Acts - Week 19

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God didn’t just save us to submit and obey him, but to worship and love him.

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– Richest city in the Roman Empire.
– Multiethnic port city.
– Largest temple.
– Statue of Artemis (Diana).
– Carved from a meteorite.
– One of the 7 wonders.

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Acts 19:11-12

God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.

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Acts 19:13-14

A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this.

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Acts 19:15-16

But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.

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Acts 19:17-20

The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored. Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars. So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.

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Acts 19:25-29

…“Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business. But as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people that handmade gods aren’t really gods at all. And he’s done this not only here in Ephesus but throughout the entire province! Of course, I’m not just talking about the loss of public respect for our business. I’m also concerned that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will lose its influence and that Artemis—this magnificent goddess worshiped throughout the province of Asia and all around the world—will be robbed of her great prestige!” At this their anger boiled, and they began shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” Soon the whole city was filled with confusion. Everyone rushed to the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, who were Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia.

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Idols are anything that promise to us a life of security and joy apart from God.

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– Influence or success.
– Beauty or romance.
– Money or fame.
– Being married or having children.

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Idols engage the deepest negative emotions in our heart.

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Idolatry is worshiping something that cannot sustain the weight of our soul.

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Idols need to be protected.

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Idols demand sacrifices to keep them happy.

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Success: Character and integrity
Affection: Purity and self control
Money: Obedience and financial freedom
Comfort: Listening to the Holy Spirit

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Idols are not only psychological forces, they are demonic forces as well.

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The true God alone gives life.

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His love is more faithful, more tender, and more fulfilling than romance. His promises are more secure and more reliable than money. His presence is more life sustaining than creature comforts. His future is more fulfilling than a fertile family. His attention and affections are better than the praise of people.

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The true God doesn’t need you to protect him, He protects you!

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I will love you, O Lord, my rock, my refuge, and my fortress. The Lord my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?

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The true God offered His own sacrifice.

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“Jesus is the only God whom, when you obtain him, will satisfy you, and when you fail him will forgive you.”

– Tim Keller

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