Our text is Acts 19:1-20.
In Paul’s extended word-driven ministry in Ephesus, many Ephesians turned from idols to the living Christ. Luke records some significant events surrounding this spiritual awakening. In today’s text, we see that the gospel came to Ephesus through multiple circumstances.
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 Paul at Ephesus coloring sheet.
Service for Family Worship:
Call to Worship:
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (ESV)
1 Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (ESV)
Almighty God, you have given us such amazing promises in your word.
You have revealed your attributes and your character, and we confess before you that you are beautiful beyond all comprehension.
You are infinitely worthy of all worship and praise, even if you had never done anything for us.
And yet, you have done more than we can possibly imagine or understand.
We are so grateful for your great salvation you have given us—the fact that before the foundation of the world you chose a people for yourself, and you have worked effectually to save us, and you hold us firmly in your unbreakable grip.
So we bow before you today as your children, and we ask that you enable us to give ourselves to you—our minds, our wills, and our emotions.
Help us place all our affection upon you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We also ask that you would meet us today at the point of our needs as you define them, that you would continue to conform us into the image of your Son. Enable us to worship you this day in spirit and in truth to your honor and glory. 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 20:16
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (ESV)
Almighty God, we humble ourselves before you in confession and repentance.
There are times when we talk too much, and repeat things which we have no right to repeat. We pass on a story which may not be entirely true or add our own embellishment to the account. Gracious Father who always listens, forgive us.
Help us remember to keep a deliberate and constant check on our tongues. Keep safe within us the hurts and secrets that others have shared, for they trusted us, and we were glad of that trust. Help us to use our ears more than our mouths.
Forgive us for the totality of our sin against you and against others. With your help, O Lord, may we never again hear ourselves betray a confidence or breach a trust. Instead, transform us into listening, honest, trustworthy, more Christ-like friends. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: 1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (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. 144. What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?
A. The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.
Jesus = The One WAY (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: Matthew 6:19-21
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (ESV)
(Online giving is now available for your convenience. This link, https://www.faithpresarp.org/give/, will take you to the page that explains this process and includes a button which will redirect you to the secured giving platform.
The text of this hymn was written in 1774 by Robert Robinson. Robinson is perhaps best known for his hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” In his youth, Robinson was apprenticed to a barber in London and lived a wild and reckless life. But one day, he heard a sermon by George Whitefield. The Spirit of God convicted him, and he put his faith in Christ. In this hymn, Robinson, drawing from Revelation 4:8, pictures for us the angels as those who set a great example in the exclusivity, consistency, and fervor of their worship and adoration of the Lord.
Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)
Sermon: How the Gospel Came to Ephesus
Our hymn writer Charles William Everest was born in in Connecticut. While in school, at the age of nineteen, he published a book in 1833, Visions of Death and Other Poems, from which the words of this hymn are taken. After graduating Trinity College, he became an Episcopal minister in Hamden, Connecticut where he served for the next thirty years. The lyrics of our hymn are based on Matthew 16:24, “Whosoe’er will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)
Questions for Further Discussion
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?
Jesus = The One WAY
Have you ever seen a ONE WAY Street? Do you know the Bible talks about ONLY ONE WAY to Heaven?
Six times in the Book of Acts (9:2; 22:4,14,22) and two times in chapter 19 – the early followers of Jesus were called followers of the Way.
9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, (ESV)
23 About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. (ESV)
In Bible times, followers of Jesus were called people of THE WAY. What is cool about Christians being called this = THE WAY, is that people in the Roman Empire understood what WAY meant.
The Latin name for Road or WAY was VIA. 1,000 of miles of good Roman roads were built – they were the best way to get from one place to another safely.
These “ways” or roads – allowed the good news of Jesus to travel with Paul and his missionary companions: Timothy, Silas, Luke, Aquila, Priscilla, Apollos – they all could go from place to place on these “ways” – and tell the same message over and over – Jesus is the ONLY Way! So next time you are on a one way road – think of this message and Remember There is ONLY way to heaven and loving Jesus is that ONE Way!