Introduction: In our study of Acts we read that at times Paul was
prevented by the Holy Spirit from entering Asia. We don’t know why,
because Asia is on God’s map for Paul’s evangelistic work. We know
that is true because this week our study focuses on Paul’s work in
Ephesus, which was the capital of the Province of Asia. Let’s dive
into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. Ephesus and Apollos

    1. Read Acts 18:23. Antioch seems to be the “home base” for
      Paul. However, he leaves to travel again (see Acts 18:19-22) to Ephesus. Paul’s pattern of work teaches us
      something about new believers, what do you think it is?
      (You need to check on them. You need to strengthen them.
      You should not just convert them and leave them on their

    2. Read Acts 18:24. Does anything seem odd about Apollos?
      (Many things seem odd. The Bible tells us that he is
      Jewish, but he was born in Egypt and has a name that is
      derived from the Greek God Apollo. Perhaps his parents
      were Jewish converts.)

    3. Read Acts 18:25. How could Apollos teach accurately about
      Jesus, but only know about the baptism of John? (This
      shows that he must have been an early convert. He knows
      about John the Baptist and Jesus, but he missed

    4. Read Acts 18:26-28. If you are a great advocate for Jesus,
      but you don’t understand the Holy Spirit, is your
      education deficient? (Yes. Priscilla and Aquila “explained
      to [Apollos] the way of God more adequately.”)

    5. Read Acts 19:1-3. What is the problem if you are an
      evangelist and you have not received the baptism of the
      Holy Spirit? (Although Acts does not say this directly, it
      appears that these are Christians who were converted by
      Apollos. Because he did not understand the Holy Spirit,
      neither did they.)

    6. Read Acts 19:4-7. How do we know that the Holy Spirit has
      come on them? (They “spoke in tongues and prophesied.”)

      1. Read Acts 2:4, Acts 10:45-46 and 1 Corinthians 12:7-10. Why are tongues and prophesy proof of the Holy
        Spirit? (Not only do we see that tongues has
        previously been used as proof, but they are both
        explicitly mentioned as gifts given by the Holy

        1. If you have not spoken in tongues or
          prophesied, should you be concerned that you
          might be like Apollos or these twelve?

  2. Ephesus and Miracles

    1. Read Acts 19:8-9. Do you have friends with whom you have
      shared the gospel and they end up rejecting your belief?
      What is the best thing to do? (Leave. You shared the
      gospel. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit and that

      1. How is it different if they believe? (Instead of just
        leaving, Paul goes back to strengthen those who have

    2. Read Acts 19:10-12. What do you think about the “healing”
      handkerchiefs and aprons that merely touched Paul?

      1. Create a mental picture of this. It seems to me that
        people are coming up to Paul, touching him with some
        article of clothing, and then rushing off to touch
        some sick person. The sick person is then healed.
        Whose faith is involved in this procedure? (The
        person hauling the article of clothing around is the
        one whose actions most reflect faith.)

      2. Notice that the Bible calls these “extraordinary
        miracles.” They no doubt are extraordinary, but I
        think any miracle is extraordinary. What lesson are
        we to learn from calling these miracles
        “extraordinary?” (Perhaps the idea is that this is
        not the way that God ordinarily works.)

    3. Read Acts 19:13. Have they driven out evil spirits before?
      (It appears that they have done this in the past, or at
      least pretended to do it.)

      1. Read Matthew 12:27. What does this suggest about this
        practice by some Jewish religious leaders? (This
        suggests that they were able to cast out demons by
        the power of God.)

      2. Read Luke 9:49-50. Do the disciples doubt that this
        “not one of us” man is driving out demons? (They do
        not complain that he is faking, they complain that he
        is doing this even though he is not one of the

    4. Read Acts 19:14-16. What is the lesson for us? That some
      demons are more difficult than others? Some challenge

      1. Should this beating worry us if we invoke the name of
        Jesus to exorcize demons? (This is a fascinating
        story. It appears that this worked with some demons,
        so clearly some are more timid than others. However,
        there is no evidence that these sons of Sceva were
        Christian converts. They were only using the names of
        Jesus and Paul.)

    5. Read Acts 19:17-20. What good comes out of this beating?
      (It clarifies that Jesus is the power for good and demons
      are the power for bad things. Better, Jesus is shown to be
      more powerful, and that true acceptance of Him is required
      to overcome the power of sin.)

  3. Ephesus and Artemis

    1. Read Acts 19:23-26. What is the nature of Demetrius’
      complaint? (Business income is dropping because of Paul.)

    2. Read Acts 19:27. What is Demetrius’ secondary argument?
      (The goddess Artemis will be discredited. His theological
      argument is secondary.)

    3. Read Acts 19:28-31. If the theological concern is
      secondary, why are they shouting “Great is Artemis of the
      Ephesians?” (It would not have the same appeal if they
      shouted “Keep my bank account great!”)

    4. Read Acts 19:32-33. Has the nature of the mob changed over
      the years? This says most of the people did not know why
      they were there!

    5. Read Acts 19:34. Why would the recognition that Alexander
      is Jewish cause the mob to continue protesting? (Jews
      believe the same thing as Christians about idol worship.)

    6. Read Acts 19:35-41. What do you think about the legal
      quality of the city clerk’s instructions? How does this
      compare to other legal procedures faced by Paul? (This is
      a model of due process. In the past, the procedure has
      been to imprison or beat Paul and ask questions later. In
      Ephesus, Courts, and not beatings, are the proper way to
      resolve disputes.)

  4. Troas and Eutychus

    1. Read Acts 20:6-7. What day of the week is this? (Recall
      that by Jewish reckoning, one day ends and the next day
      begins at sundown. That means this is likely Saturday

      1. Why has this day been selected to “break bread?”
        (Paul was leaving the next day. The Bible does not
        give a religious reason for meeting then, but rather
        a practical reason.)

        1. Can you find a religious reason in this? (Paul
          is not going to travel on Sabbath. Thus, he is
          leaving Sunday morning.)

    2. Read Acts 20:8-9. Does Paul have short and lively
      sermons? (Apparently not. It says “Paul talked on and on,”
      and at least one young person fell asleep. Later, we read
      that he spoke until daylight.)

    3. Read Acts 20:10-12. I believe this is the only time that
      Paul is recorded as having brought someone back to life.
      How is Paul’s approach different then Peter’s approach?
      (Read Acts 9:39-40. Paul does not do this privately. In
      fact, he minimizes the nature of this extraordinary
      miracle by telling people not to be alarmed and that
      Eutychus is alive. A person might miss that Eutychus
      actually died.)

      1. I don’t like long sermons. Generally, they reflect
        the speaker’s lack of organization and preparation.
        It take more preparation to speak concisely, just as
        it take more time to write concisely. While I’m
        fretting over Paul speaking all night, Paul does not
        let raising a fellow to life get in the way of his
        all night speaking. What does this suggest about
        Paul’s message? (Paul likely thought he was not
        returning to Troas. Apparently, he wanted to say
        everything he could to help them in the future, and
        he did not want a “little thing” like a resurrection
        to get in the way.)

    4. Friend, have you received the Holy Spirit? Are you willing
      to let the Holy Spirit lead your life? Why not, right now,
      ask for the Spirit and His direction?

  5. Next week: Arrest in Jerusalem.