Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Signs of Salvation
MIRACLES IN THE MAKING
Terry R. Baughman
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 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. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” (Acts 10:44-46).
The Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 was just the beginning of a worldwide movement and spiritual outpouring of epic proportions. Everywhere believers went there were more conversions and more new birth experiences. The Good News spread throughout the region and then to other nations. This was the result Jesus expected when He said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Peter, who was vested with with spiritual authority holding the keys of the kingdom, was instrumental in opening the door of salvation both on the Day of Pentecost, and in Samaria, and to the Gentiles in Cornelius’ household. When asked by new believers on the day of Pentecost, “What shall we do?” He responded, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:37–38). Philip preached the same message in Samaria (Acts 8) and they responded in faith and were baptized. The Scripture noted that they had not yet received the Spirit. When Peter and John arrived from Jerusalem they begin to pray for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost. The disciples laid hands on them in prayer and they begin to speak in tongues as the Spirit was poured out in their lives.
When Peter was called to preach to the Gentiles gathered at Cornelius’ house he preached the same message that he had preached at the beginning. They should have expected the same results, but they were astonished when they begin to hear these Gentiles speak in tongues. The sign and evidence of this New Birth experience of salvation is found in this statement, “The gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” (Acts 10:45-46). The miraculous and significant sign of speaking with the other tongues is central and essential to the experience.
In time to come Paul and Barnabas went on missionary travels proclaiming the wonderful works of God, Jesus Christ and his resurrection, and the promise of his Holy Spirit. They did not seem to garner much response in the synagogues and among the Jews, but it seemed everywhere they preached to the Gentiles there was a ready response to their message.
Not all of the Jewish believers embraced the idea of Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit and sharing in this wonderful new relationship with God like they had. Cultural prejudice and ethnic bias caused many to oppose the ministry of Paul and Barnabas among the Gentiles. They traveled to Jerusalem to give account for their ministry and share the good news of what had happened as they preached to the Gentiles (Acts 15). Paul reported that Gentiles were being saved! He said, “We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” (Acts 15:11).
They could have debated doctrine and shared their personal views all day long, but Paul begin sharing some of the miraculous things they had witnessed as they fulfilled God's call, “The multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles” (Acts 15:12).
The miracle of salvation never becomes old. There is excitement and rejoicing whenever a sinner comes home in the new birth is experienced. Jew or Gentile, all receive salvation that Jesus Christ has provided. This is a miracle in the making!
“How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord …, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit?” (Hebrews 2:3–4).