Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 47 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Acts 19 today and our focus is on the fullness/receiving of the Holy Spirit and Paul’s discipleship strategy for reaching Asia minor. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Queensland, Australia, Para, Brazil, West Bengal, India, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Peoria, Illinois. Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our new web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more – Click here for our reading plan!
I feel like I say this chapter is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible an awful lot, I guess I have a few dozen that really stick out to me – and this is certainly one of them. You have a tremendous amount of action – a huge riot that shakes up a whole city. Seven poser brothers beaten naked and bleeding by a demon possessed man. A massive and expensive book-burning, and a handful of believers who are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.
Let’s start there. We have several instances in the book of Acts when the Holy Spirit comes in power. Sometimes His coming is referred to as a baptism, sometimes as a receiving, and sometimes as a filling. Interestingly, there does NOT seem to be a set pattern when the Holy Spirit comes, contrary to the doctrines of some believers and denominations. In Acts we see the Holy Spirit come after somebody has been saved for quite some time (as we see in today’s chapter) and sometimes we see the Spirit come AS people are being saved (as in the case with Cornelius in Acts 10.) Sometimes believers are filled with power and cast out demons, sometimes they are filled with boldness, sometimes (but not every time) they speak in tongues (as in Acts 10) and sometimes they speak in tongues and prophesy – as in today’s passage. We should be VERY careful about looking at ONE or TWO instances of the coming of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts and building concrete doctrine on those two instances – as if we fully understand the actions and signs of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit isn’t an IT – He is a HE – third person of the Trinity, and He does not always conform to our limited understandings of Him. We could spend a lot of time here, but since this is a ten minute pod (roughly) allow me to just simply remind us all that we should look to the whole of God’s Word to develop our theology and not just pick and choose from a few places. With that, let’s read our passage, and then discuss Paul’s amazing discipleship strategy.
Vs. 10 is pretty fascinating: 10 This went on for two years, so that all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord. We would do well to remember that ‘Asia,’ in the first century did not refer to all of China, Japan, Bangladesh, India, etc – but more to Asia minor. Still, this is a remarkable passage. How was such a large region so impacted that the Bible could indicate that everybody there at least heard the Word of God? Well – Paul’s strategy, no doubt inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit, is pretty amazing. After leaving the synagogues, Paul goes to this secular place – the Lecture Halls of Tyrannus, and he teaches and discusses Jesus EVERY day for two years. I can tell you that this strategy – specifically the part where Paul uses a secular/worldly medium to teach and discuss daily for two whole years, was a big inspiration for me to engage in daily podcasting last year, and to continue in it this year. Two years of daily discussions and teachings about Jesus out in the public – perhaps more church leaders, evangelists and pastors should utilize this particular approach of Paul, as I suspect it would be quite fruitful today.
John Piper has also commended this strategy, noting:
Just as Jesus is gathering a people with the word of God from a fishing boat, so Peter and the followers of Jesus will gather people like man-fishers with the word of God.
I think it’s significant to see that he “taught” the people. Verse 3: “He sat down and began teaching.” At times he proclaims, at other times he teaches. Both are important in the life of the church today. But I want to suggest that in our evangelism—our man-fishing with the bait of the word of God—should involve a lot of teaching, a lot of explaining. We live in a society that does not know the true nature of God and the gospel. They don’t know the God-centered nature of what sin is, and what God’s glory and law are, and who Christ is and what happened on the cross and what faith is and what love is and what heaven and hell are. Therefore, to win these people we need to develop structures of teaching. And I don’t mean only formal teaching. And I don’t mean stop sharing the short testimonies and snapshots of Jesus. But let’s add ways of offering unbelievers more and more of Christ so that they can make a credible response to a whole message. Let’s dream and plan and be aggressive in our love for lost people by coming up with ways that we can keep telling them and showing them more and more truth. Jesus was teaching in the boat to illustrate man-fishing.
This seems to be the way Paul did it sometimes. In Acts 19:9–10 Luke said that Paul “reasoned daily in the hall of Tyrannus [that is, he taught]. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.” What a great church planting strategy: teach unbelievers daily in a public hall about the Christian worldview for two years!
That’s the first mark of the disciples who do man-fishing. They teach the word of God.
John Piper, Sermons from John Piper (2000–2014) (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 2014).
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for FEBRUARY: Acts 9:31 So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/al_happy
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/TlwWc-6dZig