Today's Foundations Devotional: The Holy Spirit falls on the Gentiles

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Memory verse:

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each

one individually just as He wills.

(1 Corinthians 12:11)

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One further and decisive case is that of Cornelius and his household, as related in Acts 10.

Peter and the other believing Jews went to the house of Cornelius with reluctance, against their own inclinations, only because God had explicitly directed them to go. After Peter had preached a short while, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard his word. Peter and the other Jews were amazed because they heard these Gentiles speaking with tongues.

Up to this very moment Peter, like other Jewish believers, had not conceived that it was possible for Gentiles such as Cornelius to be saved and become Christians. Yet this one manifestation of speaking with tongues immediately convinced Peter and the other Jews that these Gentiles were now just as much Christians as the Jews themselves.

Peter never suggested that it would be necessary to subject these Gentiles to any further tests or to wait for spiritual fruit or to look for any other kind of evidence.

On the contrary, he immediately commanded that they be baptised, by which act they were openly accepted and attested as full Christians. Peter later gave an account of this incident to the other leaders of the apostolic church in Jerusalem.

And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning . . . If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God? (11:15,17).

We know from the previous chapter that Cornelius and his household all spoke with tongues. Yet in this account Peter does not find it necessary to mention this decisive manifestation. He merely says: “The Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning ... God gave them the same gift as He gave us.”

In other words, the manifestation of speaking with tongues was at this time so universally accepted as the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit that Peter did not even need to mention it. Both he and the other church leaders took it for granted.

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Prayer:

Thank You Lord, how wonderfully precise the reporting of the events in

the first Church is structured, and that You - as I prayed yesterday - have

personally preserved the transmission of these throughout the ages.

That is why I want to intercede today especially for the progress of Your

Gospel to all nations, until You return, Lord! Amen.

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