 brothers, Gaius and Aristarchus, are seized and bum-
rushed into the great theater of Ephesus (v.29).
They employ... patience- they do not respond impulsively. Paul is kept
from intervening/speaking by the brothers (v.29). They do not add
fuel to the fire. They wait out the evil day!
They live... righteously- No charge could legally be brought against
them (v.37- of robbing temples nor speaking against the goddess).
How you live in the culture is seen and matters!
They practice... silence- Without a formal public debate of the issues
or even an informal exchange of ideas. Evidence of prayer!
They await... rescue- Sometimes it’s better to outlast than rush in. The
incident, after hours of riotous chanting, is eventually put down by
the city clerk (vv. 35-41). A discerning sensitivity to the Spirit!