18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 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. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.” (Acts 19:18–20)
In the immediate aftermath of the exposure of the sons of Sceva as charlatans (Acts 19:13-17). God used this situation to accomplish His purpose. It was a fulfillment of Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (NASB95).
Although the sons of Sceva were unsuccessful in their attempts to duplicate the work of God in the lives of His people, the Holy Spirit is most effective. Believers in Ephesus came to confess and divulge their sins. To confess (ἐξομολογούμενοι; exomologoumenoi) means to agree with God’s perspective and to swear allegiance to Him. To divulge (ἀναγγέλλοντες; anangellontes) means to inform, to announce and to tell.
Additionally, those who practiced sorcery and black magic brought their books of incantations and burned them in the sight of all: believers and unbelievers alike. The monetary value of these books totaled fifty pieces of silver. While an exact equivalent in today’s currency may be difficult to determine, the scene depicts the depth of the people’s conversion and love for the Lord.
In light of all that happened, the Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail. In other words, God’s Word grew and was strong.
Luke’s summary statement in acts 19:20 parallels similar statements found in Acts 6:7, 12:24 and 13:49. The Gospel continued to spread throughout the entire known world. Acts 1:8 was being fulfilled.
Remember, God’s continues to use His inerrant Word today to convict, convince, and to convert the souls of the ungodly. Take time today to thank Him for convicting you of your sin, convincing you of the truth of the Gospel, and converting you by His grace alone, through God-given faith alone, and in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
Soli deo Gloria!