What a Riot!

David Bast

Read: Acts 19:23-41 Most of them did not know why they had come together. (v. 32) Religion is one thing; most people will allow it to go on undisturbed, as long as it is practiced in private. But when the gospel begins to challenge economic interests, Satan fights back. Paul first experienced this in Philippi, when he delivered a demon-possessed slave girl and got in trouble for ruining her owner’s fortune-telling business. Something similar happened during Paul’s extended ministry in …

God’s People

David Bast

Read: Acts 18:1-11 I have many in this city who are my people. (v. 10) When the apostle Paul moved from Athens to Corinth, it was like going from the frying pan into the fire. Athens, with its sophisticated philosophers and debaters, was tough ground for a missionary. But Corinth was worse. Corinth had grown big, busy, and wealthy. And like many such cities, it was also immoral. In fact, the city’s reputation was such that its name was used …

Mars Hill

David Bast

Read: Acts 17:16-34 What . . . you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. (v. 23) Are you ever bothered by the idolatry of our culture—the consumerism, the obsession with technology, the celebrity worship, the addiction to entertainment and pleasure? When Paul was walking around Athens, “his spirit was provoked” by all the idols. Paul did not look at the city as a tourist, admiring the Parthenon and the other temples, nor did he visit it as an …

Question and Answer 1

David Bast

Read: Acts 16:25-34 What must I do . . . ? (v. 30) I once knew a man whose personalized license plate read Q and A 1. It was a reference to the Heidelberg Catechism’s much-loved first question and answer: “What is your only comfort in life and in death? That I am not my own, but belong . . . to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.” That’s a beautiful truth. But there’s an even more basic question and answer …

The Jerusalem Council

David Bast

Read: Acts 15:1-21 . . . we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus. (v. 11) Oh, no, not another church meeting! Councils . . . synods . . . assemblies . . . conferences . . . . We sometimes wonder if anything good could come out of yet one more meeting where ministers talk a lot. Sometimes it does, and never more so than at the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15. There the apostolic church …