PETER REPORTS AT JERUSALEM
When Peter returned to Jerusalem to report everything that happened in Caesarea in the house of Cornelius, some Jewish believers had issues. They could not believe Peter went into a Gentile home and ate with the Gentiles. The Jewish believers were still under the impression that the Gentiles were spiritually unclean and that they should not enter into their homes and eat with them, or they would be spiritually defiled. However, Peter explained to them the vision God showed him and that the Lord told him that what he declared clean was clean. In this case, God declared Cornelius clean because he believed in God, although he did not know anything about Jesus until God sent Peter to him to explain who Jesus was. While Peter was explaining Jesus to Cornelius and his household, they believed in Jesus, and God baptized them with the Holy Spirit. When the Jewish believers heard the testimony of Peter, they quieted down and said, "Well then, God has granted to Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life." (Acts 11:1-18).
What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Spirit? To understand what being baptized with the Holy Spirit means, we need to understand the word "baptized." The word baptized means "being united." So when we hear the phrase "baptized with the Holy Spirit," it means that the believers are being united with Holy Spirit. To be united with the Holy Spirit means that the Holy Spirit came upon the believers and lived in them. We, as believers, have the Holy Spirit in us, which is why our physical body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). How do we know if we have been baptized with the Holy Spirit? In the case of Cornelius and his household, they began to speak in tongues or languages, just like what happened with the Jewish believers when they received the Holy Spirit. However, speaking in tongues is not only the proof that we are baptized with the Holy Spirit. The biggest proof is the change in our life. When the Holy Spirit lives in us, He starts changing our hearts and making us the person God wants us to be.
The only way we can be baptized with the Holy Spirit is to believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior and surrender our life to Him, just like Cornelius and his household did. Once we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will start to finish the good work God has started in us (Philippians 1:6). God will never give up on changing us until we are completely changed, so never give up on ourselves and God.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) When do I get baptized with the Holy Spirit? What happens to my body when the Holy Spirit comes upon me? Am I willing to listen and obey the guidance of the Holy Spirit in my life?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you that I have been baptized with the Holy Spirit through faith in the Lord Jesus. Please help me to listen and surrender to the conviction and guidance of the Holy Spirit so that I may walk in your ways. Holy Spirit, please continue to teach me the ways of God and guide and comfort me as I go through the day. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.