1. These verses are very helpful in that they reveal some important information about the baptism that Christ authorized in His Great Commission. 2. These verses are also helpful in that they teach us what to do if we have received a baptism other than the baptism that Christ authorized. 3. Before we examine these verses, we first need to consider some . . .
I. BACKGROUND INFORMATION FROM ACTS 18
A. (vs.1-3) Paul traveled from Athens to Corinth where he developed a close relationship with Aquila and Priscilla. B. (vs.18-21) Paul went to Ephesus, he stayed there a short time, and he left for Jerusalem; however, he left his friends, Priscilla and Aquila, in Ephesus. C. (vs.24-28) While Paul was away, a man named Apollos came to Ephesus. 1. Apollos was a great preacher, but he only knew the baptism of John. a. (Mark 1:4-5) John's baptism was: 1) based upon repentance 2) for the remission of sins 3) immersion in water. b. (Acts 19:4) John taught people to believe in Christ who would come at a later time. c. At this time, Christ had already fulfilled His ministry, He had been crucified, He had been resurrected, and He had ascended to heaven. d. John's baptism had been valid at one time, but it had been replaced by the baptism that Jesus commanded in the Great Commission (Mark 16:15-16). 2. Aquila and Priscilla heard Apollos speak in the synagogue. a. When they heard him speak they knew something was wrong. b. (vs.26) "They took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly." 3. Apollos went on his way -- now he was able to show by the Scriptures that Jesus is Christ. D. With this information from ch.18 before us, we are ready to study . . .
II. ACTS 19:1-7
A. (vs.1) Apollos went to Corinth, and Paul returned to Ephesus. 1. After arriving in Ephesus he found certain disciples. 2. He asked them a question. B. (vs.2) He asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit since they had believed. 1. The apostles were able to lay their hands on Christians and give them the ability to exercise spiritual gifts. 2. Only the apostles could do this -- other Christians could not. 3. Paul had a reason for asking this question -- their answer would let him know whether they were true believers. 4. Their answer to Paul's question was: "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Spirit." 5. This information was valuable to Paul -- it led him to ask another question. C. (vs.3) He asked, "Unto what then were ye baptized?" 1. They replied, "Unto John's baptism." 2. It seems that Apollos taught and baptized these people before Aquila and Priscilla showed him the way of God more perfectly. D. (vs.4) Paul talked to them about John's baptism, showing that it was no longer valid. E. (vs.5) After they heard Paul's teaching, "they were baptized in the name of theLord Jesus." 1. This is the baptism that Jesus authorized in His Great Commission. 2. This is the one baptism mentioned in Ephesians 4:5. F. (vs.6) After they were baptized in the Lord's name Paul laid his hands on them, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. G. (vs.7) There were 12 men involved in this. 1. These men had done what they were taught, but what they were taught was not accurate. 2. Through His providence, God worked things out so Paul could return to Ephesus and find these men. 3. Do you suppose these men were grateful that Paul returned to Ephesus?
1. Quite often, people study the Scriptures, and they realize that they have not received the one baptism commanded by Christ. 2. We learn from these verses what needs to be done in such cases.