All Who Believe

Posted in: Holy Spirit, 0657
By Dr. Larry Ollison

While Peter was speaking the truths of God to the family of Cornelius and their friends, the Holy Spirit fell upon all of them who heard the Word spoken by Peter. Peter had brought with him some of his Jewish friends who were believers in Jesus. All of them were astonished because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out onto Cornelius, his family, and his friends, and they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God (Acts 10:44-46).

Why were they so astonished? It’s because Cornelius and his family, and probably all of his friends, were Gentiles. Up until this time the baptism of the Holy Spirit had only been poured out onto the Jews. Why is this? Quite simply, it’s because all of the early Christians were Jews.

When it became obvious they wanted to be baptized, Peter said that baptism could not be forbidden to them because these Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit in the same way the Jews had received (Acts 10:47). So they were baptized by water.

This answers a question often asked: Must a person be baptized with water before they can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? By this biblical example in Acts chapter 10, we know positively that baptism by water is not required to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is available for all who believe in Jesus Christ and receive Him as their Savior.

Devotion 0657