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The Entry Of The Gentiles

10:44-48 When Peter was still saying these things the Holy Spirit fell upon those who were listening to his word. All the Jewish believers who had come with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles too, for they heard them speaking with tongues and magnifying God. Then Peter said, "Can anyone stop water being brought? Can anyone stop those who have received the Holy Spirit, as we too received him, from being baptized?" And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus. Then they asked him to wait with them for some days.

Even as Peter was speaking things began to happen against which even the Jewish Christians could not argue; the Spirit came upon Cornelius and his friends. They were lifted out of themselves in an ecstasy and began to speak with tongues. This to the Jews was the final proof of the astonishing fact that God had given his Spirit to the Gentiles too.

There are two interesting sidelights in this passage.

(i) These Gentile converts, as always in Acts, were baptized there and then. In Acts there is no trace of one set of people only being able to administer baptism. The great truth was that it was the Christian Church which was receiving these converts. We would do well to remember that in baptism today it is not the minister who is receiving a child; it is the Church which is receiving the child on behalf of Jesus Christ and accepting responsibility for him.

(ii) The very last phrase is significant. They asked Peter to wait with them for some days. Why? Surely in order that he might teach them more. The taking upon ourselves of church membership is not so much the end of the road as the beginning.

-Barclay's Daily Study Bible (NT)

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