This is the final installment of Acts chapter 10. This is such a foundational chapter that I would encourage you to go back and read Acts 10:1-43 to fully understand the significance and power of Acts 10:44-48.
Yes, it takes time to review 43 verses, but we don’t meditate on Scripture quickly. The word “meditate” means focused thinking. You can’t fully understand and appreciate God’s truth apart from its context.
By the way, throughout these devotionals, I intentionally repeat specific truths from previous verses because repetition is a helpful learning device.
First, review Acts 10:1-43… and then…
What happens next in Acts 10:44-48?
While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
What’s the difference maker?
What takes us from man’s ability to God’s ability through man?
“The Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the Word.”
- Peter and the believers who came with Peter were “amazed because the gift of Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.”
The gift of the Holy Spirit proved that God shows no partiality.
- The Holy Spirit fell on the Jews.
- The Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles.
I wish this wasn’t true, but a modern-day illustration could possibly be the Civil Rights movement. It would be like white people being amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit was given to black people the same way it was given to them.
- Again, God shows no partiality.
- God created us equal.
- God gives the Holy Spirit to us equally.
What were the results of the Holy Spirit?
“For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God.”
- In Acts, tongues is a known language – people could hear and understand about God in their native language.
- In 1 Corinthians 12-14, tongues is a prayer language – designed for personal edification, not corporate edification (unless there’s an interpreter).
Whether tongues is a known language or a prayer language, the result is the same: people are using their tongues to extol God. Something changes inside people that causes them to “sing a new song.” They’re extolling God from the inside, not the outside.
It was undeniable that the Holy Spirit saw no partiality between Jews and Gentiles. It’s also undeniable that no partiality means no partiality. The example of no partiality between Jew and Gentile stands as an example for providing equality for all people groups.
What did Peter declare as a result of the equalizing and unifying work of the Holy Spirit?
- Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
Baptism was a sign of identification. When someone was baptized, they were publicly identifying with the Man, the Message, and the Mission. People being baptized are identifying with One Name (Jesus) and One Family. Our equality is found in being a son and daughter of our Heavenly Father.
Look at the spiritual significance of all of this through Ephesians 4:4-6.
There is one body and one spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. [Italics added.]
Going back to Acts 10, let’s ask the Captain Obvious questions:
- Why would the God of Love create inequality?
- Why would the God of Love create division instead of unity?
- What would partiality say about our “God of Love”?
What did Peter command them to do?
- And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
This is obviously consistent with the Great Commission that Jesus gave Peter and the rest of His disciples before He ascended to be with His Father.
Now, please don’t read the next three verses from an informational perspective; read them from a relational and applicational perspective. In other words, this is your number one purpose and assignment in life. What are you intentionally doing every day to fulfill it?
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples [learners and followers] of all nations [equality, no partiality], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [Parentheses added.]