CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 56

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 19:3 “And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.”

Apostle Paul encountered the brethren of Ephesus and started to ask them certain questions. He asks very fundamental questions about their faith. Apostle Paul did not want to make any assumption about the brethren in Ephesus.

  Questions, and especially the right questions ‘create doors in blank walls for access’.  Apostle Paul did not know the spiritual level of these brethren and the best way to be of proper help to them was to know what they knew. Every worker in the Gospel among every new set of brethren must employ this approach. In cases when you have been informed about what the brethren knew, don’t hesitate to probe further into their spiritual state.

With these approaches in mind one may also seek from the Holy Spirit the true spiritual state of the brethren. The Spirit remains a guide, teacher and the revealer of mysteries. The underlying point to all these things is a sincere love for the brethren and true desire to help them to the best of your ability.

   In Acts 19:3, Apostle Paul asked them about the kind of baptism they had.  These brethren said they were baptised into John’s baptism. Now considering their first answer about the Holy Spirit and their response about their type of baptism, we could easily conclude that those who introduced them to the Christian faith were probably John’s disciples who had not associated with Jesus apostles. These brethren might have gone   about talking about Jesus and so won some souls. They had very little knowledge about the doctrines of Christ.

    These developments found in this passage is rather interesting, but has a lot to teach us. There are many people who profess to be Christians but do not have the right fundamental teaching of the Christian faith. When certain individuals visit our churches claiming to be Christians, we must not be hasty to fully inculcate them into the main church stream. It would be very proper to take them through foundational programmes so that every wrong teaching, and concepts that they might be having would be corrected. In our passage these men talked about being baptised according to John the Baptist’s baptism. These brethren might not be Christians in the first place, since every Christian was to be baptised in Jesus name. Apostle Paul would have made a big mistake to assume that they were knowledgeable Christians and had gone ahead to start teaching them, the higher doctrines in Christ.

 PRAYER

 Dear father, grant us divine wisdom to be able to ask the right questions all the time. Help us to be able to discern the true spiritual state of all those that we have to deal with. May our impact be very fruitful in Jesus name.

 FURTHER STUDIES

 Titus 1:9 “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”

Titus 2:1 “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:”

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