Something Is Missing
ACTS 19 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” – Transitionary period – a baptism of repentance for the coming Messiah.
Did Paul notice that something was off? If the disciples had the Holy Spirit why ask if they received Him? If they weren’t disciples, why call them disciples?
A] They lacked spiritual power and fruit – I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THIS QUESTION TO SOME AS WELL.
B] They did not hear about Pentecost: Acts 1:8 ESV, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
C] They said they “believe” – but THEY didn’t have a relationship with God.
4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon [epi] them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
Don’t minimize what happened here – this was a turning point – this was the most important day of their life [nothing compared to it] – they were transformed!
A FINAL OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT THIS TOPIC FOR A SEASON –
Jn 7:38 ESV – “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’.” Matt 3:11 NIV, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
These scriptures have been bothering people for 2000 years! SOMETHING IS MISSING!
This is one reason why many are turned off by the church – We talk about a POWERFUL gospel, but don’t have the Power!
The Spirit coming upon you makes all the difference – you can know the Bible, believe in Jesus, & try to live a holy life – but still be missing something.
APPLICATION: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
Is there spiritual power [NOT JUST KNOWLEDGE]? Is there a love for God’s Word, Worship, Prayer, and others [NOT JUST GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS]?
The greatest need today is WHAT IS MISSING!
2. Baptism is a step of obedience – then the power flows. Were you baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ…
CLEARING the CONFUSION: Acts 2:38 On the day of Pentecost, “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” HE GOES ON TO SAY – “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
But Jesus said in Matthew 28:19 NIV, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
This is just one example of elevating a verse at the expense of others.
Turn the other cheek
God is love
Many don’t get baptized because they think, “That’s too serious – I’m not there yet.”
ACTS 19:8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
The Danger Of A Hard Heart – It’s Not Easily Broken –
A broken & contrite heart God will not despise. – Psalm 51:17
[GIVE UP] – [REMORSE]
“The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay.” Puritans
Do you want your marriage rebuilt, addictions overcome, and your family restored?
4 Signs of a Hard Heart in a Believer as well as an Unbeliever
We don’t want to talk to about our faith, or we want to argue about our faith and prove everyone wrong – We don’t like being challenged – we are always right and we are proud about it.
This is where a church needs to be careful, because even the right doctrine with the wrong attitude or with the wrong spirit can bring division and dissension through a critical heart.
Love and compassion have vanished – Isaiah 6:10 NASB, “Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.”
Sin is mastering you, or besetting sin has taken over – What you use to control is now controlling you.
Pride is thriving not dying – Jeremiah 16:12 says NASB, “You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me.”
Unbelief is a hard heart – “some were hardened and did not believe.”
The heart of stone must become a heart of flesh: Ezekiel 36:26 NIV, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
CLOSING: A self-righteous man once boasted to a Christian friend of his in Los Angeles, “You know, John, I’m not such a bad fellow. There are many worse than I!” His friend replied, “Steve, you are measuring yourself by the wrong standard. You measure yourself by the harlots and the drunkards you see on Skid Row and you feel quite satisfied by comparison. But go and measure yourself alongside Jesus Christ and see how you make out.”
“There is none righteous, no, not one.”
God’s unconditional love: “…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” [Romans 5:8 NIV]. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” [John 3:17 NIV].
The greatest weapons in Satan’s arsenal are pride and anger.
Pride prevents repentance and anger keeps me away from God.
WHY? WHY? WHY?
How can Horatio Spafford write the lyrics to the famous hymn, It Is Well With My Soul, after losing all 4 of his daughter in 1873 when an ocean liner they were on collided with a powerful Scottish ship – “When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.
And yet someone else CURSES God when they lose a loved one? Or get sick.
WHAT IS MISSING? The heart of stone needs to become a heart of flesh!