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  • Feb 03 / 2019
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Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Wants to Use what is in your Hands (Acts 19:6-12)

19:6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Acts 19:6-12

When Paul arrived in Ephesus, he asked the 12 men he met, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit?” “No, we have received only John’s baptism.” Paul realized they needed the good news of salvation – so he told them about Jesus’ death, resurrection, saving power of the Holy Spirit in his name, and so they believed and were baptized. Then the Holy Spirit came upon them. They spoke in tongues and preached the gospel message in other languages.

For by one Spirit we were baptized…

1 Cor 12:13

This event was a mini-Pentecost.

In Acts, this is the final event of tongue speaking recorded. So, in order to remember the work of the Holy Spirit, we must remember several things.

  1. The book of transitions
  2. The starting of the New Covenant age
  3. The new History book

So, about speaking in tongues, we must remember, these instances are erratic, not very often.

Yes, this is ONE of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but is NOT evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, not evidence of the fullness of the Spirit.

“Do all speak in tongues?” No.

So, remember, the key point of the book of Acts = the Spread of the Gospel and its inclusiveness. The key verse is Acts 1:8:

When the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8

We must seek to share our faith through the power of the Holy Spirit in this way. Nowhere are we admonished to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit nor to speak in tongues, but we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Paul’s ministry lasted 3 years and was marked by the movement of the Holy Spirit. “The name of Christ was held in high honor through transformed lives…”

6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.

Acts 19:6-8

Paul was asked to stay in Ephesus on his first missionary journey, but he declined their offer. Still, he promised to return later if God allowed. Now, he’s kept his promise by entering the same synagogue and speaking boldly about Christ for three months – until encountering opposition.

In Christian life, keeping your word is very important. This is not just for good intentions. One of the commonest promises we Christians make to each other is: “I’ll pray for you.”

I will….

I’ll pray for you.

This promise, from a Christian mouth is a VERY serious promise – with God as witness before you. So, whenever we make this promise, we must keep this promise at least more than one time. This is a promise we make not only before the other person, but also before God – because we pray TO God.

9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

Acts 19:9-10

This means that the whole province of Asia Minor was evangelized.

When the door of the synagogue was closed, God opened the Way much wider through the whole province of Asia.

At that time, synagogues were usually schools for Jews. But this lecture hall of Tyrannus was larger and more available for Gentiles.

Tyrannus may have been a Greek philosopher or just the owner of that building at that time. Such buildings were often used in the mornings to teach Greek philosophy, but they were often empty during the middle of the day – due to the heat (the hot part of the day).

In Ephesus, the work day ran:

  • From at 7am,
  • Break at 11am – 4pm.
  • Work again until 9:30pm

Paul worked all morning and evening at his secular job. But during the break period, he preached the gospel daily for two years. Can you calculate how many hours he preached the gospel? 10,000+ hours?

  • 5 hours * 2 years =
  • 3, 120 hours of lecturing =
  • 130 days of lecturing without stop at 24 hours per day

Paul kept a “killer” schedule. Why? Because at that time, religion was a “big business” in Ephesus. So, he WORKED hard to keep himself free from appearing that he was “in” this “business” for money.

You remember my toil and hardship, working night and day, to not be a burden to anyone while I preached the gospel of God to you.

1 Thess 2:9

10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

Acts 19:10

It was during this time of year that the churches mentioned in Revelation came into being.

  • Paul taught and preached,
  • admonished the believers,
  • went and evangelized house to house,
  • planted many churches,
  • directed a great missionary enterprise.

In today’s age of “meism” and selfishness, “hedonism” and self-pleasure, we need “tough” Christians like Paul.

We can learn three lessons we can apply to our own lives today.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Acts 19:11-12

It was not Paul who did miracles, but God. They had a three-fold purpose:

  1. To demonstrate God’s power and authority
  2. To authenticate Paul as the spokesman for the true God
  3. To demonstrate God’s compassion, mercy, and grace to those in great need

From these miracles, we can find three lessons for our own Christian lives today.

3 Lessons

#1 God wants us to be holy

As our Father is holy, we must be holy. You know, at that time, aprons and handkerchiefs were dirty, sweatbands, used from making tents, they were not special.

But the ultimate purpose of Paul’s tentmaking was to preach the gospel more effectively. That’s why God blessed his secular job.

How about us?

God does not want us to do sometimes what is holy and sometimes what is not holy. He doesn’t want holiness only in the church, and unholiness out of the church. He wants holiness everywhere.

Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Cor 10:31

In your office, your hagwon, your school, are you doing a “holy” job or a “secular” job? At the time of Noah: “They were eating, drinking, giving in marriage” – but it was unholy, secular, because their motivation for doing so was only for their own physical pleasure.

Even though we are eating, drinking, making money – if we do this for his glory, it will be accepted as holy. Thus, this is our mission field given by God. He wants us to do what is holy all the time, not just sometimes.

#2 God wants to use what is in your hand

In serving and saving others, God wants to use what you’ve got in your hands.

  • God used what was in Moses’ hands to save Israel from Egypt.
  • He used the sling in David’s hand to kill the giant and save Israel.
  • He used the loaves and fishes in the boy’s hand to feed 5,000.
  • He used the clothes in Paul’s hand to save and heal others.

These things were merely symbols of dignity of heart, sincerity, humility, and God used them to release his power.

Yes, today, we may not be able to do these kinds of miracles, but we are able to give him our hands – and through our hands, he is able.

#3 Healing is still possible and available today

Physical, bodily, spiritual, mental, psychological healing, all are possible through Jehovah Rafar.

He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our sins. By his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

He himself bore our sins on the cross so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By his death, we have been healed.

1 Peter 2:24

He took up our iniquities; he carried our diseases.

Matthew 8:17

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This kind of miracle is still available for those who have faith and trust in Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 13 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Keep on Speaking (Acts 18:1-22)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Keep on Speaking (Acts 18:1-22)

https://soundcloud.com/antioch-church-325593234/keep-on-speaking

Download Notes in a .MD file

Keep on Speaking!

Acts 18:1-22 (Pastor Heo)

In Corinth

1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court. 13 “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.”

14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law–settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he had them ejected from the court. 17 Then they all turned on Sosthenes the synagogue ruler and beat him in front of the court. But Gallio showed no concern whatever.

Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos

18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.


Corinth was 80km SW from Berea.

At that time, Corinth’s reputation for wickedness was well-known at that time. It was a center for trade, business, and travel. It was very notorious for its immorality.

  • “To Corinthianize” = “to practice sexual immorality”.
  • A prostitute was often referred to as “a Corinthian girl.”

This was not (seemingly) an ideal place to launch a ministry. But Paul saw it as both a great challenge AND opportunity.

In challenge, there is opportunity.

In opportunity, there is challenge.

v. 1-3

“1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.”

By the providence / guidance of God, Paul met this couple. They were “tentmakers” – they made canopies and other leather goods. They had lived in Rome, but had been expelled by the Emperor Claudius – the (fourth) emperor of the Roman Empire. His successor was Nero (fifth).

At that time, all Jewish boys were expected to learn a hand-skill. Paul was a tentmaker as his secular job. Rabbis said, “A man who does not teach his man to work, teaches him to steal.”

So, from this story, self-supporting missionaries are still called “tentmaker missionaries” today.

This couple was a wonderful role-model for modern Christian couples who wanted to make an eternal difference in the world. Their names appear here 4 times, and Paul mentions them 3 times in his letters. 2 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, Romans. “Aquila and Priscilla, my fellow workers in Christ.”

At least 4 timeless qualities enabled them to have the ability to minister with Paul.

4 Qualities of this Christian couple

1. Lives were steeped in the Word of God

They spent much time with Paul, heard him preach and teach many times, so they knew and understood the Scriptures very well.

2. They had spiritual eyes toward eternity

Even though tentmakers by trade, they were focused on something far more important and significant. They were investing in people, seeking to build Christ’s church.

3. They were always available

They were willing to go and move where needed, their house was always open.

4. They were radically committed to ministry with Paul.

They were very stable, very committed, and God worked powerfully through them.

How much does God work in your marriage? God bless your marriage.

v. 4-10

“4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” “

As usual, there was still opposition against Paul and his ministry. But we must remember that to walk by faith, this means “to see opportunities in the midst of opposition.”

  • Pessimist = opposition all the time
  • Optimist = opportunities all the time

Which are you?

  • Realist? = opportunities IN opposition

Even though Paul confronts many oppositions and abuses here, he did not close his eyes to these dangers and difficulties – but he did look at them from a divine, godly point of view. To “obey” means to follow and do the will of God regardless of our circumstances.

There is NO easy place in this world. If there is, there may be something wrong.

Timothy 3:12 “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in this world will be persecuted.”

What matters is NOT our circumstances but our ATTITUDE about our circumstances.

“Our attitudes should be the same as Christ Jesus.”


Story

There was a big shoe company. They sent workers to an undeveloped country to figure out a marketing strategy.

  • One man said, “Impossible! We cannot sell shoes because they are all barefoot!”
  • Another man, “Oh yeah! So exciting! We can sell MANY because all of them NEED shoes!”

This is the same in the Bible:

12 men of Israel when spying out Canaan experienced the same thing.

  • 10 said, “We are too few, and too small. We will die.”
  • 2 (Joshua and Caleb): “No! We can go forward and conquer them! Let’s go!”

What made them different?

  • The 10 saw only what is VISIBLE.
    • But the 2 saw what is INvisible in the visible.
  • 10 did not see the unseen God who was with them.
    • 2 saw the unseen God who was with them.

Yes, even today, with real faith in Christ, we must be able to SEE what is unseen. We must see the unseen God who is with us all the time. This is the vision.

Paul’s European mission started with a vision of the Man of Macedonia (chp 16). “Come to Macedonia and help us.” His vision ended with a vision of the Lord.

v. 9-10

“9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.””

In this vision, the first word God said to Paul was “Do not be afraid.” (The same word he spoke to Joshua in Canaan – the same word he speaks to US when we are in trouble.)

“Do not be afraid.” can calm the storms in our lives when everything looks chaotic.

  • To Abraham: “Do not be afraid. I’m your shield, your very great reward.”
  • To Isaac: “Do not be afraid. I’m with you.”
  • To Jacob: “Do not be afraid to go to Egypt. I’m with you and will make you into a great nation.”
  • Isaiah 10:41 “Do not be afraid. I’m with you and will uphold you and strengthen you with my mighty right hand.”
  • John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled…”

Can you not hear his voice today calling to you as well?


“Do not be afraid.”

Why? “I am with you.”


Do you recognize that God is with you?

God is a spirit, within all things, out of all things, above all things, below all things, holy, presiding, supporting, sustaining, filling, he is here with us, over, under, inside us, but not confined – not shut in.

His name is “EMMANUEL” (God with us). He lives up to his name.


Story

One Sunday school teacher read to his class: Matthew 28:20 “I am with you to the very end of the age!”

  • He said, “What a wonderful promise! Isn’t it?”
  • One small student said, “Teacher? This is not a promise. It’s a fact…”

We can enjoy and feel this now and here.

So, as long as we remember and feel that God is with us – through his Holy Spirit, we can be sure that nothing can (ultimately) attack or harm us. (v. 10)

  • But we know that Paul experienced so many kinds of hardships and sufferings.
  • But God said, “No one can harm you.” Hmm. Contradictory? No.

From an eternal perspective, we are not living only 100 years on this earth. From ETERNITY, this is true.

Jesus says, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes, no one can harm you.”

Remember, Jesus FIRST concern is on his witness and witnesses.

“All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me; therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.”

This means that WHEN we go and preach of him, HIS authority will be shown through us.

Jesus’ first concern is on his witness. This is logical.

Also, “Do not be silent. Keep on speaking. Because I have many people in this city.”

This sentence implies: the doctrine of divine election because God KNOWS who will be saved. He knows those who are his.

John 10:16 “I have other sheep.”

We are Jesus’ sheep; he is our shepherd.

Jesus says, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them to this sheep pen and they must listen to my voice. They shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

However,

God’s sovereignty in Divine Election does not negate Man’s responsibility. Actually, quite the opposite. We should remember that BECAUSE God has some set aside for himself, we must obey his commission.

  1. His job is to “save sinners.” That’s not OUR job.
  2. You know, if others’ salvation depended on OUR work, voices, skill, it would be hopeless.
  3. But because others’ salvation is dependent wholly on God, we can depend and trust him that when we preach the Word, (scatter seed), he will do the rest.

“God desires all men to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

“Here is a trustworthy saying, that Christ came to save sinners.”

God says, “I have many people in THIS city” today! (Jeonju)

I have MANY people to save, and to BE saved in THIS city (Jeonju).

So, we have more than enough reason to keep on preaching and not be silent.

v. 18-22

“18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea [seaport of Corinth] because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church [Jerusalem church] and then went down to Antioch [church].”

Paul completed his mission at Corinth and then before sailing to Ephesus, cut off his hair as a sign of a vow.

Would you do this? Cut your hair for a vow? We do not know this vow nor this reason, but it is a special dedication to God and a special expression to God for all the things he’d done through Paul’s missionary journey until now.

He then sailed for Ephesus (returning to Asia Minor – part of Turkey today). In Ephesus, the people asked Paul to stay more with them, but he said, “No, sorry, I must hurry on. But, if it is God’s will, I will return later.”

Why? According to Jewish Law, the Nazarite vow had to be completed AT Jerusalem with offerings of proper sacrifices. That’s why Paul was in a hurry to go to Jerusalem and complete his vow. Then, he went to his home church Antioch to report to his missionary team.

Still today, God is working through his workers. He says,

  • “Do not be afraid!
  • Keep on speaking!
  • Do not be silent!
  • I have many people (to save) in this city!”

That is the main reason to keep on speaking and not be silent.

God bless us all as his missionaries in this world.

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen