2. “Be baptized” – Taking the second step, “they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:5).
3. “Receive the Holy Spirit” – At the same time, Paul challenged these disciples with the very question that pricks many of our hearts today: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (verse 2) “And when Paul had laid hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied”(Acts 19:6).
If all Christians automatically receive the gift of the Holy Spirit when they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, then why should the apostle Paul have asked believers this question? We clearly see from this that one may be a disciple of Jesus’ without having entered into possession of the Holy Spirit as God’s gift to believers. Now- see how Paul led the Ephesian believers to take the essential third step:
When later writing to these Christians at Ephesus, Paul again pointed out the distinction between their repentance and believing in Christ as their Savior, and their receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit: “Christ, in Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13 – King James Version).
These examples prove conclusively God’s plan for THE ONLY FOUNDATION is the same for Jews, Samaritans, Romans, and Greeks who had had their lives built on this foundation. Insofar as He was permitted by His sinlessness, so did the Lord Jesus Christ. The first and only foundation upon which a complete Christian life can be built stands sure.
HAS THE ONLY FOUNDATION CHANGED?
“Repent”, “Be baptized”, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” We have seen that in the Bible God’s plan for THE ONLY FOUNDATION for a Christian life never changes.
Neither has God Himself changed. He says, “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6). He Who commanded all men everywhere to “Repent,” “Be baptized,” and “Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” in Bible days has never altered His pattern, and He still commands all men everywhere to build their lives on this same firm foundation. The three experiences of THE ONLY FOUNDATION are definitely for all of us today, no matter who we are. For the very next verse after the commandment to “Repent,” “Be baptized,” and “Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” says: “The promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to Him” (Acts 2:39)
Though far off in time from the day the command and promise were given, if you are called to God at all, you are also called to build your life on THE ONLY FOUNDATION.
TRADITION OR THE ONLY FOUNDATION
Tragedy has overtaken certain sections of the Church. Some of the foundation has been removed! In some places, all of the foundation has been destroyed! For THE ONLY FOUNDATION, which God has commanded, the traditions of men have been substituted.