‘Paul...came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit’. Then he said ‘Into what, then, were you baptised?’ They answered ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Paul said ‘John baptised with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’
On hearing this they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. when Paul had laid his hands upon them the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.’ Acts 19.1-7
The group Paul encountered in Ephesus are called disciples (which literally means learners). They have made a start on a new journey of faith, but have not yet understood what is involved or where it will lead them. They have no knowledge or experience of the Holy Spirit, God’s powerful presence in the world, available to all who believe in him.
Many in our own time who identify themselves as Christians have no idea of what God, through his Holy Spirit, is able to do in us and through us. Like those Ephesians, they are lacking the resources so freely available.
How to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit? We have only to ask.
Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. (Matt.7.7)