Acts 19: Paul’s Long Stay In Ephesus

41 verses, 3:30 to read)


What I am about to READ


1-7: Paul meets disciples of John the Baptist and lays hands on them

8-10: Paul preaches and teaches in Ephesus for over two years amidst some slandering and persecution

11-20: The Lord does miracles through Paul to prove the Gospel is true. Many wicked men believe and leave their sinful practices

21-41: The Gospel topples false gods and those who profit from false religions start to riot.


Acts 19 contains a few challenging texts, especially this instance of Paul’s “baptizing” the 12 men in Ephesus. John Gerhard provides a satisfying commentary as follows:

“As Paul found certain disciples in Ephesus, he asked them, v.2, if they had received the Holy Spirit; that is, if they had received the visible gifts {EMPHASIS MINE} of the Spirit, as it is to be understood from v. 6. To this, then, they replied, We have never heard whether there is a Holy Spirit, that is, whether such special and wonderful gifts of the Spirit are imparted to believers — just as John [writes] in John 7:39: The Holy Spirit was not yet present. The Apostle further asks in v. 3 — Upon whom are you baptized, as if he wanted to say, by whom an how have you then been baptized? They answered — on John’s Baptism, that is with the baptism of John. Thereupon St. Paul takes the opportunity to speak of the distinction between the gifts of the Spirit as imported through John’s Baptism and those that were imparted through the laying on of hands by the apostles. John, he says, baptized with the Baptism of Repentance (literally in the Greek it reads as follows: John indeed had baptized with the Baptism of repentance, so as not to keep out from it the forgiveness of sin, as it appears in Mark 1:4). This is followed by v. 5 — As they heard this (meaning those to whom John had preached about Baptism) they let themselves be baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Paul also describes in these verses (4 and 5) the procedure and manner of how John baptized: he first preached to the people that they should believe on Him who should come after him — on Jesus, who is the Christ or Messiah — and thereupon those who heard and believed this proclamation let themselves be baptized of John into the Name of Jesus.” Johann Gerhard, A Comprehensive Explanation of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, p. 50


We pray:

Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you for good and faithful Pastors who preach and teach even in the midst of great adversity. Dear Lord, do not take these men from us. In Christ’s holy name, Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Pastor Weslie Odom


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