Day 2 Read: Acts 19:1-7
And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 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.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” 4 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.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
Reflect: What did Paul discover upon arriving in Ephesus? Why was the experience of the believers at Ephesus not enough?
Consider: At Ephesus Paul encounters twelve disciples. Luke’s use of the term disciples implies that Paul recognized them somehow as believers in Jesus Christ, perhaps in a similar state of knowledge about Pentecost as Apollos (vv. 2–4). This is also implied by the rather specific nature of Paul’s question about whether they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed (v. 2), the kind of question one would ask to clarify a matter after preliminary discussion. During this period of church history, it was evidently possible for people who had believed in Jesus Christ to be ignorant of Pentecost and not to have been baptized in the Spirit.2
Respond: In what ways do we “shortchange” the gospel? What do you need to correct in your vocabulary when talking to unbelievers in order to present them with an accurate understanding of the gospel?
2 William H. Baker, “Acts,” in Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), 913.