Home > Good Hope Young Adult Ministry, The Chu'ch: Together we Stand, Uncategorized > [Day 1] The Chu’ch: Together We Stand — The Issues at Ephesus, Part 1

[Day 1] The Chu’ch: Together We Stand — The Issues at Ephesus, Part 1





Because of the length of this post I divided it into three posts.  What follows is a part of Acts 19 and one of the issues that the people in Ephesus struggled with.  The next two posts will deal with Negative Spirituality and Idolatry.


And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 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.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all. Acts 19: 1-7


Religious but No Understanding of the Gospel


     These guys Paul met in Ephesus were religious, but something about these guys tipped Paul off to ask the question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  Said another way: “Do you have God living inside of you?”  The Bible declares that they were disciples.  Disciples of what?  Disciples of whom?  They clearly were religious.  They acted the right way.  They said the right religious words.  “Paul, I’m blessed and highly favored.”  They knew the right scriptures to quote.  They even knew how to behave religiously.  But something that Paul perceived, caused him to say, “Yall look very religious and all, but have you ever met the living God?”


Then, Paul asks them, what were you baptized into?  They said, “John’s baptism.”  So,these folk had no idea about whom John was pointing to.  They thought John was the one.  Paul tells them, “No, John was not just preaching get right with God.  Repent.”  That’s religion.  “John was also pointing to the The Savior Jesus and wanted people to trust Him to save us from our sins.”  The religious disciples knew  that sin was bad and that they needed to repent, but they did not understand the second part of the message which is to “believe in Jesus.”  Mark 1:15.  We need somebody to save us from our sins.


What are some signs that you may have not have heard or understood the good news?  Here are a few:


  • Some folk don’t have a clear understanding of the Gospel.  For instance, when you hear the word Gospel, you instantly think of music.
  • You know God, but you know him like you know Kobe Bryant.  You have seen him at work, but you have no personal relationship with him.  You believe sin is wrong, but you’ve never trusted in Jesus to save you and heal you from your sins. 
  • You are religious, but have no relationship with a living God.
  • You have all the rules down, but don’t know the joy of living a free life in Christ.
  • You believe that you have to do things in order to be accepted by God.  For instance, I go to church on Sunday, right after doing something bad on Saturday, because I feel guilty will help me feel better.
  • You go to church, but you feel no connection to God. 
  • You are trying to get into heaven by being a good person.


If any of these are you, please take some time to ask God for help to see and understand the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ.  Find a Christian pastor/teacher who can help you to understand the message of the gospel.  It is life and its liberating!  I have a couple of blog posts on the gospel here and here.    Definitely check, here!  Also, I will be more than happy to rap with you about your questions.  You can either post them here or email me at pngwolo@gmail.com.

  1. June 8, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Honestly I believe one of the biggest plagues of today is religion. It is a shame when you tell a “Christian” the Gospel and they seem confused. That is why I convinced myself to tell the Gospel to every denomination, creed, race, and person as in the Lords will… instead of being asked we need to look for an opportunity to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.

    • June 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm

      This is truth. We are on mission with a message of the gospel by any Godly means necessary.

  2. June 8, 2009 at 2:57 am

    maGoh_DD you’re completely right. We should count it as a blessing when we have any opportunity in any place to spread the Gospel of our Lord.

    One of the the largest misconceptions/lies of the world is that Christianity is simply another idea, floating about in the broad spectrum of beliefs. I would like to say that is the world’s fault, but I would have to point the finger back to us, because many of us who claim to follow Christ still believe it’s about us being a good person, doing/not doing this or that, going to church, praying over food, etc that “gets us in” and we pass that on to others, who then pass it on to others, and so on and so forth…

    The message gets perverted and becomes similar to all the other messages: follow this Law,be moralistic, Sing this Prayer, Visit this place, and God will accept you, God will be pleased and you’ve earned your place in Heaven…these things will not keep you out of heaven but will keep in you in slavery to sin and eternal damnation…it’s a tool by the evil one to keep us in bondage..

    It isn’t the Gospel! The Gospel of Jesus Christ gives us no excuse, we are lost and we need a Savior. No other belief points to Jesus, in fact all others point away from the truth of who He is and what He truly means, striving to take the glory away from God and back to man via works/personal effort. The sad part is so do many denominations/cults in Christianity…

    Posts on Galatians coming soon. Great job P.T. looking forward to the rest of what you have.

    Much Love

  3. daughterofzion
    June 8, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Sir, you have misinterpreted this passage of scriptures…this passage about Paul meeting these believers has nothing to do with the topic of whether you know God or not. It was about baptism in the holy spirit.

    I apologize but as a Christian (which happens to be your topic for the post), our job is also to “rightly divide the word of truth” because unfortunately it can be wrongly divided…

    • June 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm

      I love you sister, but I want to challenge you on this one:

      (1) Who is the Holy Spirit. Is He a thing, a presence, or is He God?

      (2) What exactly do you mean by “baptism by the Holy Spirit.”

      (3) I would ask you to read Mark 1 up to about verse 15, which describes the mission of John and the mission of Jesus. Then read Acts 19 again. I would caution you to not read Acts with an eye towards a particular doctrine that you already espouse. Please ask the Holy Spirit to help you in discerning what He is saying and then read it. If you still think I am in error then I would love to help you to see this particular passage in its context.

  1. June 8, 2009 at 11:17 am

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