19:1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 Now the men were about twelve in all.
Oh man there is so much to be said about this passage. It consumed me for at least a year about ten years ago.
Let's begin at the beginning. Paul arrives in Ephesus and finds a small group of believers. The first question he asks them is "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you were baptized?"
Don't you find that an odd question? Doesn't it seem strange to you? It sure seemed strange to me. Having grown up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church that wasn't a question I had ever heard. No one ever asked me or anyone around me if I or they had received the Holy Spirit when baptized.
More intriguing is: "What was it about them that made Paul ask the question?"
Clearly Paul could tell the difference between a man with the Spirit and a man without. He knew they had not which is why he asked the question. He found believers without the Spirit meaning there are believers with and believers without the Spirit. Which am I? Which are you? Have you spoken in tongues? Have you prophesied?
Now that God's Word has your attention I'll give you the next 24h to process this and we'll continue tomorrow. I can't promise a comfortable journey but I can tell you it's worth taking.