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When I say the word doctrine, what comes to your mind? Policy? Principles? A set of guidelines? Or, do you visualize a long and boring lecture by someone about canon? Do you visualize long and unfamiliar words about dogma that someone uses like he or she thinks you know exactly what they mean? Well, you may not be the only one that visualizes or thinks about doctrine that way.
The word doctrine in some circles has come to mean a boring or less than pleasant thing. And, thatís because pastors and teachers have made it that way. People have stepped in and made learning about Christians principles and practices a mind-numbing and tedious thing that seldom seems interesting or inspiring.
But whatever we envision or however we describe Christian doctrine, in all actuality it is a needful thing that explains what you believe, in whom you believe, and how you believe. Itís essential to have your doctrine correct, as outlined by the Bible. Paul told young Timothy essentially that in:
1 Timothy 4:16
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
And, then, in Titus 1:9, Paul tells Titus the qualities that should be sought after for an overseer.
He [the overseer] must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Todayís message is not a concentrated, all-inclusive study on doctrine, but rather a selective study on those points presented in Acts 19:
I. What Baptism did you receive? (vv. 1-7)
II. What message did you receive? (vv. 8-10)
III. What Gift did you receive? (vv.11-12)
IV. What Jesus did you receive? (vv.13-20)
V. What Reception Did You Receive? (vv.21-41)
I. What Baptism did you receive?
19:1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "Johnís baptism," they replied. 4 Paul said, "Johnís baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
What baptism did you receive? Paul asks that question of those believers at Ephesus. He probably asked the question because of actions, fruit, or, yes, doctrine. He wanted to be sure in his mind of the type of baptism the Ephesians received. However, in this context it does not mean the act of putting someone in water and baptizing them, but the name into which they were baptized.
Paul found out that the Ephesian believers were baptized through Johnís baptism of repentance. This was also what Apollos had been preaching right before Aquila and Priscilla set him straight about the way of the Lord.
Johnís baptism of repentance pointed to the coming of the Messiah, it pointed those that were baptized to follow the one that came after John. However, it
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