MORNING MEDITATION

“Did You Receive The Holy Spirit When You Believed? “

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“Did You Receive The Holy Spirit When You Believed?”(Acts19:1-7).
At Ephesus Paul “found some disciples” who had not received the Holy Spirit. They had “not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” The baptism they had received was John’s baptism – which was a baptism of repentance.
Paul explained the difference to them. On hearing this, they were baptised into 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.”
Paul’s corrected version is still not the Trinitarian version of baptism commonly practised today. In the Great Commission Jesus asked that baptism should be “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”(Mt. 28:19).
From this story we realise that it is important to first check on which baptism somebody received. There are some who have not heard the message fully but who are already disciples. They may ignorantly propagate a half or misleading gospel, which can have huge unintended consequences. Those “about twelve” Ephesians were one such ignorant group of disciples. They were called disciples, but their baptism was that of John.
Come to think of it, were the apostles baptised with Jesus’ baptism? We know they were baptised with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost day that we commemorated yesterday.
At the beginning of his ministry Jesus and/or his disciples were baptising(Jn. 3:22-26). Which baptism formula did they use?
These issues may not add to our faith. What is important is that on Pentecost Monday we are being introduced to the Holy Spirit as already being at work in Paul, an apostle who was not present on that Pentecost day of the HolySpirit’s descent. He was not even a disciple on that Pentecost.
But now his hands on the men empowered them. Through those hands the Holy Spirit came on the men and they prophesiedand spoke in tongues. The laying on of hands at baptism continues today – even when the trinitarian formula is used for the baptism.
Dear friend, the question which Paul asked those about twelve disciples is still relevant: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
If your answer is a “Yes,” then glory be to God the Father! Even so, may your prayer be: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending me the Holy Spirit. “Do not…take your Holy Spirit from me.” Amen!
Have a blessed Pentecost Monday! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.

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