The Ephesus 12—John’s work completed.

The Ephesus 12—John’s work completed.

(Acts 19:1-7)

If these men were anything like Apollos, they were exceptionally talented and highly motivated believers. Paul met the ‘Ephesus 12’ on his arrival in Ephesus. They were disciples of John the Baptist. Paul’s way of finding out how much they knew about the church was to ask them if the had received the Holy Spirit when they first believed. When they said that they didn’t know about the Holy Spirit, Paul asked them about their baptism. They said that they had been baptised by John the Baptiser. “John’s baptism,” Paul explained, “was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is Jesus” (Acts.19:4). “On hearing this, they were baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts19:5).The question often asked is, “Were these men saved before, or after, Paul baptised them?” The simple answer is, “After!” Because if they were already saved, he was trying to save the already saved. The gift of the Holy Spirit (i.e. the Holy Spirit coming in to dwell in the believer), is received by every believer in baptism (Acts 2:38-39). The ‘miraculous gifts’ received by the Ephesus 12 were received after baptism and only when Paul laid his hands on them. The gifts mentioned were the ability to speak in foreign languages and the gift of prophecy. Vital tools for the growth of the church.I have met believers in Jesus who have received forms of baptism that were not unto salvation. I discuss the baptism of the Ephesus 12, and the baptism of Paul by Ananias. It is clear that Christ is received when the repentant believer is baptised for the forgiveness of sins.The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were signs that the Kingdom of Christ had arrived. They were designed to confirm the gospel message as being from God, not man. They were not gimmicks thrown in as crowd pleasers or sermon starters. Though they did grab the attention of those who saw them.


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