Terry R. Baughman
“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 2:38).
Everyone loves a gift! When someone promises a gift there is an immediate curiosity. What is it? Will it fit me? Will I like it? Why me? All kinds of questions flow through the recipient’s mind. There is an element of surprise and mystery as one prepares to receive the promised gift.
No wonder the disciples asked so many questions on the last day they spent with Jesus. There was a premonition that something was about to take place. They remembered the instruction to “Tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
Moments before the ascension the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). They were getting further away from the subject of what Jesus was planning to do. He brought them back with a new focus on the Spirit that He was preparing to share with His followers, “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).
The gift was received in the next chapter and it was far beyond the expectation of the disciples. It was more than any of them had ever imagined. They laughed. They celebrated. They staggered around under the influence of the Spirit, so much so that some of the observing crowd accused them of being drunk. Peter didn’t deny it, As a matter of fact he said, “These are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 1:15-16).
The city was drawn out to see what was happening and what the noise was about. Later Peter spoke about this experience of salvation as “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8 KJV). In the NKJV it is translated, “Inexpressible joy.” Paul expressed his gratitude for the gift saying, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
The gift of the Holy Spirit takes on many attributes, but it is always a comfort, a strength, and a promise to every believer. After Peter spoke about this wonderful new plan of salvation, He stated unequivocally, to repent of their sins, be baptized in Jesus name and simply receive the gift of the Holy Spirt! He said, “The promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39).
The gift is still awaiting believers. It is for any who will simply step forward with a willing heart and a humble spirit to approach the one who has shared with every believer since the foundation of the Church. There is the promise of God’s great gift that we want to share with everyone who will listen.
Receive the gift and watch your life be transformed by the power of the Spirit!
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).