While Peter was still speaking these words (telling Cornelius and the group in his home about Jesus), the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “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 10:44-47)
Yesterday, our Scripture answered the question, What are the most important things to know about Jesus? Peter was on fire for Jesus and could talk endlessly about Him. But today we’re sure that list about Jesus was complete because the Holy Spirit interrupted Peter and baptized those who listened to Peter’s message with His Spirit. They spoke in tongues and praised God just as the Jews did on Pentecost.
“If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” (Romans 8:9b) In other words, when we believe in Jesus and want Him to save us, God automatically gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, Cornelius and those in his house had received salvation before they were baptized with water.
Most Baptists, using the Scripture, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned,” (Mark 16:16) will tell you that you must be baptized with water to be saved. But taking into account today’s Scripture that cannot be true. It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, not the baptism of water, that is needed for salvation.
John 3:16 tells us that whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life. And that is true. However, Jesus set the example and asked us to repent and be baptized with water. Doing so is obeying God.
Father God, I praise You for making salvation easy. We must only believe in Jesus. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit who comforts me and gives me power. Let me use Your power to love and obey. In Christ’s name, I pray, amen.