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Ephesus Spirituality

Spirituality kills

There are very few old school atheists around today. Most people believe in god, an unseen spiritual world and the existence of evil. Most people pray especially when facing difficulty or illness. There are numerous books on “higher consciousness”, “channelling”, “conversations with God” and your “personal angel”. Day time talk show hosts advocate prayer, though it’s your preference as to who or what you would like to pray to. Our world is very spiritual, but they have no clue about Jesus.

We could have been in Ephesus in the 1st Century. A very spiritual city – even boasting the temple of Artemis – but ignorant about Jesus. They prayed, recited special chants, wore good luck amulets to ward of evil and also believed in the existence of personal “spiritual assistants” who helped out from time to time. The average Ephesian practised magic as a way to manipulate whatever god was available to help in the desired way, like getting a girl to like you.

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Holy Spirit

Have you experienced the second blessing?


Pentecostals often refer to and preach from Acts 19:1-6 to promote second blessing theology (SBT). SBT teaches that the normative Christian practice is first to accept Jesus as Lord and then, secondly, to have another separate, distinct experience of the baptism of the Spirit. During this second experience the Christian is said to be filled with the Spirit, normally this “blessing” is accompanied with speaking in “tongues”.

In Ephesus Paul found twelve “disciples” (v1). Normally in Acts “disciples” refers to Christians, but it turns out from Paul’s questioning that these people are not Christians, but repentant Jews. Paul probably thought they were Christians at first.

To gauge their spiritual state, Pauls asks (v2), “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Paul did not ask did you receive the Spirit when you attended the course or when you prayed a special prayer or when you truly entered a new level of obedience in your Christian life! Paul associates receiving the Holy Spirit with believing (i.e. believing in Jesus).