“The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God…So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life…The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” Acts 10:45, 46; 11:18, 26
The early Church was comprised only of Jews until the breakthrough revelation that God gave Peter, telling him to share the gospel in Cornelius’ house. The believing Jews who had traveled to Cornelius’ house with Peter were amazed that God had poured out his Spirit even upon Gentiles. In our day, where Gentile followers of Jesus are the vast majority of the Church worldwide, these exclamations of astonishment sound strange. Perhaps we have even developed a sense of entitlement concerning the gospel, rather than gratitude for God’s grace to us through Christ. It’s interesting to note that the clear evidence to the Jewish disciples of Christ that the Gentiles had received the gift of the Holy Spirit was that they spoke in tongues. We forget that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still available to Gentile disciples of Christ, giving witness to the life of Christ within us. Both the fruit and gifts of the Spirit within us point others to the reality of God’s presence in our lives and of his transforming gospel.
Lord Jesus, thank you for grace and forgiveness of my sins, and the gift of your Spirit.