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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 19 - Verse 2

Verse 2. Have ye received the Holy Ghost? Have ye received the extraordinary effusions and miraculous influences of the Holy Ghost Paul would not doubt that, if they had "believed," they had received the ordinary converting influences of the Holy Spirit—for it was one of his favourite doctrines, that the Holy Spirit renews the heart. But, besides this, the miraculous influences of the Spirit were conferred on most societies of believers. The power of speaking with tongues, or of working miracles, was imparted as an evidence of the presence of God, and of their acceptance with him, Ac 10:45,46; 1 Co 15. It was natural for Paul to ask whether this evidence of the Divine favour had been granted to them.

Since ye believed. Since you embraced the doctrine of John, that the Messiah was soon to come.

We have not so much as heard, etc. This seems to be a very remarkable and strange answer. Yet we are to remember,

(1.) that these were mere disciples of John's doctrine, and that his preaching related particularly to the Messiah, and not to the Holy Ghost.

(2.) It does not even appear that they had heard that the Messiah had come, or had heard of Jesus of Nazareth, Ac 19:4,5.

(3.) It is not remarkable, therefore, that they had no clear conceptions of the character and operations of the Holy Ghost. Yet,

(4.) they were just in that state of mind, that they were willing to embrace the doctrine when it was proclaimed to them; thus showing that they were really under the influence of the Holy Spirit. God may often produce important changes in the hearts and lives of sinners, even where they have no clear and systematic views of religious doctrines. In all such cases, however, as in this, there will be readiness of heart to embrace the truth where it is made known.

{e} "not so" Ac 8:16; 1 Sa 3:7 {&} "Holy Ghost" 'Spirit given'

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