Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
We all have those friends who buy a bunch of golf clubs during the course of a season. I will use the pronoun “he” because women seem to be immune from this golf purchasing behavior. My wife has had the same clubs for over six years and never has an urging to ever upgrade clubs. Shoes and purses are another story, but she’s good with her set of golf tools. Men, on the other hand, will buy, sell and trade three or four drivers, a couple sets of wedges and at least that many putters during the course of one summer. We are never satisfied and think we are missing out if we don’t have the newest pseudo-technology. Manufacturers are able to convince us that we are missing out on straighter and longer drives until we buy this new club. It’s the same story when I give in and buy said club- I am still going to have to clock in next Monday morning.
The “vagabond Jews” mentioned in Acts 19 attempted to cast out demons by calling them out “by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” They immediately realized that spiritual hearsay fails miserably. In verse 16, we are told, “the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them.” The demons knew the power of Jesus and the power indwelled in Paul, but did not recognize or fear this “Jesus preached by Paul.”
When we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, we have direct access and power to and from our Lord. His power is not subcontracted – it is directly given and there is no chance of dilution. Sometimes we forget the extent of the power we actually have through Christ. Many times we will turn to ineffective secondhand religion that has to be mixed with water to supply a new generation.
When my friends get dissatisfied with a new driver and attempt to peddle it off, the price is reduced but the performance capacity has not changed. The Spirit of God, however, cannot be passed down through family members and the price never goes down. There is no depreciation.
The cost of our direct salvation was and will always have been paid for on the cross at Calvary. We can have the vigor and excitement of that old time spiritual religion enjoyed by our grandparents, but we must have the Holy Spirit individually before we can experience salvation or any spiritual movement. Anything else is a second-hand, hand-me-down attempt that proves itself ineffective. Thank God for this power from the precious blood of Christ. When salvation is accepted by the sinner, there is no remorse for the decision except for the regret of not doing it sooner. He is sufficient for more than a season.