Acts 19:1-6 – Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them.
When Paul asked the believers in Ephesus that question, he was asking if they knew Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit to believers. Sadly, they had never heard. They had repented, but that was all. They didn't have the power and joy that comes from knowing the Holy Spirit. They only had half the News. They had the sad half, the half that says you are a sinner, the half that says you need to change your ways. They had the negative half. They did not know Jesus. They only knew John. All they knew was the Law. They did not know the Good News. They did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit. They did not really know joy, peace and contentment. They had the cone without the ice cream, the oatcakes without the raspberry jam, the bread without the butter. How sad.
The Christian way of life was never meant to be just a list of do's and don'ts. Jesus transforms us into what God intended for us to be in the first place. That is where the joy comes in. Life with the Holy Spirit is the icing on the cake, the ice cream in the cone, and the raspberry jam on the oatcakes. All the good stuff of Christianity, comes with the Holy Spirit. So let me ask with St. Paul, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"
Prayer: Holy Spirit, fill my life with the victory and joy that comes with knowing Jesus as my boss and rescuer. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.