February 1, 2019
Acts 19:1-4 The Message (MSG)
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul is visiting those who claim to be “disciples.” As he observes their lives and listens to their words, Paul notices something lacking in these Ephesians. He comes to them with a question about the Holy Spirit. Think about this situation. These disciples are more than likely teaching others about the need for repentance before God and to honor Him as Lord; this is the message of John the Baptist. It is a good and sound message. But, Paul knows this level of understanding is only the beginning in the story of God’s love and work of Christ Jesus for salvation. The Holy Spirit is where we find the power for Kingdom living.
God wants to get down inside humanity—each individual led by the Spirit—not just invite people to be baptized and make a mental ascent to honor God’s authority. He wants to save us from our sin and it takes the work of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this in our lives. We are spiritual train wrecks without the impartation of the Spirit of Truth. We will make up our own truth if the Spirit doesn’t guide our lives; actually, we will try to control others to live by our truth. If we are going to be saved from sin and death, the Spirit must wash us and walk with us into Christ’s righteousness and wholeness. This is the Good News!
19 1-2 Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?”
“We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?”
3 “How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.
“In John’s baptism.”
4 “That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for washing over me with your Holy Spirit and walking through each day of life with me. You make it possible for me to partake of Kingdom Living every day and to be renewed as your creation made in Your image. Be glorified in my life, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.