As Paul continued his third missionary journey throughout Asia Minor, around A.D. 55 he came to Ephesus where he continued preaching the gospel and spreading the truth about the life, death and resurrection of the Christ.
Paul had been furthering God’s kingdom through the mountain highlands of the interior of Asia Minor, and had now arrived at Ephesus, a coastal city that was the third largest city of the Roman province, and its capital.
“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.” (Acts 19:1-2)
Located near Athens, Corinth was about 350 miles west of Ephesus which was a city famed for the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world that was completed around 550 BC.
When Paul arrived at Ephesus, he found believers who had been baptized by John the Baptist, or Apollos, a disciple of John whose baptisms were focused on repentance and not in he name of Jesus, the Christ, nor the Holy Spirit. Both Apollos and John’s ministry was incomplete in that neither included the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Jerusalem, a city nearly a thousand miles away.
“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.” (Acts 19:3-4)
Paul inquired with the men about the origin of their baptism, and instructed them the coming of the Lord they were baptized in had indeed come and passed as Jesus fulfilled prophecy on the cross, in the tomb and in living flesh thereafter for 40 days, as witness by several hundred men and women.
John’s baptism was valid in that it included repentance and faith in the Christ, who was to come. After the Christ has come and ascended to Heaven, it would be in the name of the Son, Yeshua, the Father, Yahweh and the Holy Spirit that true baptism should be conducted to be a true confession and a genuine declaration of one’s faith, rather than a baptism of repentance.
“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.” (Acts 19:5-7)
The twelve men who Paul enlightened were led to be baptized in the name of Jesus, and in the Holy Spirit. Though they had been baptized by John before, they felt a correction was necessary as their level of knowledge and spiritual wisdom had increased. When they were baptized in the Son, the Father and the Holy Spirit, and Paul laid hands on them, they were transformed and blessed with spiritual gifts including speaking tongues and prophecy.
“8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.” (Acts 19:8)
Paul had preached at this synagogue before, and returned to further God’s kingdom for three more months, using his education and knowledge of Jewish scripture to lead believers to Christ.
“9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.” (Acts 19:9)
As in most cities Paul visited during his missionary journeys, his preaching a gospel different than traditional Judaism caused controversy which in turn fueled an offensive against ministers of the Lord. When he realized this, Paul and the disciples stopped preaching at the synagogue, instead used a private school named after its owner, Tyrannus where the disciples taught daily between the fifth hour to the tenth.
“10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 19:10)
Paul and his fellow disciples used the school of Tyrannus for two more years, advancing and teaching the gospel of the risen Christ to both Jews and Gentiles throughout the region, fulfilling the great commission. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre