Gods will is that every believer be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost Sunday, the seventh Sunday after Easter, is observed by Christians as a reminder that the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church occurred on the Jewish feast of Pentecost, following the ascension of Jesus Christ in Acts 2:1. Pentecost Sunday is also observed as a reminder that God is still pouring out his Spirit on believers in Christ, because, as the apostle Peter declared on the day of Pentecost, “the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit is to you, and to your children, and to all who are a far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39). For believers in Christ, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is a continuing experience.
This scripture stood out to me the most during Wednesday nights message. Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
…….The reason people were added to the church from the very beginning of all this is because someone’s life was causing an uproar! When we are filled we radiate!
1. CONVERTS RECEIVE THE SPIRIT
A. Samaritans Receive Christ
Acts 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
8:6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
…….The section of chapter 8 gives us a distinct and necessary separation between two life changing events that must happen in our lives as Christians. Because of the scattering of the disciples in vs 4, many surrounding cities heard and believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of hearing and seeing the results of salvation, the people that heard the message gave heed (or paid attention) vs 6. After hearing the message, the people of Samaria believed and became water baptized. Why? Because people couldn’t help but spread the message of Christ!
B. Samaritans Receive the Spirit
8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
8:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
…….This is the second part of the distinct and necessary events. After the hearers heard, believed and became baptized with water, they needed to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
…….What great power with God these men displayed (vs. 17) by laying of hands in prayer! Oh that we as the church would get back to the true focus with the power of God!
2. GENTILES RECEIVE THE SPIRIT
A. God Works in Unexpected Ways
Act 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
…….In this story, the Apostle and disciple Peter preached the gospel and remission of sins to a group of people that were thought unworthy and not chosen to be a child of God. He preached with such power, that simply through the very words of his message people were filled with the Holy Ghost!!! You wanna talk about some anointed preaching!!! Anointing often comes at the peak of adversity! When we obey God in times of tension, He will provide the words to speak and make heart changes with His power alone! All we have to do is be available and willing to obey!
Act 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
…….That’s what the power of God can do! In a time of segregation, different culture groups can come together and have the same desires in the Lord! The Holy Ghost will bring Unity before he does anything else!
Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
…….This scripture proves that salvation and baptism it’s not necessarily a system of steps. Some folks are saved, water baptized and then filled with the Spirit, while others are saved, filled with the Spirit and then possibly later water baptized. Our focus should never be on the steps we think are of order. We should rather be focused on allowing God to start and complete the work how He sees fit!
B. God’s Will Recognized
…….When Peter gave his report to the church at Jerusalem about the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house, those of the circumcision contended (discriminate, be partial, judge) with him. From verse 4-14, Peter told them the story of how God gave him a vision to eliminate discrimination, and how an angel appeared to a total stranger to summon Peter to his home!
Act 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
Act 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Act 11:17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
…….It is time for us to stop being satisfied with a touch, and start using that touch to empower what it intended to empower! God gave him a gift and calling and Peter knew there was no withstanding or refusing the command of God!!!
Act 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
3. DISCIPLES RECEIVE THE SPIRIT
A. Uninformed Disciples
Act 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
Act 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
Act 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
Act 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
…….Here we have a group of people who have been serving the Lord according to John the Baptist’s teachings for several years now (approximately 25 years prior), and have not yet been converted to salvation in Christ. No doubt they had heard from John the Baptist that Jesus would come, but somehow have missed it until now…… There are people all over this world who are seeking for more but simply haven’t found it yet! If you truly believe what you have is real, you will tell others about it!
Act 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
…….Think of how effective and long lasting the message of the Gospel really is! The fact that John the Baptist had disciples in Ephesus (1,125 miles from Jerusalem by land) some 25 years prior to this event, who were prepared by his ministry to believe in Jesus as the Messiah and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, shows how far reaching and long lasting the influence of the forerunner of Jesus the Messiah.
…….Now since hearing the Apostle Paul preach Christ, they are ready to receive divine salvation!
B. Spirit-Baptized Disciples
Act 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
Act 19:7 And all the men were about twelve.