A Riot Is Calmed by a Civil Authority, Paul Encourages Disciples: Acts 19-20
Scripture: Acts 19–20
The incident concerning Artemis in Ephesus helps us see the interaction between the gospel and civil authorities. Paul stayed out of the uproar over Artemis in Ephesus while a Jewish man, Alexander, join with some Christians to plead their case. They were not robbers of temples. This incident gives us an opportunity to discuss the relationship between the church as defined Biblically and civil government. Luke-Acts shows how civil authorities often calmed things down while the religious authorities in Jerusalem created more turmoil. Paul is kept out of the riot in Ephesus, which after two hours subsided. He will soon leave to visit previously established churches as the larger narrative is pointed toward Jerusalem which rejects those who are sent. This will lead to testimony before various civil authorities through the end of Acts. We also discuss how mixing the church with power, riches, and gaining civil power corrupts the church and obscures the gospel. We need to be focused on why we are still in the church age and preaching the gospel. True Christian fellowship does not require massive buildings and organizations.