Let’s continue this journey through the Book of Acts and see what develops after Cornelius and those Gentiles with him received the Holy Spirit. As this took place “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” (Acts 10:45). There is a witness to what the Spirit had done.
There is a principle here we cannot overlook. God will always confirm His work as He did through the Holy Spirit in chapter 4:31. The circumcision were Jewish believers who were still holding to many of the old traditions they thought were necessary for the Church. What happened with Cornelius and those with him was a divine act, totally apart from man. Peter was compelled to present the gospel, but receiving it by faith was a divine work of regeneration and new birth (John 3:5; Titus 3:5). God confirmed their faith by the giving of the Holy Spirit.
Later, Peter returned to Jerusalem to report what had happened. He was immediately met with criticism and questions about what he had done in mixing with uncircumcised people. Peter simply recounts the story of what took place. He did not offer any doctrinal justification or explanation. So powerful was the witness in the Spirit’s actions that Peter says, “If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard these things, they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life”” (Acts 11:17–18).
When God is at work, neither we who present the gospel nor anyone else can stand in the way. Peter was a willing Apostle (messenger) of the message and God did the rest. God will work in those He wants to hear if we are willing apostles – messengers of God’s grace. Just make sure you do not stand in God’s way when He begins a work
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