Showing posts with label Paul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul. Show all posts

Sunday

Sunday Scripture - 2 Timothy 1:7


Sunday Scripture is just simply a thought or two on a Bible verse that may have struck me afresh or maybe for the first time or has always been special to me.


Today I am looking at 2 Timothy 1:7





Looking at verse 6 of this chapter we may be tempted to ask if Timothy had a fear of rejection in the use of the gifts or had he been hurt in some way in the past and was now timorous of exercising the gifts again.

Perhaps this was not the reason Paul felt he had to specifically write this, it could simply have been that Timothy had not made a conscious effort to be seeking to be used by the Spirit or he had let the gift lapse?

But then we read verse 7  and we do seem to have the indication that there was a worry or fear of some kind holding Timothy back.


Remembering that God is not going to give us something that is bad for us we can agree that He is not going to put fear into our lives but power, love and a sound mind instead.


Then that would lead us to 

"What gift was Paul referring to?"


If we simply looked at verse 7 on it's own would we come to the right meaning?

As usual the verses in this chapter should be read together to give the right context

when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,


Verse 5 points us to the faith that Paul had witnessed in Timothy and we can presume that Paul was not mentioning this without a reason.

Verse 6 points us to the fact that Timothy has a gift from God and he is responsible for how he uses that gift.

Verse 7 points us to what God has given to Timothy which reminds him of how he has been equipped by God.

Look at the order of these three things:

  1. Power - to combat fear and timidity 
  2. Love - to bring care for people
  3. Sound Mind - to bring clarity 


but then we must ask the question "What does Timothy need these three things for?"


To be a good Pastor 


to do the job he has been given to do


Verse 9 points us to what the people need.  The Good News of the Gospel and the building up of their faith.

Perhaps then the gift Paul refers to is one which is important for Timothy to have in order to continue to be a good pastor.  A gift that he knows about and Paul knows about but we do not necessarily have to know about. 


Can this be related to us?

Yes, we must always be equipped to do the job God wants us to do.




What has God given us?




What has God given us?                     The Right Spirit.

What should we give God?                 Faith.







I think this passage is not just about Timothy;
 it is about how God has equipped him and the faith he must use in order to share the Gospel.






Thursday

Acts Chapter 26 - Paul Comes Before the King


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What would you say if you were to speak to a king?   


In Chapter 25 - The Big Appeal  we were brought to the point where Paul would be allowed to appeal to Caesar and then King Agrippa comes into the story and we were left wondering how this might affect Festus and his decision.




verses 1 - 3     A greeting to King Agrippa.


So the king wants to hear from Paul and Paul doesn't just blurt out "I've been accused ...." and how wrong it is.
Instead Paul greets and recognises the King as an authority in Jewish customs and asks him to listen patiently.

Yes we all (according to scripture) have the right to be heard when we are accused of something but that does not mean we get abusive about it or forget to be respectful to others.


verses 4 - 11     Short Personal story of early life.

Paul explains how he was a devout Jew and that he was well-known among all Jews.

Now the Jews should be well acquainted with the promises of God as they are always exhorted to memorise the scriptures but they do have disagreements among themselves about the resurrection.  Paul believes in the resurrection because of having been a Pharisee  as opposed to the Sadducees who do not.

We found that several times the resurrection is mentioned and disagreements happen as is Chapter 17 - Knowing God

Here he talks about the hope of the Promise that God gave originally to Abraham and all Jews should be in agreement about that.

He then goes on to the part of his life when he persecuted those who followed Jesus because he saw them as going against what Jews believed and even blaspheming.



verses 12 - 18       Conversion Experience.

Yet again Paul has the opportunity to relay the story of his conversion.

In other times when he had an audience of Jews he had bad reactions such as in Chapter 13 - A Specific Job for the Kingdom  but with the difference that there he was invited by the Jewish Leaders to speak and now they don't want him to speak at all.

Another time he had the opportunity to speak to the Jews of Jesus in Chapter 18 - Reactions of People  he found that the Jews were so angry against him that they blasphemed.


What will be the reaction of this King?





verses 19 - 23             New life and Attitude.

Paul tells the King of his new life and what that entailed.

It meant a change in his behaviour from hounding the Christians to

  • obedience to Jesus from the meeting on the Damascus Road  verse 19
  • speaking of repentence first to the Jews and then also to the gentiles  verse 20

It also meant a change in his physical and practical lifestyle

  • arrests and threats of death from his own people  verse 21
  • help and miracles from God  verse 22

It also meant a strong and unwavering stance for God

  • speaking the same as the prophets had about how Jesus would come and die and rise again  verse 22-23



verses 24 - 33            Reaction to Paul.

First Festus is upset and turns on Paul.

Then Paul turns it directly to the King because he knows the King has heard a lot about him already.
He asks Agrippa a very important question in verse 27

King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? 
I know that you do believe.


Paul did what many times we fail to do.

Paul after testifying about Jesus then asked a direct question which demands thoughtful consideration and a response.

Salvation is a personal thing not just something we hear about but something we need to make a decision about and respond to either accepting or rejecting there is no other option.

So what was King Agrippa's response in verse 28?

It was about the saddest one we will ever hear.

Then Agrippa said to Paul, 
“You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”


Almost is not enough, in fact almost is as far away as an outright rejection.


When faced with the Gospel it is a matter of acceptance or rejection, there just is no in-between. 

Paul stood before his earthly king but but some day we will all stand before our heavenly King Jesus and we need to have made our decision now, not waiting until then when it will be too late.

It is acceptance or rejection NOW there just is no in between.










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Sunday

Acts Chapter 25 - The Big Appeal

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Change of governer but Paul is still in the same position or will that change in this new chapter?






verses 1 -  8

Now these Jews never gave up in their vendetta against Paul even though he had been held in Caesarea for two years they were still anxious to kill him so another plot is being laid at the start of this chapter.

The new governer Festus went to Jerusalem 3 days after he arrived in the province and the High Priest and other Jews can't wait to state their accusations against Paul again and ask for him to be brought to Jerusalem.
Why?
Because they have the same plan as before; ambush and kill him on the journey.

Festus refuses but offers for them to come to Caesarea and put their case to him there which happens some days later.

They lay many charges against Paul but cannot prove any of them.

When this happened Paul was still gracious and did not retaliate but simply stated in verse 8


 “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all.”


Why had all of this not been dismissed earlier when they had never been able to bring any proof?
Why do things have to linger on and on and keep Paul under such a situation when his accusers can not prove anything?
Why does it have to seem like he is assumed to be guilty just because they have a grievance against him and then still appears to be punished even when nothing is proved?

Where is the "innocent until proven guilty"?

There seems to have been this state of limbo for Paul for these years where he is neither innocent nor guilty and it confines him to a certain location and limited to what he can do.





verses 9 - 27

Even though they had no proof of wrongdoing against Paul instead of Festus properly acknowledging this he asks if Paul will go to Jerusalem with him to be tried there.

So now in verses 10 - 11 Paul has the opportunity to ask to go before Caesar instead which is his right as a Roman citizen.

 “I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you very well know. 11 For if I am an offender, or have committed anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying; but if there is nothing in these things of which these men accuse me, no one can deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.”


I was very struck by the way Paul said no-one could deliver him to the Jews if there was nothing in their claims and he knew Festus was well aware that they had no proof.
There is just plain statement of fact and no argument here.

Result is that Festus agrees to let him stand before Caesar.

Then we have another person brought into the picture as King Agrippa and his wife come to visit Festus.

Whether in general conversation or in a way of seeing another person's perspective of the situation, Festus brings the facts of the case before the king who is then interested enough to hear from Paul himself and this is arranged for the following day.
I do feel that from the way Festus speaks the next day that he had wanted this event to take place and that it could help him in how he could present this appeal before Caesar noting how he finishes his speech to the King and other people gathered together especially when we see how the chapter ends in verse 27

27 For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him.”


He was quite right as he was obligated to present a case against Paul to Caesar but obviously felt he should do the best job he could and not be biased.  Only something that could be verified should be brought as truth in a charge as there are always two sides to be heard and considered and proof to be needed before someone can be condemned.

Also Paul was entitled to know exactly what was said to Caesar (or anyone else about him) as it was his life and reputation that were in the balance here, not that of the accusers.



Why are people often swayed by groups of others and forget about looking for the truth.

I think there are two questions here.

  • Why are people often swayed by groups of others?
  • Will this change the agreement by Festus for the appeal before Caesar?











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Thursday

Acts Chapter 23 & 24 - Accusations & Indecisions

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Oh dear! We left our last look at Acts in the middle of a chapter in the middle of an event!

What happened about the Murder Plot in Acts Chapter 23?



verses 16 - 22

Sometimes a little bit of help from our friends (or family) is a good thing.

Paul's nephew finds out about the plot against Paul and goes to the prison to tell Paul who then gets a centurion to take his nephew to the commander.  The commander listens to him and acts on the information he now has.

I think the following section shows that the commander trusted Paul by this stage and was worried because he now knew Paul was a Roman citizen and so did not want any harm to come to Paul while he was in his charge.


verses 23 - 35

23 And he called for two centurions, saying, “Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night; 24 and provide mounts to set Paul on, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 


One prisoner, yet the commander was taking this threat so seriously that he was going to involve the use of 470 soldiers.  This must have meant he considered Paul an important prisoner.

So Paul was hurried off to be sent to the governor Felix in Caesarea in the middle of the night.

Felix was sent a letter from the commander briefly explaining who this prisoner was and who were his accusers.

Nice for the commander to be able to get Paul away safely so that he was not responsible for his safety any longer and to avoid any incident in the area he was responsible for.  Prevention is always better than having to sort things out after they have got out of hand.  When people are angry it is best to diffuse a situation rather than fuel it but also better to actually deal properly with a situation so that things do not be left unresolved for a long period of time and anger fester on and on.

So had Paul escaped from the accusations the Jews were trying to bring against him?

No.  Clearly verse 35 tells us that Felix after reading the letter told Paul

“I will hear you when your accusers also have come.” And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium.


But he did escape from being killed.




Straight away in the next chapter (chapter 24) we see from verse 1 that Annanias the High Priest, some elders and a man called Tertullus came 5 days later and spoke against Paul.


verses 2 - 9    give us the side of the Jews

Tertullus was the spokesperson and started (as many accusers do) with some sweet talking and complimenting the governor  -  trying to show a nice character so that the next thing he says might be accepted better.
Then he attacks the character of Paul and continues to attack the actions of the commander who is not there to defend himself.
The Jews of course just agreed with what he said.


verses 10 - 21    give us the side of Paul

Paul then has the opportunity to defend himself and knows that Felix has been in his position for some years and will be able to check on the information and find that Paul was only 12 days in Jerusalem and was not found to be inciting the people or acting badly in the Temple as had been claimed by Tertullus.

This then leads him to explaining some of what he believes in and that the Jews are angry with him because of his beliefs.


verses 22 - 23     give us the indecision by Felix

Felix doesn't seem to want to come down on one side or the other so says he will wait to hear from the commander and decides Paul should be under guard but not in prison.

Does this mean he thinks Paul is innocent of the charges but does not want to anger the Jews?
Or does he think is guilty but does not want to punish him?
Or can he just not make up his mind?
Certainly not the quality of a good leader.


verses 24 - 27     give us the real reason for this attitude by Felix

Felix it now appears seemed to want two things

  • to talk more to Paul about what he believed
  • to get a bribe from Paul
Throughout the next two years he keeps Paul in the same position never making a decision on his guilt or innocence with regard to the accusations.  He talks with Paul but never accepts his beliefs and never receives any bribes before being replaced by a new governor.  


People have always wanted what would benefit them and have had little regard for others.

The handing over of the position to a new person would probably have been a time to make that decision in Paul's favour as Felix would then be away from the area and have no headaches from the Jews and the new governor would not have to take the responsibility either.

Does this mean that Felix never becomes a believer in the future?











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Acts Chapter 21 - The Journey to Jerusalem

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Sometimes we just have to stop somewhere and this happened to Paul and his companions at the start of chapter 21 even though as we saw in chapter 20  Paul's Goal  he was set to get to Jerusalem quickly.



They had to stop at Tyre because the ship they were sailing on had to stop there.

When we had sighted Cyprus, we passed it on the left, sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her cargo. 



Similar to other times they found people to fellowship with and through prophetic ministry Paul was advised not to go to Jerusalem.

And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem. 


Did this change Paul's mind?

No, at the end of those 7 days in Tyre they headed off once more by ship.

Some time later verse 8 tells us they had arrived at Caesarea

 and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 


The Philip here is one of the Wise & Respected Men we talked about in Acts Chapter 6.  This differenciates the Philip here from Philip who was one of the twelve disciples with Jesus and later referred to as the Apostles.




This is also the Philip from Acts Chapter 8 Good Out of Evil who met the Ethiopian and explained about Jesus from the Old Testament, going on to baptize him in water right where they were.

Then there is something new that we are told about Philip is in verse 9

Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. 

What do we learn from this short statement?

1.  He had 4 daughters.
2.  The 4 daughters mentioned were not married so still at home under his influence.
3.  These 4 daughters were used by the Holy Spirit in prophecy.


What do we not learn from this short statement?

1.  The number of sons he had.
2.  The number of daughters he had who were married.
3.  The number of daughters he had who were not used in prophecy.
4.  That these 4 daughters were recognised as prophets in the church.


We must always be careful not to read something into scripture that is not there.

I mentioned previously in A Godly Couple  Chapter 18  how some people like to say the wife was the leader of the this couple and also headed up one of the churches but it never actually says this in the Bible and here again there are people who say that because of this little verse about Philip's 4 daughters we have proof that women were recognised as prophets in the early church.

However we do have proof that Agabus who now arrives to Philip's home is a prophet in the church because verse 10  specifically states it.


There is something more important that happened while they were with Philip as we read in verses 10 & 11

10 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”


Would this change Paul's mind from Jerusalem?

No even though everyone there tried to talk him out of going his reply was clear in verse 13


13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”


What a change in the determination of this man who we first met in chapters 7 & 8  when he wanted to persecute the believers and now when he is ready and willingly to be persecuted himself for being a believer.



The change in the determined mind of Paul.


So they got ready and went off to Jerusalem.

17 And when we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord.

Yes Paul has made it to Jerusalem.









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Sunday

Acts Chapter 20 (contd.) - Paul's Goal

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In the last post in this series we were in the middle of chapter 20  A Short Eventful Visit  in a place called Troas but their stay there was only for 7 days so they were now travelling once again.



verses 13 - 16


They all moved on together by boat and obviously Paul's destination was to be Jerusalem.


16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.


So the question is - does he make it there in time for Pentecost?


verses 17 - 38

Although Paul wanted to sail past Ephesus we now see in verse 17 that he had stopped in his journey in Miletus and wanted to speak with the elders from the Ephesians church.

They came to meet with him and while he was talking with them we have a very significant statement in verses 22 - 23

22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 


Paul was certain that The Spirit of God was urging him towards Jerusalem, even though this was not a place he would want to go to or that anyone else would want him to go to because there had been ministry through the Holy Spirit indicating the hard time that would await him there.

Why was he still eager to go to Jerusalem?




The answer is in the next verse

24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The answer consists of a few things:

  • Nothing he already knows is swaying him away from Jerusalem.
  • His physical life is not important.
  • He wants to finish his earthly life and meet His Saviour with Joy.
  • His life should be a testimony to the Grace of God.

He had a goal set before him to finish his race well.



Do we have a goal to finish this race of life well?

He also wanted to forge on regardless of what lay ahead and of the things he would be leaving behind as verse 25 tells us there would be many people he would not see again on this earth.


25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.


But from his words in verses 26 - 31 it was clear that he knew he had done what God had wanted him to do.

He had led, taught and prepared the people well for the future so that no matter what trials, tribulations came to the church they would be able to stand against them because they could remember Paul's teaching.


 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God[c]which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.


Paul felt at this stage that no-one could hold him accountable for others not knowing the Gospel of Jesus because he had taught everything God had given him to teach.

This is a sobering thought to apply to ourselves



This is a sobering thought to apply to ourselves.


Have we always used the opportunities we have been given 
to share the Gospel?


Have we always used the knowledge we have of God's Word 
to help others from being led astray?


Have we been good witnesses of Jesus 
so that we have no regrets when we have no time left?

Having then gone on to pray for these elders, they say their goodbyes and Paul departs by ship again.

However we need to continue in the following chapters of Acts to see if Paul gets to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost.










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Acts Chapter 19 (contd.) - The Influence of Paul

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Continuing on in chapter 19 of Acts today we move on to see the influence Paul had in three different situations.


We left off in verse 7 with Paul still in Ephesus in Questions are Important  and now we see he spends a lot more time there.


verses 8 - 10

This tells us about the boldness of Paul when he went into the synagogue over a period of 3 months to teach the people.

The result however was that people were hardened to the message and spoke badly of Paul and Christianity so that he and the disciples that were with him moved on to The School of Tyrannus (still in Ephesus) where he stayed for 2 years daily speaking and reasoning about the Lord.  It looks like there may now have been more than Luke, Timothy and Silas as disciples along with Paul from the way the verse is worded.

This led to another result found in verse 10

10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.


I think we can say that this was a great result - such a spread of the Gospel.


Perseverance and dedication and the truth bring the right results.


verses 11 - 20

Here now is an instance where we read about the miracles that God did through Paul.  People obviously recognised the power that was at work and sought out healing especially.

But there were others who wanted to try to use this work of the Spirit to benefit themselves even though they were not believers.

It is in this passage that we see how evil spirits can recognise the true power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of the believers in Christ; but there is no power in unbelievers that evil spirits will have to recognise or obey as we read the following in verse 15


15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; 
but who are you?”


The result from this was that the unbelievers were at the power of the evil spirits instead of the other way around.




Do we even realise the authority we have as believers?

What authority do we have?

We need to make sure we do not get the wrong idea here so the best thing to do is check this with other Scripture.  (Remember the Bereans in chapter 17  Daily Scriptures)


Let's look at the Great Commission in Matthew chapter 28 verses 18 - 20

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.


All authority has been given to Jesus and so He commands us to go and make disciples with The Holy Spirit in our lives so that we have the power of Jesus still with us.

We are not in charge and we are not powerful the only thing we can do is let the The Holy Spirit work through us as we obey God and tell others about him.


So this altercation between the unbelievers trying to use the name of Paul to do the same miracles that he did was then obviously talked about everywhere in Ephesus but even though it may have seemed like a victory for the devil the result was really that Glory was brought to God.


17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.


Great changes were made in peoples lives and nothing stopped the spread of God's Word.


20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.



The right influence works wonders.


verses 21 - 41

We are still in Asia with Paul to see some more of his influence here.


21 When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.


verse 22 mentions two of the people who ministered with Paul so this would agree with the impression from above that there were now more disciples along with Paul than we had previously known about.

Now Paul sends Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia -  an example of 2 people who he has discipled becoming leaders themselves, obviously going to help the believers in Macedonia that we heard about in previous chapters and hence now themselves going to be discipling others.
More of the influence of Paul.

What hint are we having about the future for Paul here?

He feels he should go to Jerusalem again and then later on to Rome.

But for the moment he stays in Ephesus in Asia where it is evident from verse 26 that some people do not like the influence he has had on the people there and in other parts of Asia


26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.

There was very widespread influence of Paul here that some people were getting very annoyed and there was a lot of tension in the community.

The silversmiths and others involved in the manufacturing of idols are seeing people believing in Jesus and turning away from the gods they had previously worshipped particularly the Goddess Diana and this was seriously effecting their businesses so there was a riot in Ephesus.

The story of Paul continues......









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Thursday

Acts Chapter 19 - Questions Are Important.

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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.










Interested to know more about the Book of Acts?
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