Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Then remembered I the word of the Lord.—The special promise referred to was that recorded in Acts 1:5. Then it had seemed to refer only to the disciples, and the Day of Pentecost had appeared to bring a complete fulfilment of it. Now Peter had learnt to see that it had a wider range, that the gift might be bestowed on those who were not of Israel, and who were not called to come outwardly within the covenant of Israel. If the baptism of the Holy Ghost had been thus given to them it implied, as the greater includes the less, that they were admissible to the baptism of water.Acts 11:16-18. Then remembered I the word of the Lord — This descent of the Holy Ghost on them, as on us at the beginning of our public ministry, was such an extraordinary occurrence, that I immediately called to mind, and could not but reflect on, the word of the Lord, as then remarkably verified; how he said — Just before his ascension, (Acts 1:5,) Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost — For this pouring forth of the Spirit upon them appeared to be a wonderful accomplishment of that prediction. Forasmuch then as God — The sovereign dispenser of his own favours; gave them the like gift as he did unto us who believed — That is, because we believed, not because we were circumcised, was the Holy Ghost given to us. What was I that I should withstand — Greek, δυνατος κωλυσαι, that I should be able to prohibit, God — From conferring such a gift upon them; or should presume to oppose myself against his wise and gracious pleasure? They had inquired only concerning his eating with the Gentiles, but he satisfies them likewise concerning his baptizing them; and shows that he had done right in going to Cornelius, not only by the command of God, but also by the event, the descent of the Holy Ghost. And who are we, that we should withstand God? — Particularly by laying down rules of Christian communion, which exclude any whom he has admitted into the church of the firstborn, from worshipping God together. O that all church governors would consider how bold a usurpation this is on the authority of the supreme Lord of the church! O that the sin of thus withstanding God may not be laid to the charge of those who, perhaps with a good intention, but in an over-fondness for their own forms, have done it, and are continually doing it! When they heard these things, they held their peace — Being thoroughly satisfied for the present, till the controversy was renewed by some fierce zealots, Acts 15:1-5; and glorified God — For so wonderful a manifestation of his grace; saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles — The poor, ignorant, uncircumcised, despised, idolatrous Gentiles; granted repentance unto life — Has not only made them overtures of it, but has graciously wrought it in some of their hearts. Here, it is plain, they speak of those to whom this repentance was granted, as persons who before, according to their apprehension, were in a state of spiritual death; in which condition, it is probable, they had thought all uncircumcised persons to be: and, without doubt, they must mean to include the idolatrous Gentiles among the rest, as those who were most evidently and certainly so. Observe, reader, true repentance is a change from spiritual death to spiritual life, and leads to life everlasting.Acts 1:5. Of the Lord; of Christ, who is every where so called.
He said; but these words seem rather spoken by St. John himself. Matthew 3:11 Mark 1:8; which makes no difference; for, first, Whatsoever a disciple of Christ says in his name, it is as if it were spoken by himself:
He that heareth not, heareth me. But, secondly, Though this was spoken by the Baptist, it was spoken by our Saviour also, Acts 1:5.
John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost; by which the great difference is implied between outward baptism (administered by whomsoever, though the Baptist himself) and the inward baptism of the Holy Ghost, which, as fire, separates powerfully the scum and dross of sin from us.
With the Holy Ghost; the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit. Acts 1:5.
John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost; as they were on the day of Pentecost, and as now Cornelius and his family were; and since they had the greater baptism, the baptism of the Spirit, the lesser baptism of water could not be denied them.Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 11:16. Words not found in the Gospels, but in Acts 1:5, quoted here with the omission of οὐ μετὰ πολλὰς ταύτας ἡμέρας, showing that St. Peter regarded the baptism of the Holy Ghost received by Cornelius as equally decisive of the Spirit’s presence as the bestowal upon himself and others at Pentecost.—ὡς ἔλεγεν: not merely pleonastic, cf. Luke 22:61; Winer-Moulton, lxv., 1 a, Wendt, Felten.16. the word of the Lord] Recorded above, Acts 1:5.Acts 11:16. Ἐμνήσθην, I remembered) Comp. John 14:26, as to the Paraclete being about to bring all things to the remembrance of the disciples. In the words of Christ there were the seeds of the whole course of the Gospel.Verse 16. - And I remembered for then remembered I, A.V. This is a new incident not mentioned in Acts 10. The reference is to Acts 1:5. This saying of the Lord being thus referred to by Peter looks as if Peter might have furnished many of the particulars in the first twelve chapters to Luke.
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