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Power of the Word

So the word of the Lord continue to increase and prevail mightily. Acts 19:20

As we continue our sermon series through the book of Acts, I am continually challenged and encouraged. This past Sunday we heard a great message on Acts 19 and Paul’s ministry in Ephesus. This passage speaks to the power of God and His Word in our lives. From Acts 18.24 through Acts 19:20 we see people who truly know God’s word, people who only know part, and some who only wanted the power without the substance.

In Acts 18.24 we are introduced to Apollos. He was an eloquent speaker and competent in God’s Word. He was teaching God’s Word accurately; however, his teaching was incomplete. He knew the Old Testament, and he also knew of John the Baptist; however, he did not know fully about Jesus. His teaching was compelling, just incomplete. That is when Priscilla and Aquila took him aside and explained the gospel to him more accurately. In other words, they taught him about Jesus and how he fulfilled all the Old Testament and John the Baptist prophesied. Once this training was unlocked, he began to show and prove by the Old Testament scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. God’s Word rightly understood and explained enabled Apollos to go to Corinth and bring about gospel fruit. 

Paul ended up in Ephesus and was able to preach and teach for over 2 years. Paul consistently taught and explained God’s Word to those who came to the hall of Tyrannus. Luke says, “This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.” Even though Paul stayed in one place, God’s Word spread through all of Asia. As Paul taught, those who came to learn took God’s Word back to their homes. God’s Word is powerful; it will not stagnate. God’s Word brings about change and compels us to share it. 

In Acts 19, the sons of Sceva saw the power of God’s Word and the mighty works that were accomplished through Paul. They attempted to take a shortcut and just claimed the name of Jesus without knowing Him. They attempted to use God for their own aims and purposes, and they found out that God will not be mocked. He will not be used or taken lightly. Their failure and embarrassment led to Jesus’ name being exalted and lifted high. Through Paul they saw the saving power of Jesus Christ and the truth of the gospel. They saw that this was not just some trick that anyone could use. 

As a result of Paul’s teaching and preaching the gospel, many were saved. These people changed dramatically. They destroyed the reminders of their past life and worship of false gods. As a result, the Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail.

Why is this so encouraging? We have God’s Word available to us today. We can read it, listen to it, study it, mediate on it, and memorize it. God’s Word is powerful; it will not leave us unchanged. God’s Word instructs those who are incomplete in their understanding of Jesus. God’s Word goes out from where it is taught, as it went out from the hall of Tyrannus. God’s Word brings about change and growth. Let God’s Word work in your life, and share it with those around you.

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