Acts 19. Forum Discussion

Two questions that can help us when studying the Bible are:

  1. What does this scripture mean to me?
  2. What actions can I take to apply what I have read in my life to glorify God?

In Acts 19 we see Paul continuing his travels to spread the Gospel. There is an interesting exchange between Paul and the Ephesians that we will focus on today.

Paul asks the Ephesians: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

The Ephesians replied: “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

Paul answers in verse 4: “Into what then were you baptized?”

Ephesians: “Into John’s baptism.” 

Paul: “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

Luke writes in verses 5-7, “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. There were in all about twelve men.”

Let’s look at the two questions we mentioned earlier with respect to this exchange between Paul and the Ephesians.

  1. What does this scripture mean to me? This exchange is about faith. Paul’s faith compelled him to get involved. He knew the right question to ask (“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”), and he asked it. The Ephesians also show great faith by listening to Paul and then acting. When they realize that John had foretold of Jesus, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 19:20 says, “So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.” With God’s help, Paul made a difference.
  2. What actions can we take to apply what we have read in our own lives to glorify God? Like Paul, we can get involved in the lives of other people. If Paul did not know the people of Ephesian, he would not have known where they were in their faith and would not have known the right questions to ask. We can take a sincere interest in the people around us and then pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our words and our actions to bring others to Christ and glorify God.


Just as Paul helped the Ephesians with their Christian walks, if we are lucky, we have had others help us along the way. It is a blessing to be able to support others as they learn about and follow Christ. We all need help and support.