While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “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. 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.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all. Acts 19:1-7
John’s baptism was a sign of repentance from sin only, not a sign of new life in Christ. The Ephesian believers needed further instruction on the message and ministry of Jesus Christ. They believed in Jesus as the Messiah, but they did not understand the significance of his death and resurrection or the work of the Holy Spirit. When we become a Christian, we turn away from sin (repentance) and turn to Christ (faith). These believers were incomplete.
How wonderful would that have been to witness the Holy Spirit coming upon them? I am sure witnessing amazing miracles such as these helped Paul’s faith strengthen and gave him the encouragement he needed to keep spreading God’s word and baptizing His people. So many times, we have to believe without seeing, but this is one of those times where it happens both ways, seeing and believing. I pray we can have a seeing and believing experience this week which draws us closer to our Lord and Savior.
Father God, help me to be more like Paul. Help me to reach out to those who may not know You and to share Your love, grace, and mercy with them. Help me to believe even if I cannot see, and I pray that You will provide us with opportunities to see and believe in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.