"CONVERSIONS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS" The Twelve Disciples Of John (19:1-10) INTRODUCTION 1. In our survey of "Conversions In The Book of Acts", we have considered the following examples of conversion... a. The 3000 on Pentecost - Ac 2:1-41 b. The 2000 at Solomon's Porch - Ac 3:1-4:4 c. The Samaritans - Ac 8:4-25 d. The Ethiopian Eunuch - Ac 8:26-40 e. Saul Of Tarsus - Ac 9:1-19; 22:6-16; 26:12-18 f. Cornelius And His Household - Ac 10:1-48; 11:1-18 g. Two Households At Philippi - Ac 16:6-34 h. The Athenians - Ac 17:16-34 i. The Corinthians - Ac 18:1-11 2. There were others that we might have considered, but did not... a. Those at Antioch of Syria - Ac 11:19-21 b. Sergius Paulus on the island of Paphos - Ac 13:4-12 c. Those at Antioch of Pisidia - Ac 13:13-48 d. Those at Iconium, Lystra and Derbe - Ac 14:1-20 e. Those at Thessalonica and Berea - Ac 17:1-12 f. Apollos, who was taught by Aquilla and Priscilla - Ac 18:24-28 3. But in those we examined, I shared the following observations: a. The gospel message was one that focused on Jesus... 1) Who died for our sins 2) Who was raised from the dead 3) Who is both Lord and Christ, returning again one day to judge the world b. The response expected of those who heard was one of... 1) Faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God (which included confessing that faith) 2) Repentance of one's sins 3) Baptism for the remission of sins 4. Before we conclude this series, I wish to examine one more case of conversion... a. It is the last example of conversion in Acts (with the possible of exception of some in the audience when Paul spoke at Rome - Ac 28:23-24) b. It is unique for several reasons, one of which is that it describes a "re-baptism" [I am referring to "The Twelve Disciples Of John", recorded in Ac 19: 1-10. As we begin this study, let's review the Biblical record...] I. THE CONVERSION OF TWELVE "DISCIPLES" A. PAUL'S ARRIVAL IN EPHESUS... 1. He had just started his third journey - Ac 18:22-23 2. At the end of his second journey, he had made a quick stop at Ephesus - Ac 18:19-21 3. True to his word, he returned to Ephesus - Ac 19:1 B. PAUL MEETS TWELVE "DISCIPLES"... 1. He finds some "disciples", who were twelve in number - Ac 19:1b,7 2. Upon questioning, he learns they were disciples of John the Baptist - Ac 19:2-3 a. He asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed 1) As explained in the conversion of "The Samaritans"
(Ac 8:4-25), I believe the phrase "receive the Holy Spirit" to be a metonymy for receiving a miraculous gift from the Spirit 2) As an apostle, Paul had the ability to impart spiritual gifts - Ro 1:11; 2Ti 1:6 3) Assuming the "disciples" to have been baptized into Christ, he desired to give them gifts from the Spirit (such as the gifts of tongues and prophesy, cf. 1Co 12:10) b. Their immediate answer sparks another question from Paul 1) They had not heard about a Holy Spirit a) They must not have known much of John's own teaching, for he taught about the Holy Spirit - cf. Mt 3:11 b) They clearly could not have been properly baptized into Christ, for it is a baptism into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! - cf. Mt 28:19 2) So Paul inquires into their baptism a) He learns that it was John's baptism b) Some have suggested that these 12 may have been converted by Apollos before Apollos himself learned the truth - cf. Ac 18:24-25 C. THE TWELVE ARE "RE-BAPTIZED"... 1. Paul explains that while John did teach a baptism of repentance, he directed people to believe on Jesus who would come after him - Ac 19:4 2. The twelve are then baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus - Ac 19:5 a. This would be the baptism commanded by Jesus - Mt 28:18-20 b. And the baptism expected of all would-be disciples of Jesus - Ac 2:38; 22:16 3. Following their baptism, Paul laid hands on them and the Spirit imparted gifts of tongues and prophesy - Ac 19:6-7 [Such was the beginning of a very successful period for the gospel (cf. Ac 19:8-10). Again we see what was considered the normal response of one who wished to become a disciple of Jesus (faith and baptism). The example of "The Twelve Disciples Of John" does raise an interesting question concerning "re-baptism": Under what circumstances should one be baptized again? Here are some thoughts regarding this question...] II. IS "RE-BAPTISM" EVER NECESSARY? A. OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING THE TWELVE DISCIPLES... 1. They had been previously "baptized" 2. Their baptism, however, was lacking in some way a. Even though it was immersion b. Even though it was "for the remission of sins" - Mk 1:4 c. But baptism was not in the name of Jesus - Ac 2:38; 10:48;19:5 1) That is, by His authority 2) Which would have been a baptism into the name of the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son - Mt 28:19 3. Because their first baptism LACKED AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT, "re-baptism" was necessary! -- May we not conclude that if an earlier baptism lacks some essential element, then "re-baptism" is necessary? B. WHEN "RE-BAPTISM" IS APPROPRIATE... 1. There are four "essential elements" of Bible baptism a. The proper MODE: a burial (immersion) - Ro 6:3; Col 2:12 b. The proper AUTHORITY: in the name of Christ - Ac 19:5 c. The proper PURPOSE: remission of sins - Ac 2:38; 22:16 d. The proper SUBJECT: penitent believer - Ac 2:38; 8:37;Mk 16:16 2. When just one of these "essential elements" was lacking, "re-baptism" was commanded a. In Ac 19:1-5, the proper AUTHORITY was lacking b. Even though their previous baptism had the right MODE, PURPOSE, and SUBJECT 3. Some cases where "re-baptism" would seem appropriate a. If we were baptized by SPRINKLING OR POURING, for the proper mode is immersion b. If we were baptized by THE AUTHORITY OF ANYONE OTHER THAN JESUS, for the proper authority is Jesus Christ c. If we were baptized AS A PUBLIC CONFESSION OF FAITH (thinking that we were already saved), for the proper purpose is the remission of sins d. If we were baptized BUT WERE NOT PENITENT BELIEVERS, for a proper subject is one who believes "with all their heart" 1) E.g., when one is baptized just because their friends are doing it 2) E.g., Because their spouse, fiance‚ or parents are pressuring them to do it (and they do it to please them, not God) 4. But let me be sure to clarify: a. When one is baptized because their "first" baptism lacked an essential element... 1) It is not really "re-baptism!" 2) For in the strictest sense, that person is finally being baptized scripturally for the FIRST time! b. When one has been scripturally baptized ONCE... 1) There is never a need to be baptized again! 2) Once we have clothed ourselves with Christ in baptism: a) The blood of Christ continually cleanses us of our sins b) As we REPENT and CONFESS our sins to God in prayer - Ac 8:22; 1Jn 1:9 CONCLUSION 1. The example of "The Twelve Disciples Of John" certainly illustrates that one can... a. Be religious b. Have undergone some baptismal experience ...and still not be a true disciple of Jesus Christ! 2. One can rest assured that they are a true disciple of Jesus when their baptism had... a. The right MODE - immersion b. The right AUTHORITY- Jesus Christ c. The right PURPOSE - remission of sins d. The right SUBJECT - penitent believer -- Lacking any of these "essential elements", one should consider being baptized again in order to "make your calling and election sure" 3. If we desire to truly be disciples of Jesus Christ, then let's make sure... a. We proclaim the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, as preached by His apostles in the first century A.D. b. We have responded to that gospel in the same manner as those who heard the good news preached in its purity and simplicity I pray that this study, "Conversions In The Book Of Acts", has been beneficial toward that end.