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“Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.” (Acts 19:11–20, ESV)
The funny thing about this passage is not the fact that all seven were overpowerd by one man, or even that they fled without their clothes! The funny thing about this text is that we are quick to tsk-tsk these men for trying to do good in the name of Jesus without being believers, all the while we neglect to do good in the name of Jesus yet being believers.
Do you do good without knowing Christ, without submitting to Him as Lord? This is good, but let me remind you that you will forever be limited in how far your good can reach and how enduring your good can be without the power of Jesus in your life. My counsel to you is to learn from the example of these seven sons of Sceva. Don't merely invoke the name of Christ. Become a Christian and recieve the power of the Holy Spirit.
Do you know Christ and habitually neglect to do good? Your situation is far more precarious. What do you think God will say to you knowing how much you have squandered? My counsel to you is to stop grieving the Holy Spirit and do some good today.
Today in the market place, in the office, in the classroom, in the community - be sure to do some good in the name of Christ.