April 28, 2022 – Thursday
Acts 19:4-5 NIV
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”
5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
This again takes place in a city by the name of Ephesus which is on the West coast of Turkey (see map) on the Aegean Sea. Paul has only recently arrived and upon arriving he found some disciples, believers in Christ. That’s when the following exchange took place (v2-3), Paul asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. John’s baptism pointed towards Jesus, who by His death made possible the forgiveness of sins.
It is possible the believers in Ephesus did not yet know of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Paul would have made sure they knew of both and thenbaptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus. It is reasonable to ask what is the difference between the two baptisms? We know from the context John’s was a baptism of repentance, repenting of sins against God while the baptism in the name of Jesus is different in nature or quality as it symbolizes the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit as a result of the death and resurrection of Christ creating a new age of salvation through grace, God’s love. The Ephesians believed Paul’s telling of the gospel and as a result they came to a saving faith in Jesus the Christ.
However, that was not the end of it for them as v6 tells us after they were baptized, When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. It is interesting that this is the last instance of the gift of tongues (speaking in a foreign language) in the Book of Acts. However, scripture tells us in Ephesians 1:13, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit as believers. Many references to being sealed by the Holy Spirit are found here.
Bottom Line: The Holy Spirit ‘seals the deal’ when we repent and believe Christ died for our sins and rose on the third day, and now call upon Him as our Lord and Savior.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for loving us so much that if we would but repent and believe what Jesus did on the cross for us, we might have salvation. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton