Sermon on the Holy Spirit 7
The Holy Spirit Fell upon
< Acts 10:44-48 >
“While Peter was still speaking
these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many
as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been
poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with
tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, ‘Can anyone
forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received
the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ And he commanded them to be baptized
in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.”
The biblical events surrounding Cornelius
provide the answer to the question of whether or not it is by keeping
the Law that one receives the Holy Spirit. They show us that those
who received the Holy Spirit from God did not receive Him by keeping
the law, but by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
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That the Holy Spirit descended on
Cornelius and his household shows us that this phenomenon is also
related to their faith in the baptism and blood of Jesus. As such,
the faith that could enable all the people in the world to receive
the Holy Spirit was only the faith that enables these people to
receive the remission of their sins. Acts 11:17 also states, “Therefore
God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the
Lord Jesus Christ….” For the faith of Peter, receiving the Holy
Spirit and receiving the remission of sin were the same. Therefore,
the widespread belief in today’s Christianity, that the faith that
enables people to receive the Holy Spirit can be attained through
the prayers of repentance, is a profoundly mistaken and completely
fallacious belief. It is only by believing in the gospel of the
water and the Spirit that we receive the Holy Spirit.
Seeing the Holy Spirit descending
on Cornelius and his family, Peter said, “Who was I that I could
withstand God?” (Acts 11:17) This means that the Holy Spirit
comes to us as a result of believing in the baptism that Jesus received
and in the precious blood of the Cross.
Acts 2:39 states, “For the promise
is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as
many as the Lord our God will call.” Now, people throughout
the whole world have been enabled to receive the gift of the Holy
Spirit by hearing the gospel of the water and the Spirit.