Summary: This sermon encourages believers to seek the Extraordinary Power of God in thier lives instead of simply living by their own wisdom and abilities.

Extraordinary Power

Acts 19

September 1, 2002


A. [The Honorable Bird, Philip Yancey in the foreword of Robertson McQuilkin’s Life in the Spirit]

Dorothy Sayers tells of a Japanese convert struggling to grasp Christian theology.

“Honorable Father, very good,” he said to his missionary teacher.

“Honorable Son, very good. But Honorable Bird, I do not understand at all.”

B. In fairness, we must tell the Japanese convert that the HS is difficult for Americans to understand as well—today, in Acts chapter 19, we going to learn some more about the Honorable Bird, or the HS…

I. Extraordinary Touching

Acts 19:1-7 (NIV), 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?" "John’s baptism," they replied. 4 Paul said, "John’s 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.

A. Now this text has been the subject of much controversy.

1. There has been much controversy about just what is going on here.

2. It is troubling to many because of the HS.

3. It seems that in Acts 2:38 that Peter told the believers that if they would repent and be baptized, they would receive the gift of the HS.

4. It seems that it would stand to reason that everyone who was baptized in water for the remission of their sins in the name of Jesus Christ would receive the gift of the HS.

5. However, every time we read of people receiving the HS in the NT, it was at some other time.

6. There is not one recorded incidence of anyone receiving the HS at water baptism.

7. So it is not clear what exactly Peter was saying in Acts 2:38 on the day of Pentecost and what happened here in Acts 19.

B. It is clear that these people had been baptized incorrectly.

1. These people had been baptized in John’s baptism.

2. The correct way was to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

3. John’s baptism was simply a baptism of repentance.

4. Christ’s baptism is a baptism of repentance, but it was more than that.

5. It is symbolic of death, burial, and resurrection—both of the Christ and the believer.

6. It is symbolic of the old self dying and then a new person being born who is now a follower of Jesus Christ.

7. John’s baptism was only a baptism of repentance.

8. Paul told these people that they had not been correctly baptized and therefore should be rebaptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

9. So Luke says they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

C. The following verse says When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

1. It is not until the apostle Paul laid his hands on them that the HS came on them.

2. Now the text doesn’t say that they received the “gift of the HS” like Acts 2:38.

3. It is possible that they received the “gift of the HS” when they were baptized in water, but the text clearly says the HS “came on them” when Paul placed his hands on them.

4. We also know this is what happened to the household of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10.

5. In Acts 11:15-17 Peter retells the story of Acts 10 at Cornelius’ this way: "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ’John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?"

6. There Peter referred to what they had received on Pentecost as the baptism of the HS.

7. And Peter said that not only had they received it on the Day of Pentecost, but also Cornelius’ household had been baptized in the HS as well.

8. Peter had to be referring to the beginning of Acts 2 where the tongues of fire came down and they all spoke in tongues as the baptism of the HS because that is clearly what happened in Acts 10 when Cornelius’ household was baptized in the HS and began speaking in tongues.

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