2. The “Promise of the Father” : the “Gift of the Holy Spirit”.
Ten more days went by, and on the 50th day, the “Promise of the Father” was fulfilled. This wonderful gift became a reality, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the heads of the disciples, taking on the form of flames. With renewed strength, the apostle Peter now explained:
“33 Having been elevated by the right hand of God, and having received the Promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He (Jesus) has poured out what you are now seeing and hearing.” [Acts 2:33]
But the Apostle told them that this “Baptism by the Holy Spirit” was not strictly for the apostles; this gift could be acquired by every single one of them and their children, and from whichever part of the world that God may invite them, through their baptism in water:
“38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For yours is the promise, and your children’s, and all those who are far off: as many as the Lord our God will invite.” [Acts 2:38,39]
And so it was, during the 3 years that followed: the Israelites who had received the Christian baptism had indeed received the “Promise of the Father”. But, in 36 A.D., this gift was extended by God to the Gentiles as well. Let us listen to the astounded apostle Peter narrate this incident:
“44 While Peter was still uttering these words, the Holy Spirit descended upon all those who were listening to what he was saying. 45 And the faithful who were of the circumcision – those who had assembled together with Peter – were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out onto the Gentiles also, 46 for they heard them (the Gentiles) speaking tongues and magnifying God. 47 Then Peter responded: “How can anyone possibly bar the (use of) water, and not baptize those (the Gentiles), who have (now) received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” [Acts 10:44-47]
“15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as (it did) upon us at first. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, when He said: ‘..for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit’. 17 If therefore God gave them the same gift that He gave to us, when they (the Gentiles) believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, to obstruct God?” [Acts 11:15-17]
Every person, from every race, nation and tongue could now savour the gift of God.
Article published in English on: 18-3-2010.
Last update: 18-3-2010.