Question: Does your life show the evidence of the Holy Spirit?
Acts 19 ASV
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples:
2 and he said unto them, Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed? And they said unto him, Nay, we did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit was given.
3 And he said, Into what then were ye baptized? And they said, Into John’s baptism.
4 And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on him that should come after him, that is, on Jesus.5 And when they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7 And they were in all about twelve men.
In summary, Paul speaks to about 12 disciples in Ephesus, asks them if they received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, asks them into what doctrine they were baptized, and then lays hands on them to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This is a very difficult passage to interpret. Almost all the commentaries I read differ in their interpretations.
Did you receive the Holy Spirit?
I believe every believer in Jesus has the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I think Paul is asking them if they have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as happened on the day of Pentecost. However, they answered no, they didn’t know about the Holy Spirit’s gifts that were given.
Into what then were you baptized?
This is a very confusing question indeed. I think Paul is just preparing them for what will be happening next, that is the pouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon them. Therefore, he is bringing up the subject of baptism because baptism and the Holy Spirit are closely associated. See my support below.
First, every believer has a spiritual baptism, a spiritual immersion.
1 Corinthians 6
19 Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own;
1 Corinthians 12
13 For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Second, these men were water baptized by John. John’s water baptism prepared them to look forward to Christ, just as our water baptism looks back to Christ. And some commentaries, such as Calvin and John Gill, believe the two baptisms are one in the same. Gill thinks if they were baptized by John, then they need not be baptized again. Gill says that the “they” who were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus in verse 5 are not these 12 men but the “they” who John preached at with his baptism in verse 4. Others believe that the 12 men were baptized by John, and now again by Paul’s companions in the name of The Lord Jesus. Either way water baptism is a symbol of our Spiritual baptism.
3 Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
Last, Paul is going to put his hands on them. And The Holy Spirit, who is already in them, and in whom they are already spiritually immersed, will evidence himself through them by the baptism of gifts of toungues and prophecies. This is happening in a similar way as the gifts at Pentecost were poured out as evidence that the Holy Spirit had been given to the church as Jesus foretold before his ascension and as foretold in Joel.
4 and, being assembled together with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, ye heard from me:
5 For John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence.
Acts 2 quoting from Joel
17 And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams:
18 Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
Does your life show the evidence of the Holy Spirit?
The Bible says that tongues shall cease and that prophecies shall fail. I believe these miraculous gifts were for the Apostolic age, and if they exist today, then they are very rare experiences and not normative. But the Holy Spirit will still manifest Himself through all believers by the evidence of a changed life.
And just as the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’ twelve on Pentecost to witness to the world, so the Holy Spirit descended on these twelve in Ephesus. Then the Ephesians knew that God and his Apostle had arrived.
Although the Spirit isn’t manifesting tongues and prophesies in us, does the world know He is in us by Him manifesting these Fruit in us……..
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.
24 And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof.
25 If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk.
15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men reasoned in their hearts concerning John, whether haply he were the Christ;
16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but there cometh he that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire:
17 whose fan is in his hand, thoroughly to cleanse his threshing-floor, and to gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.
18 With many other exhortations therefore preached he good tidings unto the people;
14 Now when the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit:
16 for as yet it was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.