The Wonders of the Word


By Pastor Roger , May 01, 2022

The Wonders of the Word (Acts 19)

One of the wonders of the world is the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. All that remains of the temple today is one 60’ column with a white stork nest on top.

Acts 18:23 introduces Paul’s third missionary journey. Paul retraces much of his previous two missionary journeys, but on this third journey Paul stays in Ephesus for three years where, “…the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” - Acts 19:20 (NIV).

The true wonder in Ephesus was the Word of God as seen in the four short stories in Acts 19.

  1. The Uninformed (19:1-19:7) Acts 19:1, Paul …found several believers. 2 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.” 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.” 5 As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

• These disciples of John the Baptist, are not yet fully informed about Jesus. They believed John’s message, John’s baptism, John’s repentance. But, they have not placed their faith in Christ – reflected in the fact that they had not yet received the Holy Spirit.

• So Paul informs them of the Word of Christ and they believe and are re-baptized, and indwelt by the Holy Spirt.

• The Ephesian Pentecost proves they are now believers. This happened about 20 years after the 1st Pentecost in Jerusalem. These disciples are transformed into super spreaders of the Gospel, indicated by the supernatural ability to speak on other languages.

• So, the true wonder in Ephesus, is God is filling people with the Holy Spirit.

• The wonder of Christianity is this – Christians, are by definition, temples of the Holy Spirit.

  1. The Unrestricted (19:8-10)

Acts 19:8, (NLT) Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God. 9 But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way. So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord.

• When Paul was kicked out of the synagogue, he started a portable church and school in a lecture hall. They had daily meetings for two years.

• Ephesus becomes the third most important city in early church history – after Jerusalem and Antioch. From the portable church in Ephesus, churches are planted, disciples/pastors are trained, and many NT books are connected to this work in Ephesus.

• The 7 churches in Revelation were all in the province of Asia and probably started at this time from Ephesus.

  1. The Unimpressed (19:11-20)

Acts 19:11, God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. 12 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. 13 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!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15 But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?”

Acts 19:16, 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. 17 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. 18 Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. 19 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. 20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.

• The seven sons of Sceva, tried to use the name of Jesus as a magical word or chant, but this unimpressed demon overpowered the magicians.

• There is no authority over the demonic world without the power of the indwelling Jesus. 1 John 4:4 says, “Greater is He who is IN YOU, than he that is in the world.”

• As the people confessed Christ, they burned their expensive and secret magical charms, chants, and fortune-telling paraphernalia.

  1. The Unfortunate (19:23-41)

Acts 19:25b, “Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business. 26 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! 27 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!”

• Demetrius was the leader of the silversmith union. They were losing a fortune as more people were coming to Christ and turning away from goddess worship.

• Just as in Corinth, God protected Paul from a riot by a Roman official enforcing the law.


Ephesians 6:12 says, “… our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”


  1. The Discipleship Question, “What is missing in my Christian growth?”

  2. The Darkness Question, “Am I dabbling in or financially supporting what God would call evil?”

  3. The Difference Question, “What difference does my witness make in my community?”