Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?
We know the early disciples lived as a church by doing four tasks. The early disciples devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers. This devotion to these four tasks happened after the disciples had received the Holy Spirit.
There are other signs of receiving the Holy Spirit. There can be speaking in tongues. There can be prophesying. There can extolling God – praising God with much energy. All these signs show how God has given us His Spirit.
Why does this matter to us today? For the same Holy Spirit which was given then, is the same Holy Spirit which is given to us when we are baptized. So, it begs the question. Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?
A. Paul found some disciples in Ephesus (19:1-7)
1. What caused Paul to ask: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
2. These Ephesian disciples had not even heard of the Holy Spirit!
3. They had been baptized into John’s baptism
a. A baptism of repentance
b. Different than believing in the one who followed John
4. Paul explains John’s baptism – a baptism of repentance
5. We believe in the one who was to come after John – – Jesus!
6. The 12 disciples were baptized into Jesus’ Name
7. The Holy Spirit came upon them
8. For me, my receiving of the Holy Spirit looked like a desire to preach about Jesus. For others, they have spoken in tongues. Even other disciples have been able to praise God in ways they never did before. For the 12 disciples in Ephesus, meeting Paul meant they also learned about the Holy Spirit. It also means these 12 believed in Jesus. I hope we have received the Holy Spirit after we have believed in Jesus. It is by believing in Jesus that we can live as disciples of Jesus. Paul’s preaching was informed by the Holy Spirit. What did Paul do after these 12 received the Holy Spirit?
B. Paul kept on preaching (19:8-10)
1. In the synagogue, Paul found more opposition
2. Yet, he keep speaking boldly about the kingdom of God
a. The kingdom of God is like a pearl worth more than anything else, and we give up all else to have that pearl
b. The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, though it is the smallest of seeds, it grows to be a great bush for birds to nest in
c. The kingdom of God is the place where there is neither Jew or Greek, male or female, slave or free, Catholic, Baptist, or United Methodist – but we are one in the Lord Jesus
3. When the Way, that is the Jesus’ followers, were berated, Paul left the synagogue
4. Paul went to a lecture hall to convince people to believe in Jesus
5. People around Ephesus, the area known as Asia, heard the word of the Lord
6. Paul was living what he received. Paul believed in Jesus. So, Paul received the Holy Spirit. He prophesied about the need to believe in Jesus. As we receive the Holy Spirit, we end up doing similar tasks. We praise God. We prophesy. We even speak so others can hear about Jesus Christ.
Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers? For if you did receive the Holy Spirit you have a way about you that shows the Holy Spirit is in your life. We pray our new members receive the Holy Spirit when they are baptized. So, we will lay our hands on our new members. This is not practice of magic. It is a practice that goes back to Paul and the early church.
For not only do we repent of our ways, though this is important. We also believe in Jesus. Repentance shows we are ready to be done with what has weighed us down, namely our sin. Believing in Jesus shows that we know who can forgive us. Believing in Jesus shows that are seeking to do more than what the world wants us to do. Believing in Jesus means we want to be in the Kingdom of God.
The early disciples devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers. This devotion to these four tasks happened after the disciples had received the Holy Spirit. May we found to be devoted to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers after we receive the Holy Spirit.
Is it time for you to become a believer in Jesus Christ? Is it time for you to receive the Holy Spirit? Don’t let anyone stop you. Believe in Jesus and receive what God has for you.