Our text is Acts 19:21-41.
After summarizing how the power of Jesus was displayed in Ephesus and highlighting the power of the word in verse 20, Luke tells about the protest in Ephesus. But before we see how the gospel impacted the culture, we get two verses about Paul’s travel plans (verse 21-22). This gives us a glimpse of what is to come in the book of Acts. Paul plans on returning to Jerusalem via Macedonia and Achaia. Then he hopes to fulfill his desire to preach in Rome.
Children’s Message: Pastor Chad Sadorf has been including a series of Children’s Messages. These messages will parallel the sermons from Acts to help guide the children through the concepts that are taught in the sermon. Today’s message is provided as a video; this link appears just after the Gloria Patri in the service (where it would normally occur in our church service). Click on these links for a children’s bulletin and printable coloring page to accompany this message: Children’s Bulletin and Peacemakers coloring sheet.
Service for Family Worship:
Call to Worship:
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, (ESV)
Almighty God, we bow before you this morning as your grateful people. You are the standard of perfection. You are infinitely holy and exalted above all things. And your glory is displayed in all of your creation. You sustain, control, and rule over all that exists.
And yet you dwell with your children in the most intimate way because of the finished work of your Son Jesus Christ.
So, we come to you with boldness and with great joy, because you said so. And we come not because we have earned your favor, but because we are trusting that the blood of your Son has washed us clean.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, would you lift up our hearts this morning in love and adoration to you. And prepare our hearts to confess our sins as a portion of your law is read. In Jesus’ name, amen
In the month of October, our congregation will be singing Psalm 100. Charles Spurgeon wrote, “A Psalm of Praise; or rather of thanksgiving. This is the only psalm bearing this precise inscription. It is all ablaze with grateful adoration, and has for this reason been a great favourite with the people of God ever since it was written.” He continues, “To the occurrence of the word ‘thanksgiving’ in this place [verse 4] the Psalm probably owes its title. In all our public service the rendering of thanks must abound; it is like the incense of the temple, which filled the whole house with smoke. Expiatory sacrifices are ended, but those of gratitude will never be out of date. So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks. ” from The Treasury of David, by Charles Spurgeon, www.spurgeon.org/treasury/treasury/ps100.htm
Corporate Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:17
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (ESV)
Almighty and gracious God, we are thankful that your mercy is
higher than the heavens,
wider than our wanderings,
deeper than all our sin.
Forgive our careless attitudes toward your purposes,
our refusal to relieve the suffering of others,
our envy of those who have more than we have,
our obsession with creating a life of constant pleasure,
our indifference to the treasures of heaven,
our neglect of your wise and gracious law.
By your grace and the power of Holy Spirit transform us
so that we may desire what is good,
love what you love,
and do what you command,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: Romans 5:1
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
This is a wonderful promise we have in the gospel of Christ. Glory be to God!
Affirmation of Faith:
The Westminster Larger Catechism
Q. 147. What are the duties required in the tenth commandment?
A. The duties required in the tenth commandment are, such a full contentment with our own condition, and such a charitable frame of the whole soul toward our neighbor, as that all our inward motions and affections touching him, tend unto, and further all that good which is his.
Q. 148. What are the sins forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the tenth commandment are, discontentment with our own estate; envying and grieving at the good of our neighbor, together with all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.
Seeking Peace and Self-Control: Peacemaking – Part II (Click here to link to the video of the Children’s Message)
(You may want to take a moment to pray with your child or children for your family, your church family, our country and world.)
Offertory: Psalm 96:8-9
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! (ESV)
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This hymn is based on a portion of Psalm 22, specifically verses 23-26 and verse 31. It is a Davidic Psalm and a Messianic Psalm. The portion of our hymn that we will sing focuses on the later part of the Psalm, which is rich with the call to God’s people to come and praise and adore the Lord. It speaks of God’s glory and man’s satisfaction in seeking and finding God. It tells of the Lord’s covenant faithfulness to countless generations and the beauty and wonder of all the works of the Lord in creation and salvation.
Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)
Sermon: A Riot in Ephesus
The lyrics of this hymn, written in 1739, comprise one of the clearest, simplest, and most straightforward poetic expressions of the total efficacy of the Lord Jesus for the salvation of fallen humanity. In each stanza the author proclaims his absolute assurance of being justified before God, not because of any work or merit of his own, but solely because of the blood and righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. This hymn is one of more than 2,000 hymns written by Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf. It is to the praise of God that throughout his life Count Zinzendorf continued to focus not on what he was doing for Christ, but on the sole and complete sufficiency of what Christ had done for him.
Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)
Questions for Further Discussion
1. What does Paul’s encounter with the disciples of John teach about the need to evangelize religious people?
2. Compare Paul’s ministry in the synagogue in Ephesus to previous synagogue experiences.
3. What might a contemporary “lecture hall of Tyrannus” ministry look like today? Where might we have opportunity to publicly evangelize large numbers of people?
4. What does Paul’s encounter with the “sons of Sceva” teach about Holy Spirit? What does it teach about the evil one?
Seeking Peace and Self-Control: Peacemaking – Part II
Are you a disturber of the peace? Do you like to fuss about things? I mean make noise and make trouble? Previously we did some videos that looked at being a peacemaker and being a troublemaker – some came from the book of Acts, others from our video series on the Fruits of the Spirit – specifically peace and self-control. (You can find those on our YouTube channel).
Today in our Bible passage there were a bunch of people who were making a big fuss over Paul and his missionary friends coming to the City of Ephesus. The people all gathered outside into a stadium (it seated 24,000 people).
They were upset:
- they were afraid of losing money
- they were angry because their local famous landmark, the Temple of Artemis, was being criticized
- they were hurt that their religion was being exposed as false!
The people in Ephesus were creating a big fuss, the Bible uses words to describe it like: disturbance, confusion, commotion.
So, the people in the city of Ephesus created a riot.
RIOT = RUCKUS INVOLVING OUTWARD TURMOIL
Do you remember our old friends: “peace and self-control” – those two fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23
That’s what the people of Ephesus needed – peace and self-control and it is what we need to help us stay calm in times of confusion.
Let’s pray again ABOUT SEEKING THOSE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT: peace and self-control .
Let’s pray and ask God to help us to be peace-makers who have self-control to watch our words and actions!
Let’s pray that we love and put our faith in Jesus – WHO is the Prince of Peace – and who came to bring us peace!