“Even Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit”
The Jewish people were God’s people. They felt they had a pretty good hold on Him. However, way back in Genesis chapters three and twelve, there were strong hints that the Jews were to share their God with the Gentiles.
When they didn’t do this, the Lord God Himself took action. Cornelius had invited Peter to his house. And Peter had several visions that he would come to understand were telling him to go to the house of this gentile Cornelius. What were the results?
Please read the following verses.
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil because God was with him.
39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen — by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
Then Peter said, 47 “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
We can only imagine what Peter thought. John the Baptist had said repent and be baptized every one of you and then you will receive the Holy Spirit.
This time Cornelius and others get the Holy Spirit first, then Peter says oh my, we better get these people baptized.
I believe we see this even today. The Holy Spirit convicts a person and baptizes them into the body of Chris. Then the indwelling Spirit helps the believer repent, (turn from his wicked ways) and to change into the person the Lord wants them to be.
All of this happens because of the marvelous work of Jesus Christ on the cross, paying the price for every sin committed or to be committed. Indeed, He is an awesome Lord and God. Amen