Summary: 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.
Title: What Did You receive?
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, that’s 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. It’s essential to have your doctrine correct, as outlined by the Bible. Paul told young Timothy essentially that in:
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.
Today’s 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?" "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.
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 John’s 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.
John’s 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 stopped short of revealing that discovery. The Ephesians were glad to learn of the Messiah, and that they could carry on as John had so indicated to them when they were baptized.
Additionally, the Ephesians did not have the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. But, they gladly accepted the Holy Spirit, which was demonstrated by an overpowering outpouring of the Spirit on those that had gathered to receive Him. Also, they were afforded the opportunity, by speaking in tongues, to experience the power of the Spirit through the WORD OF THE GOSPEL.
II. What message did you receive?
8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
When you became a Christian, what message did you receive? Paul entered the synagogue and spoke, …arguing persuasively [and] …Paul had discussions daily in the lecture hall.
Paul first went into the synagogue and spoke there for three months until the Jews there became so obstinate that he took the Gospel to the lecture hall of Tyrannus (Tee-ra-nuhs). Now, Tyrannus was either the owner of the hall, or a prominent philosopher associated with it. Whatever the case, Paul spoke there probably during the afternoon break from work which was from 11 am to 4 p.m.