Many believed and openly confessed!

Scripture reading for June 1st:  Acts 19

The apostle Paul decided to revisit Ephesus on his second missionary journey.  As he arrived there he found a group of believers and questioned them. “”Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  They answered him, “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.”  (Acts 19:2-3)  Paul went on to tell them about Jesus and to baptize them in the name of the Lord Jesus.  When he laid hands on them they spoke in tongues and prophesied!

This event happened about twenty years after Pentecost!  Receiving the Holy Spirit was so important that Paul had them re-baptized after they understood that Jesus was the One John the Baptist had pointed each person to.  Repentance is not enough, faith must be in Jesus Christ!  The Holy Spirit must empower each person to be a witness of Jesus!

“God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and evil spirits left them.”  (Acts 19:11-12)  God’s grace through Paul brought some Jews to use “the name of Jesus who Paul preaches” to cast out an evil spirit from a man.  The evil spirit beat them up and threw them out.  This caused a stir in Ephesus and Jesus’ Name was held in great honor. “Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.  A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and publicly burned them.”  . . .”In this way the Word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.”  (Acts 19:19-20)


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