Year 2 Day 61
Read - Acts 19v1-10
Message - Scott Woodburn
We can sometimes look misty eyed at the church in Acts and wish the things then were the things today. I understand such a wish but would stress again that not everything in Acts was rosy. Paul arrives in Ephesus and meets some followers of John the Baptist who have trusted in Christ (v1). He asks them if they received the Holy Spirit when they believed and amazingly they reply that they haven't even heard that there is a Holy Spirit (v2).
They have received the baptism of John (v3) and will have no doubt heard John's teaching. So these men have heard about the Holy Spirit (Luke 3v15-16) they just have not heard that the Spirit has arrived. Paul explains that John's baptism was one of repentance and preparation (v4). Essentially John was saying "Receive this baptism of repentance! Get ready! Another is coming called Jesus! Get ready to receive Him!".
Christ has come, His work is complete, the Spirit has arrived. These men hear the good news and receive baptism in the name of Christ (v5). Paul lays hands on these 12 men and they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and immediately speak in other languages and prophesy (v6). These followers of Christ were not fully formed in their faith but with the Apostles' teaching they understand the fullness of the Gospel of Christ.
Brothers and sisters we may not see the extraordinary events of Acts in today's church but we can be incredibly thankful that we live in days were each of us has access to the full and complete revelation of God. The Lord has seen fit to give us a book and from Genesis to Revelation we have a record of what God has said. There is no excuse any longer for poorly informed believers. We have the testimony of God in our own languages, in our own homes, in our own pews, in our pulpits, on our phones.
Why then are many of us still in the paddling pool of faith? Perhaps stubbornness (v9)? Perhaps unbelief (v9)? Whatever the reason it is possible to wade deeper. We live in communities where the Word is read and preached regularly. There are multiple opportunities to study the Word with fellow Christians. Even now a Bible is near your hand. Wouldn't it be wonderful to hear directly from God? It is possible. Open your Bible, read it aloud and remember "THIS IS THE WORD OF GOD!"
Let us pray together...Father God, forgive us for the little attention we pay to your Word. We ask that you would grow us up in the faith and that you would sanctify us by your word. Your word is true! Your word is sure! Your word is good! May we love it more each day as we find Christ on every page of the word. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Q69 What is forbidden in the sixth commandment? The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.