Holy Spirit at Work in Ephesus

In Your Bible: Acts 19:1-6 (NLT)

After Paul visited the churches in the interior region of Asia Minor he returned to Ephesus for two years, continuing to preach the Word. There the Holy Spirit gave new disciples power and authority to work.

Paul’s Third Missionary Journey

Paul, with Timothy, Luke and others visited the churches in modern Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, and ended in Jerusalem. Again, he experienced persecution and suffering. While in Ephesus, Paul wrote several letters to other churches.

New Disciples Receive the Holy Spirit

On his way to Ephesus Paul encountered some (12) new disciples. He knew they were followers of Jesus by talking with them, but he also knew they lacked something—power!

Then Paul challenged them with a question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? No, they replied, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:2 NLT).

Then Paul said, “If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.” As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions” (Acts 19:4-6 Message).

Some commentators * believe this encounter was designed to qualify these twelve men as elders committed the care of the church in Ephesus. There the Holy Spirit gave new disciples power and authority to work.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your gift the Holy Spirit to empower me and guide me into what you would have me do.

Questions: Why do you think repentance is necessary prior to baptism? How is this account in acts differ from the Great Commission Jesus gave in Mathew 19? Do you there think there is a difference, if you consider the word Master used in the Message in Acts 19:7?

* Matthew Henry’s Complete Bible Commentary Acts 19:1-7, online at christianity.com

One thought on “Holy Spirit at Work in Ephesus

  1. Repentance is a common goal for the Baptized and the unbaptized, despite the religious implication of the term. No matter what lives we lead, we all have evil in it that’s constantly tempting us one way or another. We resist when we know we are susceptible, when we identify an evil in our life that is causing us pain and/or suffering, but because of our human nature we cannot do it every waking moment. Our eyes, mouths, and even our thoughts betray us because of the reality of life.

    The comfort that we have, being followers of Christ, is that He knew we would be corruptible throughout the ages. That is why He gave us the ability to enter Heaven simply by “striving” to be more like Him who was (and is) incorruptible. Our striving to resist temptation, to resist the world of man constantly trying to bring us to the ways of man rather than the ways of God, is meant to be our struggle. Christ also tells us that, as long as we constantly strive to turn away from the ways of man and maintain the ways of God, we will be forgiven for the sins we are sure to commit.

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