Acts 19:1-7

Water Baptism and Spirit Baptism


Ephesus now becomes Paul’s mission field where he meets twelve of John the Baptizer’s disciples. Ephesus was a port city approximately 300 thousand people which for an ancient city was a large population. It had a theater that seated 20 thousand people. Ephesus was noted for its magnificent temple of Diana, it was one of the ancient wonders of the world. The temple structure was as big as a football field; it was the center of much superstitious religion and cult prostitution. Ephesus you remember was the first among the seven churches in the book of Revelation. (Rev. 2:1-7)

  1. The Baptism of John Versus the Baptism of Jesus

    1. Disciples of John not necessarily Disciples of Christ (Pharisees – Mk. 2:18; Luke 5:33) John’s disciples – Matt. 9:14; 11:2; Luke 5:33; 7:18-19; 11:1; John 1:35; 3:25)

      1. Were these disciples of John Christians?

      2. Answer: They had an inadequate understanding of the gospel and they had not received Christian baptism.

    2. The purpose of John’s Baptism:

      1. It was to inaugurate a radical repentance by divine authority -Luke 7:30

      2. It was with water where Christian baptism was not merely water but fire and Spirit- John 1:33

      3. It was preparatory looking ahead for the coming Kingdom of Christ. John must decrease and Jesus increase – John 3:30

      4. It was a temporary sign whereas Christian Baptism was permanent efficacious sign, the purification of our souls from sins – Turn To: Ezekiel 36:25-27; Matt. 28:18-20

    3. Christian Baptism is not to be taken lightly

      1. Since Jesus commanded it, then it is our duty to obey.

      2. It is not necessary for salvation but it is necessary to obey Christ for the strengthening of our faith and the glorification of His Name.

  2. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

    1. Paul’s pertinent question: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed” They answered, “No”

    2. The nature of the book of Acts:

      1. The book is not so much the acts of the apostles as it is the acts of the Holy Spirit and the continuing acts of Jesus through the Holy Spirit – Acts 1:1-5

      2. The Holy Spirit came upon them after the apostle Paul laid hands upon them – Acts 11:15-17

      3. There is a basic hermeneutical principle in the book of Acts and that is, we should not seek to derive doctrines from a historical book which are factual but not necessarily normative.

      4. Acts looks for the fulfillment of the Messianic promise – Psa. 110:1-3; Heb. 7:25

    3. Illustration: Comparing between the experiences of the Spirit before and after Pentecost – (Abraham Kuyper – Cisterns and Pipes) Rom. 5:5; I Cor. 12:13

    4. What about the so called, “Second Blessings”? (Mk. 1:8; Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:16)

      1. In all these texts: the preposition is not “with” but “in” Rom. 8:9; II Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:4


  1. There is a major distinction between the baptism given by John the Baptizer and Christian Baptism. John’s baptism is like a couple dating (courtship, not yet attained) Whereas Christian baptism is like Marriage (already attainted)

  2. If you are a Christian you have had the baptism in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been poured out like the waters of baptism – Eph. 5:26

Pastor Nick Iamaio Reformed Presbyterian Church 207 South First Street, Fulton, NY 13069Web Site fultonrpc.org8/1/2010