The Holy Spirit’s Response
Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter asked, “Can anyone object to their being baptised, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” So he gave orders for them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.Acts 10:44-48
- When I should address the matter of the baptism of Spirit and the baptism by water?
- Should I do it now in this collection of Gems or should I leave it for a more opportune time?
- When would that time be?
I am well aware that most of you who responded want it NOW. Again Rachel’s response sums it up for a number of you. “Ooooooooooooo I am looking forward to this one!!!!!!! Those questions are some of the questions I had going through my head last year when I found out about being baptised in the Holy Spirit!!! Can’t wait to read your next emails.” Some others of you commented that you want it now. One person suggested I deal with this at the time I think most appropriate and another gave me the list of the occasions when this issue of the baptism in the Spirit comes up in the Book of Acts. At Pentecost then again in 10:44-46, that is the passage before us at the moment. The other one is as I have clipped for you below.
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.” Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the One who would come later, meaning Jesus.” As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.Acts 19:1-7
I told you in Gem 1506 that baptism is something that comes up regular in the Book of Acts so we would meet it again. I planned to deal with the difference between water baptism and baptism of the Holy Spirit when we come to Acts 19. Simply because that is the passage where the two are contrasted most clearly. I am sure that is not the answer most of you want to hear. Like Rachel you want it NOW! You could return to Gem 1374 where I looked at Baptism in detail or you could go as far back as Gem 438 and 439 and see what I said about speaking in tongues. I figure that will hold you until we get to Acts 19 and deal with the contrast between water baptism and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Tell me what you think about making you wait until the Gems on Acts 19 for my comments on the contrast between the two baptisms. Can you bear to wait that long? I think I know your response already. Irrespective of what you think and what I do, there are still some residual questions from those below that I will address in the immediate Gems which follow. (Besides which, now that the Berean Insights website is going live simply click on the link and you will be in Acts 19 series: Gem 1762, Gem 1763, Gem 1764 and Gem 1765.)
- What does the gift of the Holy Spirit mean?
- Does it mean the gifts as in 1 Corinthians 12?
- Does it mean speaking in tongues and all that?
- Or does it mean they got the Holy Spirit himself?
- How do you know you have got the Holy Spirit?
- Can anyone get speaking tongues or is it only for favoured people?
- Is receiving the Holy Spirit and having the Spirit fall on you different?
- Is one being when you get the Spirit when you believe and the other this baptism in the spirit they talk about?
I can see why some people would say from this that the way we know that we are filled with the Holy Spirit is that we speak in tongues. A very prickly pineapple at best. Being a “good Baptist” I have always had the view that it may follow but is not necessarily essential . What do you think? Some of you may say is there any such thing as a good Baptist”. Well there was one, his name was John.
- What does speaking in tongues (glossolalia) actually mean?
- Is it languages or is it the pentecostal tongues?
- I saw the link between speaking in tongues and praising God. Is that always the case?
- What is the baptism mentioned here?
- Does it refer to water baptism or baptism in the spirit/being slain in the Spirit?
- Did Peter baptise them?
- But doesn’t it say somewhere that the Apostles didn’t baptise?
- Why does it keep saying in Bible baptise in the name of Jesus Christ?
- Why do they say at baptisms in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?
- This may be a really dumb question, but is Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost different?
- This thought came up in my mind about the title of this message. God shows no favouritism, but as I lookup countless times in the Bible God did play favouritism, as in giving favour over one person as opposed to another – example Joseph, David, Jacob and Esau. Doesn’t the statement contradict? Or is it just the angle of view that is different?
- Does God show no favouritism regarding salvation but for ‘other things’ such as the one He uses / chooses to be His tools on earth, God does show different favour?
I haven’t given you any input as yet to the questions above but I will answer these questions now:
- What happened when Paul was asked to stay on for several days?
- Do we know? You always seem to know extra information Ian?
- Do you know what happened when he stayed on? Or even if he stayed on?
No I am sorry I don’t have any inside information on Peter’s stay at Cornelius’ house. There are no extra Biblical resources I know of which shed light on this. But like you I would love to know what they talked about. What a pity they didn’t have smartphones back then and Cornelius asked that Peter’s comments be recorded. But just think about the situation overall. I am sure that Peter learned lots after staying in a Gentile home “for several days”. I know I learned lots by living in Muslim villages for months. But irrespective of what Peter learned from his experience I am sure the criticism of the Jerusalem based Jews after the event was even more severe. Not only did he visit but he stayed! One person has told me – the fact that he was asked to stay doesn’t necessarily mean he did. Good point but I think the point of the text Luke wrote suggests he did.
More to come in the next Gem one way or another.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick.Anon
Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.Joyce Meyer
Your heart should be full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout.Anon
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.Barack Obama
Learn to wait on God for His time. He ensures the timing of His answer is perfectly matched to our willingness to respond.Ian Vail