Acts – Chapter 19
- Acts 19:1-7 – Paul goes to Ephesus and teaches believers about the 3 Baptisms and baptizes them
- Acts 19:8-10 – Paul has no success teaching in the synagogue and withdraws from there but teaches in the school to Tyrannus
- Acts 19:11-12 – Unusual miracles were done through Paul
- Acts 19:13-16 – The sons of Sceva, the high priest, try to cast out demons in Jesus’ name but are overpowered and must flee
- Acts 19:16-20 – Many believed, confessed their sins and burned their books of magic
- Acts 19:21-22 – Paul sends Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia and he remains in Asia
- Acts 19:23-41 – Demetrius, a silversmith who made shrines of the goddess Diana created opposition for Paul but the city clerk pacifies the crowd
Experiencing the Fullness of the Holy Spirit
Paul asked the Ephesians: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” This demonstrates that, like Jesus (Acts 1:8), he considered it important. In this chapter his ministry demonstrates the three milestones in the progressive experience of believers (Acts 19:2-6):
- The Baptism of Repentance – This is the baptism done by John the Baptist (Mat 3:1-6). The cleansing of repentance is the starting point of our spiritual development
- The Baptism into Jesus’ name (Acts 19:5)– This is the Water Baptism. This term “in Jesus’ name” has been interpreted as the words to use in baptizing, but it is the same baptism described by Jesus in Mathew 28:18-20. Jesus’ name signifies Jesus’ authority and what He achieved through His death, burial, and resurrection. This baptism symbolizes our identification with Jesus and our appropriation of what He has achieved for us.
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is the fulfillment of the promise of the Father (Acts 1:8, 2:1-4) and the release of spiritual gifts and power in the life of a believer to equip him for ministry.
To Baptize Means to Immerse.
Here Paul’s emphasis shows that we must not go through just a superficial experience, but, that we should press on to fully experience everything that God has prepared for His children.
Immersion involves the understanding, appropriation and commitment to our new life in Christ. Not everybody is ready for this type of spiritual walk and Paul ministered only to those who responded. This is something we should pay attention to.
Paul Demonstrated the Kingdom
Paul did not limit himself to teaching the Good News. He also demonstrated them by the many “extraordinary” miracles he performed. The kingdom of God is not on words but power (1 Cor 4:20).
Baptism Is More than Physical Immersion
All these things go together: immersed in repentance, appropriating our new identity in Christ and immersed in the Holy Spirit. These “immersions” are not just physical ceremonies. They involve a good understanding of the related doctrines. Paul trained diligently and at length the new disciples by teaching and example. That is what the church should do today. There are not shortcuts to spiritual maturity.
Do you fully understand the meaning and impact of the three baptisms?
By Faith You Can Experience What the Ephesians Did
If you do and have come into those experiences, the power of God is naturally present in your life. If you do not, they are for you.
- Read the Scriptures describing them.
- Seek the revelation of God’s truth.
- Open your heart to understand.
- Take the steps required.
You will start experiencing the abundant life that Jesus announced (John 10:10). Do not be content with partial experiences. Trust your Heavenly Father. He loves you and wants you to be happy. He will give you fullness of life.
Prayer of Faith
Thank you Father that you have sent Jesus so that I can experience abundant and eternal life. You have also described the phases of my spiritual experience to show me the path that I should take.
I will follow your direction. I want to have everything you have planned for me. I know that all good things come from you.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!
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© 2014, Pastor Maurizio. All rights reserved.