PAUL LED TWELVE MEN TO THE LORD IN EPHESUS
While Apollos moved from Achaia to Corinth to help the church there, Paul went through the city of Ephesus and met twelve men who believed in the teaching of John the Baptist about the baptism of repentance. However, they never heard of the teaching of the Lord Jesus. So Paul shared the gospel with them, and they all believed. As Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in different languages (tongues) and prophesied (utterance of the greatness of God). (Acts 19:1-7). Both the tongues and prophecying were the presence of the power of the Holy Spirit in them. God used tongues and prophecying to prove that the twelve men genuinely believed in Jesus. However, God does not always use tongues and prophecying as proof that a person genuinely believes in Him. For example, I never spoke in tongues or different languages since I became a believer in our Lord Jesus. Some denominations in Christianity believe that a person must speak in tongues to be saved. However, the Bible never said anything about speaking in tongues as a means to be saved.
The Bible clearly states that we are only saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus and not according to our work or performance (Ephesians 2:8-9). The true presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 mentions the fruit of the Holy Spirit, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law." We need to examine ourselves to see if we are growing in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit works in our hearts and changes us, we should grow in these fruits. Our good actions and motives in our hearts prove that we genuinely believe in the Lord Jesus. James 2:26 says, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
We are saved by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus, but our genuine faith in our Lord Jesus produces good works in us because the Holy Spirit that lives in us is constantly changing our hearts to grow in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Let us examine our lives to see if we are growing in the Holy Spirit. And if we are not growing in the Holy Spirit, we need to surrender our lives completely to God, for that is the only way to determine if we belong to Him. Genuine faith in the Lord Jesus requires complete surrender.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my heart? Have I completely surrendered my life to God? Am I growing in the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for saving me by your grace through my faith in the Lord Jesus. You saved me through the sacrificial work of my Lord Jesus on the cross, so I don't need to work for my salvation. It is through genuine faith that I am saved. Please continue to work in my heart through the Holy Spirit so that I may continue to grow in the Holy Spirit. May I surrender my life to you as I continue my day today. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.