Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday within the Octave of the Feast of Pentecost

Posted on June 1, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Acts 10:34-48 (NKJV)
10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
“Can anyone forbid water, that these [Gentiles] should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” (Acts 10:47 NKJV).
Yesterday, we saw the Holy Spirit coming after the people were baptized to emphasize the connection of Baptism to the Apostolic Ministry. In today’s reading, we see the Holy Spirit showing up early, before Baptism had taken place! That’s confusing unless, again, we remember that Baptism, the Holy Spirit, and the Apostolic Ministry all go together.
God sent Peter to proclaim the Gospel to Gentiles, but he was still on a “learning curve.” The Holy Spirit continued to teach St. Peter that the Gospel of Jesus Christ truly is for everybody. After Peter preaches, the Holy Spirit comes. But St. Peter’s proclamation also makes the point: the Holy Spirit is showing that they are to be Baptized, too. This assures us that nothing of an ethnic nature can be adduced as evidence that Baptism is not for us. It is for us and all nations, and by means of it we are saved, strengthened in the holy faith, and empowered for holy living.
Prayer: O God, who didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful people, by sending them the light of Thy Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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