“So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”
This verse is hanging near the entry to my home and, I’ll admit, it has become part of the background that I don’t see very often. Yet this morning it caught my eye and I really saw it again like the first time.
Let’s go back to the time when Luke, the writer of Acts, wrote those words. He spoke of several incredible accounts in Paul’s ministry. In fact, the next twenty verses spanned a few years of that ministry. I’d like to explore Acts 19 from start to finish over a series of posts. We’ll go through it line-by-line and build on our understanding of how Paul grew the Word of God mightily and prevailed.
Let’s get started in Acts 19:1;
1) “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,” Acts 19:1
Paul was healing people, speaking the Word in synagogues and homes in Ephesus and ran into some disciples. Disciples just means, disciplined ones.
2) “He (Paul) said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost (Spirit) since ye believed?
This question Paul asked, has me scratching my head. “Have ye received,” lambano is the Greek word there for received, meaning–received into manifestation or taken unto oneself for use. You can have a dollar bill in your pocket, but until you know it’s there, can you use it? That’s what Paul is saying. Have you manifested for your own personal use the gift of the Holy Spirit yet? Do you know what you have? Did anyone show you after you believed? Manifesting the gift of God’s Holy Spirit was the norm to Paul. He knew they wouldn’t really begin to grow without knowing how to work it. His quest was to make sure people knew what they had, and how to use it. Why? To grow the Word of God mightily and prevail over the adversary.
3) “And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any (such gifting of) Holy Ghost (Spirit).
These disciples–disciplined ones, were trained by Apollos who was teaching all he knew about John the Baptist. They had not heard about the gift of Holy Spirit. Which begs the question. Was John the Baptist a great prophet of God? YES! Did he know that the Father was going to pour out the gift of Holy Spirit and give mankind eternal life? If he had known, wouldn’t he have trained these fellahs in the greatness of that gift?
“[Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but NOW (When? Now) is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Colossians 1:28.
Those disciples didn’t know about “the mystery.” Why was it a mystery? God didn’t pour it out or let anyone know about it before the day of Pentecost. Proving the need for their training in it by Paul. See why it’s important to look into the entirety of the Word and not slice and dice it? These men didn’t know about the greatest gift of God’s grace since the creation of the heavens and the earth, and they were disciples! This goes to show you that men can know a lot about the Word, and yet not prevail mightily with the power of God in their life.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13.
Through what? Christ, that anointing of God’s Holy Spirit within us.
Why? Why can we prevail once we have this understanding and power?
“For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Ephesians 2:18
So Paul asks them,
“And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized?” Acts 19:3a
This is a revealing question. Paul was traveling through Ephesus. Ephesus was the main commercial hub on the river Cayster and the location for the temple of Artemis (Diana), the goddess of fertility. People worshipped this idol, got baptized in that ideology, and were destroyed for the lack of knowledge of the one true God. Was it well within Paul’s scope to ask these disciples, “…Unto what then were ye baptized?” Absolutely. Are there idols out there today baptizing men’s minds? YOU bet! So I ask you, unto what then are you all baptized? What are you a disciple of? NCIS? The Wheel of Fortune? Dallas? Buddha? Diana?
Are you operating the power of the gift of Holy Spirit? If you are not and want to, check out the next several posts. We’ll discuss what happened to these men and how Paul showed them they could grow the Word of God and mightily prevail.
God Bless You Today!
Check out the next post at called :002 What is God’s Job for You?