Thursday, 16 November 2017

Acts Chapter 19 - Questions Are Important.


Today we are starting into chapter 19 of Acts.

We briefly heard about Apollos in chapter 18 in A Godly Couple (the previous blog post in this series), when Aquila & Priscilla met him and helped him.

It seems as if he and Paul are travelling in different directions and we have no mention of them having met yet.

So today we are back with Paul who now has come back to Ephesus and there meets 12 men who are described as disciples.

But who were they disciples of?


verses 1 - 7

The interesting thing here is that Paul needs to ask some very important questions.

The first one is found in verse 2


He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? 


and in the same verse we have their answer


And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.


Now I have to mention here that at a certain time in my life if I had been asked this question my answer would not have been too dissimilar to their's.
I was brought up in a church where the work of The Holy Spirit was not taught about in Sunday School or not immediately obvious in the sermons (which I did try to listen to as a young teenager) but I had heard mention of The Holy Spirit in the Bible and at one youth meeting I had gone to in a different church.

So yes I knew there was a Holy Spirit but I was not knowledgeable about the work of The Holy spirit.




These 12 men had no idea at all about the Holy Spirit.
They really were missing out on knowing about the Triune God.

So Paul asks another Question in verse 3


And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? 

and again they answer him in the same verse


And they said, Unto John's baptism.


Perhaps they had been converts from the ministry of Apollos as we read about his lack of full knowledge of the gospel and how Aquila & Priscilla had helped him learn more.

So in verse 4 Paul explained that their baptism was because they had learnt about their need of repentance but they also needed to know about the Saviour who had come after John and was the one they needed to believe in.  (Reminds me once again of that favourite verse of mine in Act 16 v 31 - Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, and all you household.)

We do not know just how much Paul said to them but we do know that after listening to Paul about Jesus there is the correct response and obedience from the 12 men in verse 5



When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.


Obedience is always a sign of true belief.

But Paul did not leave them with just knowledge and understanding of the Holy Spirit about which he had first asked them.

They had now heard the full Gospel but he knew that they needed the experience as well.

And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

What a day for these 12 men

  • Full understanding of the Gospel of Jesus
  • True belief and obedience to God
  • Baptism in the Name of Jesus 
  • Baptism in the Holy Spirit

A great example of the importance of questions and of course the right questions to get the clear picture in all circumstances.  We can never presume what another person thinks or knows or fully understands.





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