June 9 | Have You Received the Holy Spirit?

Acts 19:2, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

The book of Acts is named as such because it is the record of the “Acts of the Apostles.” After the four Gospels (Matthew-John), the book of Acts is the fifth history book in the New Testament. God used Luke, a doctor and traveling companion of Paul, to write the book as a first rate historical record. Today it serves as the primary book that gives the details of the early church established by the first disciples.

Today, the book of Acts serves the modern church in two very important ways; (1) Description: It gives us insight into the lives of the first disciples and how the church was established and grew, and (2) Prescription: God gave it to us to teach us how to continue to grow and develop His church around the world. Therefore, the book of Acts can clearly answer some of the biggest theological debates among Christians, within its 28 chapters and give us a framework to know how to make disciples that make disciples.

For example, since Acts doesn’t mention Peter as a “Pope-like-leader,” Christians should reject the idea of a “Roman Catholic Pope” and believe in a plurality of elders leading the church, known as a “Presbytery” (Acts 15:2). Also, because the book of Acts doesn’t mention the “baptism of infants,” “praying to dead saints” or exalting Mary to the status of “Queen of Heaven;” disciples should reject these “man-made” religious add-ons.

At the same time, the book of Acts gives us clear patterns to follow because it records how the first disciples preached the gospel and the methods they used to make new disciples. One of the patterns that followed their ministry was “speaking in new tongues.” Jesus said this would be a sign that would follow their preaching, “15 He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues…” (Mark 16:15-17).

The book of Acts confirms that Jesus' promise of the disciples speaking in new tongues came to pass. First, on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4, then at Cornelius’ house in Acts 10:44-48; and with John the Baptist’s disciples in Acts 19:1-6.

Today’s passage records the time when Paul met some of John the Baptist’s disciples and asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit since believing in Jesus. When they confessed they hadn’t, Paul laid his hands on them and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Note that this was not for salvation but for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is no record in Acts or in the entire Bible where someone lays hands on another person and prays for them to be saved.

After Paul prayed for this infilling of the Spirit, Luke records, “The Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:6). Therefore, from beginning to end in the book of Acts, the descriptive and prescriptive pattern is clear; whenever a person is baptized with the Holy Spirit, they speak in new tongues. The ole’ timers used to say, “If it was good enough for the early church, it’s good enough for me!”


Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit since you believed in Jesus?


  1. Study the pattern in the book of Acts concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Teach others that speaking in tongues is for everyone because it is a sign promised by Jesus.
  3. Whenever you meet someone that is saved, ask him or her, “Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?”

One Year Reading Plan

1 Kings 5:1-6:38, Acts 7:1-29, Psalm 127:1-5, & Proverbs 16:28-30. Click here to read online.


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