My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Acts 19

Second Baptism and riots

Paul met some people who had only received John's baptism, not the baptism of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They spoke in tongues. Paul eventually gave up on the synagogue but within a couple of years everyone in the region had heard about Jesus.

God was good, and even let Paul's clothes heal the sick. Some people were casting out demons in the name of Jesus and Paul, but this one time a demon challenged these amateurs and beat them black and blue. This scared everyone into being more open about following Jesus, and putting aside their previous sorcery and dark arts.

Some idol-makers got angry. They had been rich, but were scared people would stop buying idols because of Jesus. They started a riot praising Artemis. Paul wanted to speak to the mob, but people stopped him. No-one knew what was happening. A Jew went to speak, but no-one listened.

An official told them to stop it. If they had real grievances, they could take them to court. In his eyes, Ephesus was always Artemis' home.

Key verse:
6. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

My thoughts:
A lot of Pentecostal belief about Baptism in the Holy Spirit is centred around passages like this. The idea is that you are baptised in water, and then later in the Holy Spirit. I believe that all Christians should be filled with the Holy Spirit, but I'm not sure if setting it up as a clear and distinct event from water baptism is that helpful. You can received the Holy Spirit as you are baptised, or after, or even before. The important thing is that all believers are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Christianity was changing the cultural make-up of Ephesus, and people who liked the old culture didn't like that. But if we want to change the world, then we've got to change it, and that's going to peeve some people off, and that's fine. As long as we do everything in love, then it'll be sweet.

I love the description of the riot. Barely anyone knew why they were there. Sounds like a town I know. And I love how the NIV says that the demon "gave them such a beating..."


Blogger Lisa said...

Hey Pete, I agree with a lot of what you say especially on the HS

However I disagree on your statement

'As long as we do everything in love, then it'll be sweet.'

* Don't you think we should do things with an even amount of love and truth.

* I am sure the members of the Word of Faith movement (who would call themselves HS filled btw) would say they are filled with love but are they full of truth?

11:20 pm

Blogger Pete W said...

Yea, I guess I should qualify that by saying that we should do all things in love as God defined it. The point is we shouldn't be scared to change things in a way that some people won't like. I think as Christians we often are too scared sometimes.

8:16 am


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