Reading Acts 18:18 thru 19:22; the time is about AD 53 thru 55. Since chapter 13, Luke doesn’t go to lengths to mention the particular matters of the 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message. Instead, we find expressions by which Luke expects his readers to understand all that is being implied within them. For example, in 18:23 that Paul was ‘strengthening all the disciples.‘ From 18:25, we read that Apollos had been instructed ‘in the way of the Lord,’ and ‘taught about Jesus accurately.‘ Then, in 18:26, we read that Priscilla and Aquila explained to Apollos ‘the way of God’ more adequately. We know that by these different expressions that what was meant was what we find in the last verse of chapter 18, where we read that Apollos was ‘proving from the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ,’ or #4, the Savior.
In Acts 19, Paul is in Ephesus arguing persuasively ‘about #10, the kingdom of God,’ in verse 8, and the elements of the message become a new expression simply called ‘the Way,’ in verses 9 and 23. We also see that all of these are equivalent to the more common expression we have already seen, where it has been called ‘the word of the Lord.’
Acts 19:1-7 is about how that, even 20 years after Jesus, it is still a transitional period between the Old and New Testaments. We have Ephesian disciples, who believed the message of John the Baptist, but were not yet aware of Jesus the Christ and the New Birth by means of the Holy Spirit. That Paul worked extraordinary miracles in verse 11 and these received the Spirit at his hands in verse 6 serve to prove 2 things; first, that salvation was from the Jews, as Jesus had said in John 4, and that Paul was an apostle, capable of miraculously confirming his message, as Hebrews 2:3+4 state.
What’s really happening is: Paul and Apollos are telling them of #4, the Savior, Jesus Christ; how that he died on the Cross for their #2, sins and rose from the dead. This is the good news of #5, the Gospel. The message had to do with their lack and need of #1, righteousness, and how that for their #2, sins they would be #3, severely judged. If they would willingly respond to the message with #6, repentance toward God, and #7, believe on Jesus Christ; God would forgive their sins, credit His own #1, righteousness to their accounts, baptize them with the Holy Spirit in a spiritual #8, New Birth that would result in their coming into the possession of eternal life. They would also, by means of the Holy Spirit, live a #9, New Life in Christ. And, that, one day, they would be received of the Lord into His #10, Kingdom. This is what all these expressions now being found in Acts are all about. It’s what the entire Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell