Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Acts 19:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

That they should believe on him which should come after - John baptized them with the baptism of repentance; this was common to all the baptisms administered by the Jews to proselytes; but telling them that they should believe on him who was coming, was peculiar to John's baptism.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

John verily baptized - John did indeed baptize.

With the baptism of repentance - Having special reference to repentance, or as a profession that they did repent of their sins. See the notes on Matthew 3:6.

Saying unto the people - The design of his preaching was to tarn the people from their sins, and to prepare them for the coming of the Messiah. He therefore directed their attention principally to him that was to come, John 1:15, John 1:22-27.

That is, on Christ Jesus - These are the words of Paul, explaining what John taught. John taught them to believe in the Messiah, and Paul now showed them that the Messiah was Jesus of Nazareth. The argument of Paul is, that it was highly proper for them now to profess publicly that Saviour to whom John had borne such explicit testimony. “Jesus is the Messiah for whom John came to prepare the way; and as you have em braced John‘s doctrine, you ought now publicly to acknowledge that Redeemer by baptism in his name.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Paul, at Ephesus, found some religious persons, who looked to Jesus as the Messiah. They had not been led to expect the miraculous powers of the Holy Ghost, nor were they informed that the gospel was especially the ministration of the Spirit. But they spake as ready to welcome the notice of it. Paul shows them that John never design that those he baptized should rest there, but told them that they should believe on Him who should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. They thankfully accepted the discovery, and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. The Holy Ghost came upon them in a surprising, overpowering manner; they spake with tongues, and prophesied, as the apostles and the first Gentile coverts did. Though we do not now expect miraculous powers, yet all who profess to be disciples of Christ, should be called on to examine whether they have received the seal of the Holy Ghost, in his sanctifying influences, to the sincerity of their faith. Many seem not to have heard that there is a Holy Ghost, and many deem all that is spoken concerning his graces and comforts, to be delusion. Of such it may properly be inquired, "Unto what, then, were ye baptized?" for they evidently know not the meaning of that outward sign on which they place great dependence.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 158.2

I praise the Lord this morning for the peace I enjoy. There is perfect rest for me in the Lord. I trust in His love. Why should we not rest in the love of God, the assurance of His word? What saith Jesus? “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What can be more positive than this promise? “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Then come; let us who believe in Jesus Christ not delay a moment, but come. TDG 158.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 252.3

Today many are as ignorant of the Holy Spirit's work upon the heart as were those believers in Ephesus (see Acts 19:1-6); yet no truth is more clearly taught in the Word of God. Prophets and apostles have dwelt upon this theme. Christ Himself calls our attention to the growth of the vegetable world as an illustration of the agency of His Spirit in sustaining spiritual life. The sap of the vine, ascending from the root, is diffused to the branches, sustaining growth and producing blossoms and fruit. So the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Saviour, pervades the soul, renews the motives and affections, and brings even the thoughts into obedience to the will of God, enabling the receiver to bear the precious fruit of holy deeds. TDG 252.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 281-5

This chapter is based on Acts 19:1-20.

While Apollos was preaching at Corinth, Paul fulfilled his promise to return to Ephesus. He had made a brief visit to Jerusalem and had spent some time at Antioch, the scene of his early labors. Thence he traveled through Asia Minor, “over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia” (Acts 18:23), visiting the churches which he himself had established, and strengthening the faith of the believers. AA 281.1

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 372

When the Former Baptism Does Not Satisfy—There are many at the present day who have unwittingly violated one of the precepts of God's law. When the understanding is enlightened, and the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the conscience, they see themselves sinners in the sight of God. “Sin is the transgression of the law” and “he that shall offend on one point is guilty of all.” Ev 372.1

The honest seeker after truth will not plead ignorance of the law as an excuse for transgression. Light was within his reach. God's Word is plain, and Christ has bidden him search the Scriptures. He reveres God's law as holy, just, and good, and he repents of his transgression. By faith he pleads the atoning blood of Christ, and grasps the promise of pardon. His former baptism does not satisfy him now. He has seen himself a sinner, condemned by the law of God. He has experienced anew a death to sin, and he desires again to be buried with Christ by baptism, that he may rise to walk in newness of life. Such a course is in harmony with the example of Paul in baptizing the Jewish converts. That incident was recorded by the Holy Spirit as an instructive lesson for the church.—Sketches from the Life of Paul, 133 (1883). Ev 372.2

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