Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Bible Thought for Today: Acts 19

Have you ever been to church and been asked do you speak in tongues? Then if your response has been no that there is a look of disgust or pity and then comes the comment well your not really converted till you do. Have you ever wondered where that theology comes from? 

Well there it is in Acts 18:1-7. It's a small story but has caused a lot of people to believe a myth. The myth that everyone who is converted will speak in tongues. It simply is not true and even that text proves it but somehow it gets lost. 

Paul asks a harmless question in order that a problem be corrected. Many people in the early church were not sure what they should be doing. Understandable really since it's not like they had a bible to go with. Look at the problems Christendom has today and all the differences and we do have the bible. Imagine what it was like back then Jesus had just been there before he came the Jews were an exclusive club then their religion had been blown wide open by Jesus but now what. What stays what goes? What's necessary what's not? What happens when the religion because a choice not a birthright? It's all very confusing. 

The people of Ephesus had just this problem they believed and did the best they could but unfortunately they were not getting it all right. So along comes Paul to steer them in the right direction. It's gentle it's supportive and it's non judgemental all you want from your leaders. So here goes, Paul asks if they have received the Holy Spirit and challenges their baptism. So they get baptised the correct way and receive the holy spirit and the result some speak in tongues and others prophesy. So should we be expecting that from our baptism? 

Well I will be honest about mine it wasn't like that at all. Does that mean I am not really baptised? No it means that God is with each of us in the way that suits us. Not everyone has the same gift of the holy spirit but each of us do have one. All you have to do is open your heart to him and accept the gift he has given and put in practice. That's all that was happening back then and it is happening all over the world today. 

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