Acts 19: 1-12
One of our major ministry is discipleship training. That is very important. Disciple means a follower or a student or a pupil or a learner. There are many different names or terms
for disciple. But a disciple means a person who not only learns but also follows the footsteps of his Master and his teacher.
Then, who is our teacher?
Of course Jesus
Christ is our Master and Teacher. Last
year, when I went to America, Tom Wells who discipled me before in Korea, emphasized again and said to me you must be a disciple
of Jesus Christ, not my disciple. We must be the disciple of Jesus Christ, but at the same time we must be a disciple of somebody.
Of course, on earth God also guides us through a mentor.
I have much interest in discipleship training and during
last spiritual conference through the Word of God I realized again Oh, the Lord wants us to disciple many nations, that is our calling. That is why I want to share How can we build up the disciples. As you know, Apollos, we read ACTS chapter 18 we know something
about Apollos. He was a learned
man with thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the name of the Lord. And he spoke with great zeal and talked about Jesus accurately. Though he knew only the baptism of John.
When Pricilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him
to their home and explained to him
the way of God more accurately, the Word accurately means perfectly. Probably Apollos explained the Bible exactly without missing any key points. He was very excellent teacher and also he had great knowledge.
But when Apollos was at Corinth ?
Paul came to Ephesus through the upper
area. Probably that is Picilia-Antioch.
We know, when we see the map of the first
or second and third missionary trip of Paul, we can find the location. Anyway, Paul came to Ephesus, whenever Paul travels in many different places sometimes he just stayed
for 6 months or very short time. But
at Ephesus he stayed nearly 3 years. So
this is very important. For 3 years what did he do ? What was his main ministry ?
Why did he stay
there for a long time ?
So, when Paul found
some disciples, probably they were the disciples of John. They already knew the basic knowledge about the baptism. Especially water baptism, water baptism leads to repentance. But as John the Baptist said I just give you the baptism of water but the One who is coming after me
will baptized you with fire and also the Holy Spirit. Already Jesus Christ was coming and John the Baptist prepared the way. And give them some ideas what is the baptism. But still these jews at Ephesus did not know the spiritual baptism. So when Paul asked, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed in the name of Jesus Christ ?Usually
when we accept Jesus Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit. Sometimes some people accept Jesus Christ but still they do not have the experience of the Holy Spirit.
So when Paul asked them, they replied Oh, even we didn't hear, we have not heard about that, that is the Holy Spirit. From the beginning there was the Holy Spirit. But they didn't know the existence of the Holy Spirit.
So Paul wanted to teach them the Spiritual Baptism.
Why we must be born
In Gospel John 3:3-6,
Jesus Christ also taught, you must be born again spiritually, to Nicodemus. So if we are not spiritually regenerated or born
again we can not be a man of the Holy Spirit. So the most important thing to make disciples is to make the person as a man
of the Holy Spirit. Because the man of the Holy Spirit follows the guidance, of the Holy Spirit. Many fresh people follow their own ideas or plans, so the
first principle is to make the person who is led by the Holy Spirit, who is the man of the Holy Spirit. So when we read Romans chapter 8, the people who are led
by the Holy Spirit are the sons of God. So we are children of God, we are sons of God, so we must be baptized with the Holy
Spirit. God used John and Peter to baptize even Gentiles. When Peter and John preach the Gospel after that they laid their hands on them. Immediately they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
So now God uses Paul so that in the area where there
were the Jews and Gentiles at the
same time. So through Paul God opened their eyes spiritually. So even though they did not know about the Holy Spirit. But after talking about Jesus Christ and said accept and hear the Word of God. Accept Jesus Christ. After that, what did Paul do? In verse 5 on hearing this they were baptized into the name of Jesus. When
Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and so the outer expressions of the dwelling the Holy Spirit
is known through some sign. These
signs are speaking in Tongues, and Prophecy. At that time there were about 12 men in all. Probably 12 figure is very ideal to make disciples. Not too much and
not small but it is very easy to handle and take care of the people. So in our church, our first step is to make 12 disciples first. And after that 70, and 120.
So everyday we have
to pray. Lord send 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. So the first step, How we can build up the disciple is we make them have spiritual baptism, and we must make them
a man of the Holy Spirit. That
is the first step.
And 2nd step
is even though Paul preached Gospel very hard, the many people didn't follow him. Some people were against him. Even though he reasoned with them, Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for 3 months, arguing persuasively
about the kingdom of God's(verse 8) The
main message of Paul's preaching was the kingdom of God, because Thy kingdom come, Jesus Christ also prayed in that way. and Thy will be done on earth.So we are looking for the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of the earth. So Paul taught the heavenly things, heaven and earth all those doctrines Paul explained
sometimes argued with them. Some people asked Oh, where is the heaven?,
where is the kingdom
Paul tried to convinced them and reasoned with them.
But there were two
different kind of people one type of people accepted,
but some people
refused to accept all those things. So
when we encounter with that kind of reactions, some people don't show very positive and good response to our teaching. What shall we do?, What can we do? So, here we can find If we are discouraged by those people, we can not go forward. Oh, Lord I can not teach them. My ministry is finished.
Because people don't
listen to my words. So Lord, I don't want to teach any more. Sometimes, we think in that way. we are very discouraged. But the Bible says preach the Word of God, in season and out of season, preach the gospel all the time, so Paul did not give up. He was praying very hard and seriously. The Lord spoke to him and guided him in another special way.
That is his another
mission strategy. If we see
verse 9 but some of them became obstinate they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them and took the disciples with
him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
This went on for
2 years. So that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in province of Asia heard the Word of the Lord. I was very touched by this
verse. Sometimes when we see this
kind of obstinate people even in public they rebuked and they said bad words against Paul. Paul was persecuted and Paul was
ignored. But Paul took the disciples
into another place. The place is the hall of Tyrannus. Paul taught the Bible
from 11 o'clock to 4 o'clock everyday.
Everyday Paul taught for 5 hours for 3years. Can you imagine that? How
he put all his best efforts to build up the disciples? So here we can find one principle to make and build up disciples that is we must give them and train
them with the Word of God. So
our ministry is to make the person a man of the Word of God. When the person is filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God, then he can be the disciple of Jesus Christ. So remember all the time wherever you go. So, shall we read Acts 20: 31-32. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
Now I commit you
God and to the Word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sacrificed.
We already have heard. So, be on your
guard. Here we can find what did
Paul do at Ephesus? Paul for
3 years with tears he warned the people. He shares the Word of God. So,
probably all the believers were very much acquainted with the Word of God. Because everyday they studied the Bible, they heard the Word of God. So Paul thoroughly trained all the people who learned the Word of God. And when he departed from that place, Ephesus he committed to them. What is last message to the Ephesian Church members? That is, I commit you to God. That means God will take care of you, but also I commit you to the Word of God. So we must make the person be committed to the Word of God. So the disciples of Jesus Christ must be well-versed in the Bible.
In the last spiritual
conference I got an encouraging Word. That
is, The Lord wants to use me to awake the people's insights. So when we study the Bible deeply, God will open all the revelations, all His promises of God. So now I pray to give myself more to the meditation of God's Word. We must remember at least 3 things. First, we must be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Second, we must be a man of the Holy Spirit and be a man of the Word. The third point is in order to build the disciples of Jesus
Christ, we must be empowered by God. Paul
was a man of the Holy Spirit but also he was a man of power. So he did extraordinary miracles in the name of Jesus.
Without power we
can not do God's work effectively. So
we need power.
This morning while I was praying the Lord told me.
I already prepared for you this temple.
So the Lord wants us to pray more in order to give us power. These three things, I hope you will remember wherever you go.