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13 And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” 18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

 

11:13

And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter,

Verses 13 and 14 relate to Cornelius’ vision.

11:14

who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’

Verse 14 is added information whereby Cornelius and his household would be saved. To this point, he feared God but did not believe the New Testament gospel (Acts 10:2).

11:15

And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.

When Peter began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on believers in Caesarea in the same way He did at Pentecost (Acts 2:2-4). Although Acts 2 does not say specifically that Pentecost was the fulfillment of Spirit baptism, this verse indicates that it was. Thus, the church began in Acts 2. “The beginning” was the beginning of the church at Pentecost. This verse identifies Pentecost with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

11:16

Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

Peter remembered the words of the Lord in Acts 1:5. This continued the comparison of the events at Pentecost with that of Caesarea. The coming of the Holy Spirit was the same in both situations. The second occasion was a Gentile Pentecost.

The phrase “baptized with the Holy Spirit” occurs seven times in the New Testament (Acts 1:5; Mt 3:11; Mark 1:8; Lu 3:16; Jn 1:33; 1 Co 12:13). This baptism happens when a person becomes a Christian and remains with him until they go to be with the Lord. The Gentile Cornelius and those with him received the Spirit the same way as those in Acts 2.

11:17

If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God.”

It was Peter’s perception that what happened to him in Acts 10 was not what he did but what God did. It was God that made no distinction between Jew and Gentile and incorporated Gentiles into the body of Christ. It was God’s desire to include Gentiles, not Peter’s. Who was he to argue with God?

The word “gift” is important to the argument about the Gentiles included in the body of Christ. With each inauguration of a new group, they were given the initial indwelling Holy Spirit (Ac 2:38; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17). The Samaritans were ½ Jew, ½ Gentile and were a bridge to giving the gospel to the Gentiles.

11:18

When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

Verse 18 records the response of the Jerusalem critics. They did not say anything further and glorified God that Gentiles were free to receive the gospel. The apostle Paul would be the great catalyst for reaching Gentiles for Christ.

The fact that God granted Gentiles “repentance to life” was a mega shift for Jewish Christians to understand. This statement established a new era in the Christian economy.

PRINCIPLE:

Opposition to Gentile Spirit baptism is opposition to God.

APPLICATION:

During the transition from a predominately Jewish church to include a Gentile church, God established the role of the apostles. The new church needed grounding in the Apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42). God laid the first phase of the church during that period, it’s foundation. Only apostles had the authority to lay the foundation of the church. Peter’s critics were silenced because he carried the unique gift of an apostle, which has ceased today.

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