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Who Are You?

Acts 19:11-16

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”God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, [12] so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. [13] Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, ‘In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.’ [14] Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. [15] [One day] the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?’ [16] Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.” (NIV)

 There is a sharp contrast in this passage of scripture between authentic and inauthentic ministry.  The first section shows the power of God manifested through the works of Paul, while the second half shows what happens when someone seeks notoriety, but are not operating in the power of the Holy Spirit.  As we contrast the two, I want to take them out of order and look at the second half of the scripture passage first.  Seven sons of a Jewish chief priest were attempting to cast out demons “in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches.”  The evil spirits replied, ‘Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?’ and then jumped on the brothers and gave them a good whipping.  The brothers left the house, humiliated and physically hurt, powerless against the evil spirits.  Before we go further, let me remind you that the scripture suggests that believers need not fear the dark side because God is greater than the forces of evil.  John wrote, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 KJV)  But these men didn’t have God’s power; they were imposters, wanting the notoriety that Paul had without the commitment. The evil spirits said to them, ‘Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?’

 Oakland Raiders fans will remember Kenny King, a running back that Al Davis acquired from the Houston Oilers in 1980.  They will especially remember his 80-yard touchdown reception in Super Bowl XV that helped the “Silver and Black” defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 and stood as a Super Bowl record for 16 years.  Though he didn’t have a Hall of Fame career, he certainly left his mark on the NFL. ( Long before he played for the Raiders or for Oklahoma University, he played A-ball in Clarendon, Texas.  How do I know that?  He was a senior at Clarendon High School when I was a freshman 52 miles away in Silverton.

 Every Monday during football season, practice would begin with watching the film from the previous week’s game and a discussion of the team we would be playing on Friday night.  The week before the Clarendon game, Coach spent most of the team meeting talking about Kenny King, and for good reason, he was an outstanding player. But the talk didn’t end with the team meeting, all week long during drills, Our Coaches talked about King and what he wanted us to do to try to stop him.  It was as if the other 10 players wouldn’t take the field.  King got inside our heads.

 The game was such a blowout, that coach put in the freshman players to get some experience.  One of my good friends tried to tackle King after he’d broken out of the backfield by jumping on his back.  King carried him all the way to the end zone.  I didn’t even do that well against him.  On a couple of occasions he ran with the ball in my direction and I attempted to tackle him, but bounced off of him like a bb hitting a tank.  King dominated the field from end zone to end zone.  Perhaps that is why lists him as one of the outstanding players to ever play Texas football.

 I am confident that when Clarendon’s coach ran down the Silverton Team lineup he didn’t mention Jimmy Wilson, a 110-pound freshman tackle playing for the Silverton Owls.  I was a nobody sitting on the bench, surrounded by other nobodies.  Our opponent didn’t even know I existed and I did nothing on the field Thank you for reading the free preview of this sermon.  The full manuscript is available to Premium Members use these resources in their ministry.
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