Acts chapter 19 v 1-7:
V1: While Apollos is at Corinth, Paul comes to Ephesus. Seemingly the Lord has opened the way for the promised return visit of ch18 v21, though we don’t know how much time has passed. There he meets ” certain disciples” – the following verses tell us they do not yet have a full experience of God’s grace in the Gospel, and they are probably not yet in the Ephesian church.
V2: Discerning some lack in their experience, he asks them if they have received the Holy Spirit – God’s gift to every true believer, as they come to faith – ( Acts 2 v38-39; Romans 8 v9.) They have not even heard of the Holy Spirit, they say.
V3: He asks what baptism they received, and they answer ” John’s baptism” It seems their experience to this point is similar to that of Apollos before Priscilla and Aquila met him.
V4: Paul tells them how John not only called to repentance, but pointed to Christ, the One in whom they must believe to be saved.
V5-6: They are baptised in the Name of Jesus, and as Paul lays his hands on them they receive the Holy Spirit, outwardly sealed by speaking in tongues and ” prophesying”. Such records of these visible signs in the foundation days of the church appear to be God’s confirmations of the truth of their salvation, seals upon the increasing spread of the Gospel and the inclusion of a widening range of people – they are not to be taken – or looked for – as an ongoing norm of Christian experience.
V7: We learn there were some 12 men in this group.