Daily Bible Reading – June 14, 2023

This Sunday we will cover Acts 19:1-22. When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His death and resurrection and return to heaven, He made the statement: “You know the way where I am going.” Thomas quickly refuted that, saying, “Lord we don’t know where You are going; how can we know the way?” And Jesus replied, “I am the Way!” (Jn. 14:4-6). Luke described believers in Christ as those “belonging to the Way” (Ac. 9:2). In our text, he wrote that some who opposed Paul’s preaching were “speaking evil of the Way before the people” (Ac. 19:9). Acts 19 reveals some principles that describe those who belonged to the Way.

First principle: relationship with Christ as Savior and Lord must be central in the belief and in the teaching of the people of the Way.

Paul met some new disciples at Ephesus. They revealed to him that they had received the baptism of John (the Baptist). Paul told them, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus” (Ac. 19:4). They were subsequently baptized in the name of Jesus. We would do well to remember what John himself said about Jesus: “Jesus must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30). The One who is the Way (Jesus) is the One who said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). But He also said, “All things are possible for the one who believes” (Mk. 9:23). Paul gave this personal testimony: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:14).

Second principle: people of the Way are people of the Spirit of God.

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” (Rom. 8:14). These disciples in Ephesus had not heard of the Holy Spirit, who is the One who convicts us not only of our sin but also that Jesus died in our place so that we may have eternal life. Paul talked to these disciples about repentance, when people turn away from their sin and make a decision to be converted (transformed), and to follow Christ. He would later write to these same Ephesians: “For by grace you have been saved through faith” (Eph. 2:8). The Spirit has come to live in us, and He reminds us that God is always present with us, and that He will keep His promise to never leave us (Mt. 28:20).

Third principle: people of the Way are people who live by the power of God.

While in Ephesus, Paul held daily discussions in the school of Tyrannus. “And this took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord. And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them, and the evil spirits went out” (Ac. 19:10-12). Because of the awesome power of God at work in Asia, Luke noted that “the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified” and that “the word of the Lord was growing and prevailing mightily” (Ac. 19:17, 20). Paul would later write to these Ephesian believers: God “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20).

Fourth principle: people of the Way are a people on mission.

“Now after these things were finished, Paul resolved in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, ‘After I have been there, I must also see Rome.’ And after he sent into Macedonia two of those who assisted him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while” (19:21-22). The Holy Spirit inspired these servants of God to always be ready to move ahead, following the purposes of God. Paul would later say to the Ephesian elders concerning the dangers of going to Jerusalem, and eventually Rome: “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of God’s grace” (Ac. 20:24). That is our mission too: to accomplish the ministry which we have received from the Lord Jesus!

-Al Gary





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