And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inlandcountry 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 inthe 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.
And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
Words of Hope
In this text we observe Paul arriving in Ephesus and observe how he baptizes and teaches. When Paul arrives he realizes that there are many “disciples” here who have only been baptized in the name of John. They have either not heard the story of Jesus or have not been baptized into it. Paul preaches about the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ and many receive the Holy Spirit. Paul continues to teach for two years here until “all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord”.
Most of the time when you become a Christian you are baptized in the name of the historic words of the church, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When we commit to Christ time and time again, we are being convicted by the Holy Spirit to keep pursuing Christ at all times. This text shows us the saving power and grace of Jesus. We see Jesus saving us from ourselves each and every time.
During baptismal renewal services, we are reminded of our new life in Christ and the cleansing restorative power of water. I’m so thankful to see redemption and renewal as possibilities for all of us with God’s help. I wonder what it is like to be filled of the same spirit. Scripture gives us clues as to what this looks like; of loving all, of taking care of the least of these.
Dear God, we give you thanks for the power of baptisms, redemption, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Amen.