The First Prayer Service
Prayer should not merely be something a church gets to when it gets to it, but praying together should be something to which a church is devoted.
How the Story Ends
Throughout Acts, the church has both grown and been opposed. Today we experience the same dynamic, but how does the story end? In the end, Jesus wins. The gospel of the kingdom will prevail among all nations.
In Defense of Evangelism
As we near the end of Acts, a lot of false accusations have been brought against Paul, but there is one charge he’s never denied: He does preach the gospel with the aim to persuade, what we call “evangelism”. Evangelism is often viewed negatively today, but in this passage we will see Paul’s defense for his practice of evangelism.
We’ve seen Paul defend the gospel, but now we see him defending himself (Acts 25:8), because in order to defend the gospel, sometimes we need to defend ourselves against false accusations. Paul shows us how: Proclaim the truth, keep the accusations false, and proclaim the Truth.
In Defense of the Gospel
When you know something is true, how do you respond to accusations against it, and you? You can get mad or get fearful, but Paul shows us in this passage how to defend the gospel by removing other offenses to it, sharing your experience, and using the law.
Recently deceased U.S. Congressman John Lewis often talked about getting into “good trouble”, doing things you actually should do, but that bring you into dangerous situations. How can we follow Jesus into such good trouble? We have to do it with other Christians, and we have to be controlled by the will of the Lord.
Caring for the Church
As Paul continues his mission, we see once again that his plan for the ongoing care of churches he’s started is a council of elders in those churches who care for the church. Through his address to the elders at Ephesus, we can all learn how to care for the church of God.
The Gospel Threatens Idols
The Gospel threatens idols by transferring their power and glory to Jesus. In Acts 19:21-41 we learn that the gospel causes an uproar by taking the power of idols, by taking the glory of idols, and by giving them to Jesus.
The Gospel Prevails
In order to persevere in anything, we have to have hope of possible success. Jesus’ mission is even better: There is a guarantee of success, because the gospel will prevail through our strengths and weaknesses, by the Holy Spirit, and over who we once were.
The City of Idols
What do you see when you look out at the city? When Paul looked out at the city of Athens, he saw a city full of idols, and it compelled him to take the gospel to that city. From him we learn in this passage how to take the gospel to the city full of idols.