Acts 19:25

ESV These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth.
NIV He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: 'You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business.
NASB he gathered these men together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, 'Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business.
CSB When he had assembled them, as well as the workers engaged in this type of business, he said, "Men, you know that our prosperity is derived from this business.
NLT He called them together, along with others employed in similar trades, and addressed them as follows: 'Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business.
KJV Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.

What does Acts 19:25 mean?

Tradesmen who earn their living making idols of Greek gods find their income threatened by the spread of Christianity in Ephesus and the province of Asia. Demetrius, a silversmith, says, "Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods" (Acts 19:26). The tradesmen start a pro-Artemis protest that nearly ends in a riot (Acts 19:28–41).

The tradesmen's interests favor the enslavement of the people. Paul's message is turning people to Jesus and the salvation He offers, but he's also rescuing people from demonic oppression (Acts 19:11–12). People in the Roman Empire worship gods, ostensibly because the gods bless and protect them. Truly, the false deities do nothing except distract people from the only true God and enable demonic rule (1 Corinthians 10:20). Meanwhile, those who have financial interest in the worship of pagan gods convince the people that the identity of their region as Artemis-worshipers is more important than the welfare of the people.

Paul writes to the Philippians about enemies of Christ, saying "their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things" (Philippians 3:19). We desperately need to remember that salvation and freedom are only found through Christ and our identity should be in Him. We should certainly have integrity in our work and act in the best interests of our communities, but these are not the identity of a Christian. Our fulfillment is in our identity in Christ.
What is the Gospel?
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