Acts 19 Bible Study


Acts 19 Outline


– Paul baptized and prayed for 12 men to receive the Holy Spirit in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7)

– Paul preached in the synagogue in Ephesus for 3 months (Acts 19:8)

– Paul preached in the hall of Tyrannus for 2 years (Acts 19:9-10)

– God performed miracles through Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons (Acts 19:11-12)

– The seven sons of Sceva was overpowered and beaten by a demon possessed man (Acts 19:13-16)

– The witches burnt all their scrolls, which worth 50,000 drachmas altogether in public (Acts 19:17-20)

– Paul sent 2 helpers to Macedonia and stayed in the province of Asia for a bit longer (Acts 19:21-22)

– Demetrius, a silversmith, who made idols for the goddess of Diana stirred up a riot (Acts 19:23-27)

– The people shouted in unison to protest against Paul (Acts 19:28)

– The people captured Paul’s companions including Gaius and Aritarchus and entered the theater (Acts 19:29)

– Paul wanted to appeared at the theater but his disciples and province officials advised him not to (Acts 19:30-31)

– Alexander was pushed to the front to make his defense (Acts 19:32-34)

– The city clerk rebuked the crowd for rioting and dismissed them (Acts 19:35-41)



Acts 19 Summary


Paul arrived in Ephesus after taking a road in the upper region. Apollos was at Corinth at that time. When he arrived in Ephesus, he asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit and they said they don’t know anything about the Holy Spirit and have never heard of him. They told Paul that they only receive John’s baptism. Paul explained to them that John’s baptism is the baptism of repentance. After they heard this, the twelve men were baptized and then Paul prayed for them. After Paul prayed for them, they receive the Holy Spirit and spoke in different tongues.

Paul preached in the synagogue in Ephesus for 3 months. Some people refused to accept the gospel Paul preached and they went about preaching falsehoods about the gospel. Later, Paul took the disciples and held discussions in the Tyrannus hall every day for 2 years so that every Jew and Greek in Asia will hear about Jesus.

God did miracle through Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons so that anyone that touch them were healed and demons cast out. A number of Jews went around to cast out demons in Jesus name. The 7 sons of Sceva attempted to cast out the evil spirit from a demon possessed man by saying, ‘We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth’. But the demon possessed man replied, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?’ and he jumped on them and beat them. The 7 sons of Sceva eventually left naked and bleeding.

When this report is made known, the witches brought their scrolls and burnt them to the public. The total amount of scrolls burnt in the public worths 50,000 drachmas. Later, Paul went to Jerusalem. He passed through Macedonia and Achaia. He sent two helpers including Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia and he stayed in the province of Asia for a little longer.

There was a silversmith named Demetrius, who made a lot of money by making idols of Diana. He gave a lot of business to the craftsmen. He called together the craftsmen and told them how Paul had ruined their business with his preaching and discredit the goddess Diana. They shouted in unison, ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians’. They captured Gaius and Aritarchus and rushed into the theater. Paul wanted to appear in the theater but the disciples and province officials urged him not to.

There was a turmoil in the city. Some people shout one thing while other people shout another thing. Alexander was pushed to the front by the Jews. The crowd shouted instructions to him. Alexander motioned for the crowd to silence before making his defense. The people shouted together in unison, ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians’ when they learned that he was a Jew. Then, the city clerk calmed down the crowd by saying they should settle the problem in a legal assembly and then he dismissed the crowd.



Acts 19 Bible Study


1. The presence of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life

Paul asked the 12 disciples whether they have received the Holy Spirit and they said they had never heard of it. It is probable that Paul asked them this question because he did not see the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. The 12 disciples knew Jesus is the Messiah but they were never baptized in the Holy Spirit. They only receive the baptism of John. If you are obedient to God’s words and draw near to God regularly through prayer, worshiping, and etc, the presence of the Holy Spirit will manifest in you. The Holy Spirit is our helper (John 14:26). He is the small voice in your heart that speaks to you. He reminds us about God’s words in the bible. He guide us and tell us when we are sinning so that we will walk on the path of righteousness. He gives the believers ability to speak in different tongues (Acts 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 14:4-5) and sing spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). The Holy Spirit gives you peace, joy and love in your heart. It serves as the seal of your salvation.

2. Jesus is a God who heals

God performed extraordinary miracles through Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons. The handkerchiefs and aprons of Paul had became a point of contact for those who touched and received healing because they have faith in Jesus. There are some pastors and churches who lay hands and pray on clothes and let the people used them for healing. If you believe that Jesus can heal you, Jesus will heal you (Mark 10:52; Matthew 9:22). You can rebuke the sickness in Jesus name and it will leave you if you believe in Jesus. You should not treat the point of contact cloth as a charm and be superstitious over it. Treating something as a charm is considered idolatry.

3. The seven sons of Sceva

The seven sons of Sceva attempted to cast out the evil spirit from the demon possessed man but failed. In turn, the demon possessed man overpowered and beat them so that they left naked and bleeding. The seven sons of Sceva failed in exorcising the demon possessed man because they did not believe in Jesus. Only the children of God, those who believe in Jesus, has the right to cast out demons in Jesus name. When you cast out demons in Jesus name, you must believe otherwise the demon won’t leave (Acts 16:18). When the people of Ephesus heard of this report, the witches brought their scrolls and burnt them in the public. In Galatians 5:19-21, those who practice witchcraft will not inherit eternal life and the kingdom of God. In Deuteronomy 18:19-12, God forbids the Israelites from learning the practices of the Canaanites including offer their children as sacrifices, fortune telling, omens, sorcerer, charmer, medium, necromancy or inquires of the dead. In Leviticus 19:31, God commanded the Israelites to not make themselves unclean by turning to mediums or necromancers.

4. Diana, the goddess of sex

Diana is the goddess of sex in Ephesus. The people who worshiped Diana are all involved in sexual immorality. Sexual immorality including gay (Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:27), lesbians, adultery (Matthew 19:9; Galatians 5:19-21), fornications (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 7:2), porn, sex thought and lusts (Matthew 5:28) are sins.

5. Idols are made by human hands

In Acts 19:23-26, Demetrius told the people to protest against Paul, who preached that the gods are made by human hands and are no gods at all. Idols are man made gods who have mouths but cannot speak, have eyes but cannot see, have ears but cannot hear, have noses but cannot smell, have hands but cannot feel, have feet but cannot walk nor can they speak with word (Psalm 115:5-7). In Exodus 20:4, God forbid making an idol in the for of anything in heaven, on earth, or in the sea. In Exodus 20:5, God forbids bowing down or worshiping idols. Christians cannot keep any statue that is related to a pagan religion, even though you don’t believe in it. Christians cannot keep amulet, charms, bracelets, clothes, books, games, toys, furniture and etc that has to do with idolatry. We should also avoid watching television shows that has idolatry characters such as the Japanese anime cartoon shows.

6. The love of money is the root of all evils

Demetrius, a silversmith wanted to protect his business of making idols for the goddess Diana and he stirred up a riot among the people of Ephesus against Paul’s preaching. In Romans 12:2, we should not be conformed to the world but be constantly transformed through the renewing of our mind so that we may prove what is good, acceptable and perfect will of God. In 1 John 2:15-17, the love of the Father is not in those who love the world. In Ephesians 5:11, we should not have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but reprove them. In 1 Timothy 6:10, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils. Some people love money and had wandered away from their faith.