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Daily Devotional: Tuesday 26th May

by William Moody

Acts 19:1–7

Paul in Ephesus

19:1 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland1 country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in2 the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all.

Footnotes

[1] 19:1 Greek upper (that is, highland)
[2] 19:5 Or into

(ESV)

In this incident with the twelve believers we have similarities with the story of Apollos (18 v24-28). Paul saw there was something lacking in their lives and asks about the Holy Spirit (v1-3).

These people had come to faith through the ministry of John or his disciples prior to Pentecost and the coming of the Spirit. So in regards their experience they were basically Old Testament believers without the indwelling power of the Spirit that New Testament believers had.

Paul baptises them in the name of Jesus and through the laying on of hands they received the Spirit (v4-7).

We need to realise that this was quite a unique situation and not something we are to expect today when all believers have the Spirit (Romans 8 v9).

We though do need to ask if we are experiencing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit as we should? We are to keep on being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5 v18) and we are not to grieve or quench the Spirit (Ephesians 4 v30; 1 Thessalonians 5 v19). Pray about this.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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