When You Are Mistaken

Have you ever made a mistake? Of course, you have; we all have! What do you do when you discover you’ve made a mistake? Do you persist in your error or make the necessary changes? I hope we all would make a change. But what if the mistake was in your religious beliefs? Would we have the humility and courage to admit we were wrong and to change? That’s what one group of Bible students did in Acts 19:1-10.

When Paul came to Ephesus, he found a group of disciples (Acts 19:1). The Bible does not tell us their first interaction. However, from Paul’s question in Acts 19:2, we can safely infer something was amiss. Paul asked these disciples, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They responded, “No, we have not even heard if the Holy Spirit is being received.”

This queued Paul into the fact that these disciples were not Christians. The Holy Spirit is given to every believer at baptism (Acts 2:38), so Paul’s next question is about what kind of baptism they received. They answered John’s baptism. The Apostle then corrected their understanding of baptism, and these disciples received scriptural baptism (Acts 19:5).

There is much to say from this section of scripture; however, one point is necessary. These individuals thought they were practicing the truth. They found out that they were mistaken in that belief. Instead of rejecting truth and persisting in error, they saw the truth, believed it, and obeyed it. And really, that is the only correct response when we discover that we are mistaken.

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