October 20, 2023

They Received the Holy Spirit

Acts 10:23-48

“Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

—  Acts 10:47

As we can see in this story, in the new era of Jesus and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, God was doing a new thing!

Through a vision, Peter had received a new way of thinking about the people of other nations, and he was called to speak to a Roman centurion (Acts 10:9-23). Later, at the centurion’s house, Peter also met the man’s “relatives and close friends,” and he was able to share with all of them the good news about Jesus. Peter explained that Jesus came to save all who will believe in him. Jesus came to take away all our sin by dying on a cross, and then he rose from the dead and is now Lord over all.

While Peter was still teaching, the Holy Spirit unexpectedly “came on all who heard the message.” This was surprising to the Jewish believers who had come with Peter that day. God was accepting even the Gentiles? Amazing! Well, “the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out” on them. So there was nothing to “stand in the way of their being baptized with water.”

Peter, who, like other Jewish believers, had previously preferred to keep away from Gentiles, now embraced these people from other nations, welcoming them into Christ’s renewed family, the church.

Heavenly Father, it is sometimes said that we Christians are merely beggars who show other beggars where to find bread. Help us to see all people through the eyes of your love. Amen.

About the author — Kristopher Walhof

Kristopher Walhof is a minister in the Christian Reformed Church who lives with his wife and seven-year-old son in rural Kenya. He teaches Bible and theology courses to theological students seeking ordination in the Africa Inland Church (AIC) denomination.

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