I. "WHILE PETER YET SPOKE THESE WORDS."
A. From the text it would seem that suddenly while Peter was speaking, he was suddenly interrupted by a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit.
1. As a general rule, we seek to keep the services as free from interruptions as possible.
a. This is why we discourage people from going in or out during the teaching of the word.
b. We do not allow small children in the services.
c. We want people to be able to concentrate on the teaching of the word.
2. This is one kind of interruption that we are open to. If the Holy Spirit wants to fall on us, we are open to that and would welcome that at any time.
B."The Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word."
1. Paul declared to the Romans, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God."
a. Peter had been teaching them the word of God as He witnessed to them about Jesus.
b. The things that Peter had been teaching them about Jesus.
1. God had anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and power.
2. He went about doing good.
3. He healed all that were oppressed by the devil.
4. God was with Him.
5. He was crucified.
6. God raised Him from the dead on the third day.
7. He showed Himself to the disciples after His resurrection.
8. He commanded them to tell the people that God had ordained Him to judge those who were alive and those who had died.
9. That whosoever would receive Him would receive the remission of their sins.
c. While they heard the word of God, they received the faith to believe.
d. The Holy Spirit suddenly came upon all of them.
2. Paul asked the believers in Galatia:
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
a. The obvious answer is the hearing of faith.
b. Evidently as Peter was preaching Christ to them, the Holy Spirit stirred their hearts to believe, and suddenly they were all speaking in tongues and magnifying God as the Spirit came upon them.
3. This brings up many issues about receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.
a. Note it is not the reward of the Holy Spirit.
1. For so many years I thought that the Holy Spirit was some kind of reward for my complete commitment.
2. I sought so long to be worthy to receive the Holy Spirit.
3. I was taught that because He is a Holy Spirit, he would only enter holy vessels.
4. I was always seeking to attain to some degree of holiness, so as to be worthy.
5. I was looking to myself as the basis of receiving the Holy Spirit.
b. A gift cannot be earned.
c. A gift cannot be bought.
d. A gift can only be received. Paul asked the Ephesians, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit, since you believed?"
4. Receiving the gifts of God takes an act of faith.
a. In Hebrews 11
that great chapter on faith, the writer says concerning the fact that Enoch pleased God.
But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
b. The reward does not come because of my holiness, but because I diligently seek Him.
II. "AND THEY OF THE CIRCUMCISION WHICH BELIEVED WERE ASTONISHED, AS MANY AS CAME WITH PETER, BECAUSE THAT ON THE GENTILES ALSO WAS POURED OUT THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST."
A. Up to this point, the Jews did not believe that a Gentile could even be saved.
B. They were no doubt shocked that Peter would even enter into the house of a Gentile.
C. They were described as being astonished. I wonder if Peter was not also astonished?
1. In his opening remarks to them Peter had said: "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him."
2. I do not think that even with the vision that he had directing him to go to the Gentiles, that Peter dreamed that God would also pour out on the Gentiles the gift of the Holy Spirit.
3. Peter felt that something was going to happen, that is why he took the Jewish believers with him. But surely nothing to this extent.
III. HOW DID THEY KNOW THAT THEY HAD RECEIVED THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
A. They heard them speaking in tongues and magnifying God.
1. In the New Testament, speaking in tongues often was manifested as a sign that a person had received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
a. On the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit this was one of the manifestations.
b. Here in the 10th chapter again the sign that they had received the Holy Spirit was there speaking in tongues.
c. This is also so in chapter 19.
d. There is an inference in chapter 8, there was surely some kind of evidence that caused Simon the sorcerer to seek to purchase the power to lay hands of people to receive the Holy Spirit.
e. No mention of tongues when Paul received the gift of the Holy Spirit in chapter 9, but in writing to the Corinthians he speaks of his exercise of this gift in his personal devotional life.
f. Jesus said in Mark 16
, "And these signs shall follow them that believe, in My name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues.
2. In the Old Testament, the sign of the Holy Spirit being on a person was the gift of prophecy.
a. The case of the seventy elders.
3. When the Holy Spirit was first poured out on the church in Acts 2
after the message given by Peter, the people were convicted by the Holy Spirit and asked what they should do, to which Peter responded, "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, for this promise is unto you and to your children, and to those who afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
IV. CAN A PERSON RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND NOT SPEAK IN TONGUES?
A. I would have to answer I believe so.
1. I believe that there are many wonderful Spirit filled believers who have never spoken in tongues.
2. In the chapter on spiritual gifts in 1Co. 12
, Paul asks the question, "Do all speak with tongues?" The answer is obviously no.
3. In regards to these spiritual gifts, Paul said that the Holy Spirit, divided to each man severally as He wills.