Dive Deeper

Unstoppable (Part 30)

Serene Lim


This week, we study Paul’s ministry to the people of Ephesus in Acts 19:8-20.  Of all the Graeco-Roman cities visited by Paul, Ephesus was the most inhabited by magicians and sorcerers, of all types. ​​Paul went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for 3 months reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the Kingdom of God.  However, he didn’t do this under his own power. Paul knew who he was in Christ. During Paul’s stay in Ephesus, the power of God was demonstrated mightily, giving the gospel an attentive hearing. 


In Acts 19:13-16, Luke gave a sharp and humorous contrast: the powerlessness of seven sons of a Jewish high priest, Sceva, who tried to usurp Paul’s name and the authority of Jesus to effect exorcisms. But they failed miserably. 

Why did they fail? What’s the difference between Paul and the sons of Sceva?


1a. What are miracles for? Have you experienced miracles in your life? What do you think is God’s purpose for you to receive these miracles? 


1b. What is the problem with participating in religious rituals that are not of God? Share your experiences with your LifeGroup.


1c. Have you had past experiences with demonic spirits or experienced spiritual warfare? Share with the group what happened and how did God deliver you? 

2. Read Acts 19:8-12, “...he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God….reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.”

What does this tell you about Paul’s tenacity in proclaiming the kingdom of God? 

3. Read Acts 19:11-16. The evil spirits knew and bowed to the authority and power of Jesus and Paul but not to the sons of Sceva. The preacher drew four key lessons from this story. 

  • The spiritual realm is real. Don’t mess with it.
  • There is power and authority in the name of Jesus.
  • Do we know who we are?
  • We do not need to fear evil spirits.

3a. Why do you think the sons of Sceva fail miserably even though they used the name of Jesus? 

3b. How important is it to know our position in Christ?   

3c. Read Ephesians 6:13-19. What does putting on the armour of God mean? For Click here for further reading – What is the full armour of God?

4. Read Acts 19:17-20. Sceva’s seven sons were apparently so well-known for their magic and sorcery that the news of their failure quickly spread. It was now clear that Paul had a greater power than any of the sorcerers (a similar story of Moses and the magicians of Egypt in Exodus 8:16-19). As a result, fear fell upon the people and they renounced their magic arts and burned their scrolls of magic. The word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. 

What can you learn from Paul’s life that challenges you to experience more of God’s power in your life? (refer also to Acts 1:8, John 14:12,  2 Chronicles 16:9)


​​The spiritual realm is real. Spiritual warfare is real. Whether we are aware of it or not, all Christians are engaged in spiritual warfare, whether we are ready for it or not.

In Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Knowing Christ for ourselves enables us to use His Name with power and authority.  Then we will be able to deal with spiritual warfare with full assurance that we are under God’s protection. 


He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4