In Defense of the Gospel
When you know something is true, how do you respond to accusations against it, and you? You can get mad or get fearful, but Paul shows us in this passage how to defend the gospel by removing other offenses to it, sharing your experience, and using the law.
Recently deceased U.S. Congressman John Lewis often talked about getting into “good trouble”, doing things you actually should do, but that bring you into dangerous situations. How can we follow Jesus into such good trouble? We have to do it with other Christians, and we have to be controlled by the will of the Lord.
Caring for the Church
As Paul continues his mission, we see once again that his plan for the ongoing care of churches he’s started is a council of elders in those churches who care for the church. Through his address to the elders at Ephesus, we can all learn how to care for the church of God.
The Gospel Threatens Idols
The Gospel threatens idols by transferring their power and glory to Jesus. In Acts 19:21-41 we learn that the gospel causes an uproar by taking the power of idols, by taking the glory of idols, and by giving them to Jesus.
Jesus Rules Over Idols
When we see the work of Jesus ruling over and exposing the idols of the world around us and people are confronted, you can expect certain things to happen.
Expect that people will be angry and that there will be changes in social norms.
Live so the gospel prevails.
Acts 19:20: So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. In other words, what got them out of bed in the morning was not an alarm clock, but a calling. The calling to live so that the gospel would prevail. That brings us to the big idea of our passage: Live so the gospel prevails. Live so the gospel prevails. Feel free to wake up to an alarm clock but get out of bed for the greatest calling imaginable. Get out of bed so that you can take your dignified place in the advance of God’s Kingdom and live so the gospel prevails in our generation. How do we live so the gospel prevails? Luke shows us two ways: play your God-given part and let the gospel prevail over you.
The Gospel Prevails
In order to persevere in anything, we have to have hope of possible success. Jesus’ mission is even better: There is a guarantee of success, because the gospel will prevail through our strengths and weaknesses, by the Holy Spirit, and over who we once were.