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The Holy Spirit Says Believing is NOT Enough

Acts 19:1-2,5-6: “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”

Acts 19:1-6 shows that belief is enough to receive the Holy Spirit. Charismatics will often say that baptism, laying of hands, and speaking in tongues are also necessary for receiving the Holy Spirit. Verse 3 shows that these people were of John’s baptism, not Jesus’: “And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

At John’s baptism, had Jesus died and been resurrected yet? No! That salvation was not available yet. Matthew 3:1-11 shows that John was preaching in Judea about the Kingdom of Heaven and the coming of the anticipated Messiah. This was all about preparation for the Messiah. His ministry was for Jews for the remittance of sin in preparation for Jesus.

These people in Acts 19 were of John’s baptism. That’s why they had yet to receive the Holy Spirit. This receiving of the Holy Spirit was by physical means. That’s because Acts 19 is in a Jewish context. They are a physical nation, and their receiving of the Holy Ghost came by the physical act of baptism. Christians are a spiritual nation, hence why their salvation came through a different, spiritual baptism.

1 Corinthians 12:13: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

This proves that the ways of Acts 19 no longer apply! Why do many pastors still claim that one must do all of these things to receive the Holy Spirit? That was a physical means of salvation for physical Jews. We are living in a different context.

Ephesians 3:6: “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”

You receive the Holy Spirit and enter into one body by THE GOSPEL! This is not the physical act associated with the receiving of the Holy Spirit in Acts 19.