And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:2 ESV)
Deshen Daily for yesterday focused on the first part of this verse. Let me review the second part of the verse today. Paul asked the Ephesian believers “did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”. This question is a theological hotpot full of controversy. You need only read a few commentaries and get the perspectives of different scholars. Where is the controversy?
Paul’s question clearly presupposes two distinct experiences. The first is “receiving the Holy Spirit” and the second is “when you believed”. The problem with this is that the believer truly receives the Holy Spirit the first time when they believe, that is, at salvation. So what then is Paul referring to by receiving the Spirit when you believed? Well, you only need to read through to verse 7 to see for yourself what Paul was referring to by “receiving the Holy Spirit”. He laid his hands on them and power came over them and they began speaking in tongues. This is not the salvation experience. You do not lay hands on people to be saved.
I am amazed as I read Bible scholars commentaries on this verse and a similar occurrence with the Samaritan Christians in Acts 8:6. Many scholars vehemently reject what these verses are clearly stating, that there is a distinct experience with the Holy Spirit after salvation. This is not a prerequisite for salvation but is a life-changing baptism with the power and presence of God.
What the implications of Paul’s question noted above?
APPLY THE WORD
If you have questions or are confused about the baptism of the Holy Spirit or what is means to receive the Holy Spirit this is my regular advice: drop any book you are reading, stop listening to any sermons on the subject including mine, get your Bible and do a topical Bible Study on this subject yourself. If you are unsure how to do this, this is a FREE on how to perform a Topical Bible Study.
Ask the Father to help you gain a fuller understanding of the Holy Spirit.
Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?.
What a strange question! Deshen Live Bible Study this week discussed profound truths buried in this simple question Paul asked the Ephesian believers in Acts 19:2. Watch the Video below!