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The Power of God (2)

Acts: Christ Builds His Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Acts 19:11–20 ESV
11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

1.God’s Power on Display

Acts 19:11–12 ESV
11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.
EX: God did mighty acts through the apostles.
(Thus, the name of the book!)
Sick were healed
God cured them of their diseases
Demons were driven out
He even worked through handkerchiefs and aprons
a physical point of contact
These extraordinary miracles were signs to verify the message and ministry of Paul
Jesus-
many miracles at first, then gospels pivot to message.
The message was always the point!
Acts-
same pattern: miracles are there, but the message is primary
AP: God still works miracles
He challenges us to pray and promises to respond
Mark 11:24 ESV
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:
Ask with the right motives
Have not because ask not
James 4:1–3 ESV
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
Pray for the ill
James 5:14–16 ESV
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
James 5:14–16 ESV
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

2.Attempted Imitation

Acts 19:13–16 ESV
13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
IL: Genie of the Lamp “Often imitated but never duplicated.”
EX: The sons of Sceva tried to imitate the works of God
In keeping with magical tradition, They often invoked names of divine figures.
Many Jewish texts exists which mix paganism and the OT.
Here, Jewish exorcists were selling their services.
They tried to invoke Jesus’ name
Imitating Paul and Christians
AP: Many charlatans try to imitate the power of God today.
If the issue is purely Psychological, they can see some degree of success.
However, one of the biggest red flags to me is when they are selling miracles.
One of the biggest red flags to me is when they are selling miracles.
I have yet to find a single verse that says if you want to pray, you must pay
I have never seen an example in the Bible where faith had to be expressed through money to get God’s attention.
Offerings are an act of worship, but GOD is NOT a vending machine!
I have never heard of people who allegedly having the ability to heal going out and emptying hospitals and nursing homes!
They can play games and imitate, but they can’t genuinely duplicate the things of God.
IF they have any actual spiritual power, it is demonic and will lead to evil ends.

3. God’s Transforming Power

Acts 19:17–20 ESV
17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
EX: The believers truly repented
They gave up their occult practices and paraphernalia
Now that they were redeemed and had real power, they didn’t want the garbage of the past hanging around.
This had several benefits
Demonstrated their repentance
Removed temptation
Declared allegiance to Christ publically
AP: We too need to clean house
Remove the mementos of our sin
It might be different for each of us
books
movies
music
associates
Rid ourselves of things which cause temptation
In your area of weakness, don’t allow an avenue for sin.
Don’t test your willpower
Did you know I’m trying to loose weight?
I don’t go buy a cheesecake to sit on the table to see if I have willpower!
I AVOID sweets like they were poison!
Sin is the same way
You will be tempted
You will have to resist
DON’T go looking for it!
Remove things which are inconsistent with our identity in Christ.
Some things might not be sin, but they interfere with our testimony
They are inconsistent with who we are in Jesus!
Get rid of it!

Conclusion:

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