Today’s reading from Word on the Web is
Paul in Ephesus
19 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[b] 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.
13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.[c] 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
From the notes came this
Luke notes three groups impacted by Paul. The first (vs 1–7) had a limited knowledge of Christianity (see Acts 18:24–26). They were already Christians (‘disciples’, v 1), but they had not been taught the exact nature of John’s role in relation to Jesus. They had got so far, but then stopped short. They are similar to many Christians today who don’t get past the elementary stages of discipleship and who haven’t yet learned to echo Paul’s great prayer ‘I press on towards the goal’ (Philippians 3:14).
The second group influenced by Paul were the synagogue attenders (vs 8–10). Initially there was a high degree of interest and Paul preached to them for three months (see Acts 18:21), but this early concern gave way to militant opposition, prompting Paul and those who believed his message to leave and find alternative premises (v 9). In effect, the majority in the synagogue were in denial. They chose the security of the institution rather than risk following Christ. Today, nominal Christianity plays a similar role in church life.
If the first group was in transition and the second in denial, the third was in bondage. The sons of Sceva were one of the groups in Ephesus that today we would call New Age. They sought, as some do today, to integrate occult practices with aspects of Christianity. They mistakenly interpreted Paul’s miracles as acts of magic: magic is an attempt, using human words, actions or rituals, to control and manipulate the supernatural, whereas miracles are works of God wrought through human instruments like Paul (v 11) to reverse the effects of evil in people’s lives.
So the question is what Type of Person are you?
Are you a person who has found some faith but not got the whole package, who thinks of them self as a Christian but actually has not given there live to Christ.
Or are you someone who has heard and seen what Christ can do in peoples lives but refuse to have the comfort of your life challenged so stay with what you know and are comfortable with?
Or are you in the last group, doing your best to mix what you already know with this new teaching, Ending up with a Hodgepodge of ideas some of which are Christian but most are about you not God?
So which are you?
Would you not rather have the genuine item rather than a knock off? Why settle for second best when you can have the real thing.
So today decide to give your life to Jesus, then go and find out about Him and how to live Hos way.