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26—ACTS 10:44-48

THE GENTILES RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST
Acts 10:44-48  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word.  (45)  And they of the circumcision that believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit.  (46)  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  (47)  Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we?  (48)  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

v44 - THE HOLY GHOST FELL ON ALL…THE GENTILE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS LISTENED AND RECEIVED THE WORD WITH SAVING FAITH — v33-48,
(Acts 11:14 ASV) who shall speak unto thee words, whereby thou shalt be saved, thou and thy entire house.
11:14 you and your entire household. Not only the family but also slaves and employed individuals under Cornelius's authority
1. Because of their acceptance of Christ – God at once poured out the Holy Spirit upon them as His witness that they have believed and received the regenerating life of Christ —
(Acts 11:17 ASV) If then God gave unto them the like gift as he did also unto us, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could withstand God? —
(Acts 15:8-9 ASV) And God, who knoweth the heart, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us; {9} and he made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.
15:8 giving the Holy Spirit to them. The certain proof of God's acceptance (see 10:44,47; 11:17-18).

2. The coming of the Holy Spirit upon Cornelius's house-hold has the same purpose as the gift of the Spirit had for the disciples on the day of Pentecost —
(Acts 1:8 ASV) But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
1:8 A virtual outline of Acts: The apostles were to be witnesses in Jerusalem (chs. 1-7), Judea and Samaria (chs. 8-9) and the ends of the earth -- including Caesarea, Antioch, Asia Minor, Greece and Rome (chs. 10-28). However, they were not to begin this staggering task until they had been equipped with the power of the Spirit (vv. 4-5).
my witnesses. An important theme throughout Acts (2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:39; 13:31; 22:15).
Judea. The region in which Jerusalem was located.        
Samaria. The adjoining region to the north.

(Acts 2:4 ASV) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
2:4 filled with the Holy Spirit. A fulfillment of 1:5,8; see also Jesus' promise in Luke 24:49. Their spirits were completely under the control of the Spirit; their words were his words. Luke 24:49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
in other tongues. The Spirit enabled them to speak in languages they had not previously learned.

Two other examples of speaking in tongues are found in Acts (10:46; 19:6). One extended NT passage deals with this spiritual gift (1Cor 12 – 14).
Not all agree, however, that these other passages refer to speaking in known languages. The gift had particular relevance here, where people of different nationalities and languages were gathered.

3. This outpouring does not describe God's work of the New Birth or Regeneration —
(John 3:5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God!
(Titus 3:5) not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
3:5 saved us…because of his mercy. Salvation is not achieved by human effort or merit but comes through God's mercy alone. 
washing of rebirth. A reference to new birth, of which baptism (among other things) is a sign. It cannot mean that baptism is necessary for regeneration, since the NT plainly teaches that the new birth is an act of God's Spirit and is not effected or achieved by ceremony.
renewing by the Holy Spirit. Also a reference to new birth.

4. But His falling upon them for power — (Acts 1:8 ASV) But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

5. Note Peter's words later on, stressing the similarity of this experience with what happened on Pentecost — (Acts 11:15 ASV) And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, even as on us at the beginning. (17) If then God gave unto them the like gift as he did also unto us, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could withstand God?

6. Obviously, it is possible for one to be baptized in the Spirit immediately after exercising saving faith – v46, (Acts 11:17) Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

v46 - HEARD THEM SPEAK WITH TONGUES.
1. Peter and those with him considered speaking in tongues through the Holy Spirit as the convincing sign of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

2. Just as the 120 on the Day of Pentecost, they all spoke in tongues – 2:4.

3. God causes the Gentiles of Cornelius' house to speak in tongues as a convincing sign to Peter and the other Jewish believers —
(Joel 2:28-29 ASV) And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: {29} and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit.
Joel 2:28 afterward. In the Messianic period, beyond the restoration just spoken of.
pour out my Spirit. See v. 29; Isa 32:15; 44:3; Jer 31:33-34; Ezek 36:26-27; 39:29; Zech 12:10-13:1.
all flesh. All will participate without regard to sex, age or rank; and then Moses' wish (Num 11:29) will be realized (cp. Gal 3:28). Peter extends the "all" of this verse and the "everyone" of v.32 to the Gentiles ("all who are far off," Acts 2:39), who will not be excluded from the Spirit's outpouring or deliverance (cp. Rom 11:11-24).

Num. 11:29 But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD's people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!"
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Acts 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."
Romans 11:11-24 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! 13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

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Mail: Bishop Ira L. Hargis
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