Monday, November 30, 2009

Did you recieve the Holy Spirit?


It didn't seem like Paul could sit still.
Acts 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."
He is doing evangelism and discipleship. His first question seems odd...
"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?"
These were simple, sincere believers.

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."
5 -7And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus."
So Paul's teaching was Jesus centered. But look what happens next...
"Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God's actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day."
What a joyful event! They get Jesus. They get the Holy Spirit.
This was 2000 years before the tragic 100 year long split in the Evangelical Church between the Holy Spirit centered Christians and the Holy Spirit averse Christians. This passage is taught as theology by the one side, and a one time event by the other side. Regardless, it is here. And the folks rejoiced in their new found relationship with God.

8 -10 "Paul then went straight to the meeting place. He had the run of the place for three months, doing his best to make the things of the kingdom of God real and convincing to them. But then resistance began to form as some of them began spreading evil rumors through the congregation about the Christian way of life. So Paul left, taking the disciples with him, and set up shop in the school of Tyrannus, holding class there daily. He did this for two years, giving everyone in the province of Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, ample opportunity to hear the Message of the Master."
The big story is that folks continued to accept the Good News, whether they were Jew or Greek.
That is still the big story today...

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