Scripture Reading: Acts 19:1-10
“On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all. And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 19:5-8)
As we study and meditate on the teachings in Acts, we discover Paul’s model of ministry. First, he preached the gospel in its fulness. He never changed his message. However, he did change his methodology at times; but his message was constant. He preached the gospel of grace, focusing on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Second, he planted churches. He knew that it took more than evangelism. Churches needed to be established. Individual believers need a covenant community where they can grow together in the faith. Being a part of a local church is essential.
Third, Paul encouraged these churches to reach out into the adjoining areas. He taught the leaders of these churches to be missional, to reach out to others in Jesus’ name. Paul became the pioneer church planter and he set the model for church planting in place.
When he arrived in Ephesus, he met twelve men who had some knowledge of the faith. They had been baptized into the baptism of John (v. 3). Evidently they knew John’s basic message — to repent of their sins and to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. But like Apollos, they had not heard the full message of the gospel. They did not know about the Holy Spirit. Paul instructed them and they believed and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. A mini-Pentecost took place.
What happened to these twelve men points to the necessity for a clear presentation and understanding of the basic gospel. Even those of us who are faithful followers of Christ must go back to the basics of the gospel and preach it to ourselves!
Lord Jesus, I know how much I need to be reminded of the basics of the gospel. Let me never stray from the simple and yet profound truth that I am saved by Your grace through the work You accomplished on my behalf.
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