I’m in a Wednesday morning Bible study with a group of leaders at our church. We’ve been working our way through the book of Acts. This morning we landed in Acts 19. Tucked in verses 13-16 is a little story about a group of Jews who are trying to cast our demons in the name of Jesus. It’s not working.
Finally, the evil spirit speaks up: “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” That happens to be a great question to everyone trying to pass themselves off as something they are not.
Then the demon-possessed man gives the seven sons of Sceva such a beating that they run off naked and bleeding (never a good combination). Here’s the result:
“When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done” (Acts 19:17-18).
Revival is tied to repentance — and both are linked to having a proper view and attitude towards Jesus.
When we hold the name of Jesus in high honor, we take holiness seriously. When he is reduced to a side attraction, we dabble with holiness and often call it self-improvement.
When we hold the name of Jesus in high honor, we take his mission seriously. When the name of Jesus becomes passe, we take ourselves seriously.
When churches hold the name of Jesus in high honor, they hold to higher standards. When churches replace the true gospel with the gospel that promises to make your teeth whiter, any standard will do.
This combination of revival and repentance was contagious: “In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power” (Acts 19:20).
Are you ready to be infected?