Was Cornelius Baptized In The Holy Spirit?

There are several reasons as to why we can know that Cornelius and his household were not baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit is discussed in Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:4-5, and 11:16. It is the same gift equivalent to the gift of apostleship that was given to thirteen apostles in Acts 2:1-4 and by implication upon Paul in Acts 9.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit and apostleship were both miraculous gifts, imparted the same powers, came at the same time, came upon the same persons, came in the same manner, had the same sender, and had the same purposes.

Miraculous gifts - Paul lists apostleship as one of the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:28. In fact, he reveals that the first gift given in the church was apostleship. The gift of apostleship was given after the ascension of our Lord (Ephesians 4:8-12). The "promise of the Father" was that the twelve disciples would be clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:46). A promise is to be given and received. Therefore, the baptism in the Holy Spirit was a gift given to the apostles in Acts 2:1-4.

Both gifts were given after the ascension of Jesus - These two gifts were both given after the ascension of our Lord (Acts 1:9-11). Paul reveals this in I Corinthians 12:28 where he teaches, by implication, that apostleship was the first gift given in the church. Since the church was not established until Acts 2 it is implied that apostleship was not given until Acts 2. Paul plainly states that the gift of apostleship was not given until after the Lord's ascension (Ephesians 4:8-12).

Both gifts came in the same manner - The baptism in the Holy Spirit came directly from heaven without the imposition of the hands of an apostle (Acts 2:1-4). The gift of apostleship did not come by the laying on of the hands of anyone. This is proven by the words of the apostle Paul in Galatians 1:1 and 12. Paul, by implication, must have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit directly from heaven.

When Peter gave an account of what happened at the household of Cornelius in Acts 11 he begins in verse 15 to give an account of the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter said that the Holy Spirit fell upon them (Cornelius and his household) even as (adverb of manner literally-of the same manner, after the fashion - Acts 11:15) upon us. The adverb "as" refers to the manner in which the gift came. This same Greek word is found 41 other times in the New Testament. In all 41 instances it is employed in a figure of speech called a "simile." There is no doubt that this (Acts 11:15) is a simile also. The simile compares two things which have one similar quality, but otherwise are different. The one likeness or similarity between the events of Acts 2 and those of Acts 10 is the coming of the gift of the Holy Spirit (powers) directly from heaven and not through the imposition of an apostles' hands.

The reception of powers directly from heaven "reminded" Peter of the events of Acts 2. The Greek word translated "remembered" in Acts 11:16 means "to be reminded." (Thayer, page 415, Bagster, page 270). Both of the lexicons give the first definition of this word as "remind." Vine states that this word means "to remind when used in the active voice." (page 995). The event that took place in Acts 10,11 reminded Peter of a similar event that occurred on the Day of Pentecost. It was a great reminder because they were both received in the same manner - directly from heaven and not through the imposition of an apostles' hands.

Both gifts had the same results - The baptism in the Holy Spirit brought all gifts to all people (Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:17-21). The gift of apostleship brought the same gifts (Acts 8:18). Only by the laying on of an apostles' hands could gifts be given. There were special signs that only an apostle could work (2 Corinthians 12:12). It is apparent that the apostles possessed all the miraculous gifts and that they could impart them to others. In Acts 2:38-39, the promise of Joel was promised to those early Christians - that they would receive miraculous gifts. The events at the house of Cornelius were special with no parallel. The fact that these events were special does not make them a baptism in the Holy Spirit. Cornelius and his household were not able to impart miraculous gifts unto others. So the results of the events of Acts 2 and Acts 10 also reveal that they are not the same. In Acts 2 the recipients were given apostolic powers (Acts 2:1-4) whereas in Acts 10 tongue speaking was the only result, how can these be the same?

Clothed with power - Baptism in the Holy Spirit is equated to being clothed with power from on high. Jesus reveals this in Acts 1:4-8 which is parallel to Luke 24:48-49. This is a divine commentary on the meaning of baptism in the Holy Spirit. To clothe is "to envelop in, to hide in" (Thayer, page 214) to baptize is to "submerge, dip, or immerse" (Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12).

The promise of the Father in Luke 24 is equated to the coming of the Comforter in John 14-16- The Comforter enabled the apostles to be infallible witnesses (John 15:26-27). The special work of witnessing was for those who ate and drank with Jesus after His resurrection (Acts 10:39). Since baptism in the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to be infallible witnesses (Acts 1:8) and the Comforter also did the same thing these must be the same gift.

The promise of the Father in Luke 24 is equated to the baptism in the Holy Spirit - A person needs to read the passages of Acts 1:4-8 with Luke 24:47-49 to see that the inspired writer, Luke, is writing on the same subject.

Both gifts had the same sender - Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the promise of the Father had the same sender. The promise of the Father was the same as the coming of the Comforter that was to come upon the apostles in John 14-16 and that He was sent by Jesus. John the Immerser tells us that Jesus would be the administrator of the Holy Spirit baptism in Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, etc.

Both gifts had the same purpose - The coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles caused them to be infallible witnesses (Acts 1:8). The coming of the Comforter was for this same purpose (John 15:26-27). The gift of apostleship was for this same purpose (Acts 10:39-43).

Both gifts were given to the same persons - First, the promise of the baptism in the Holy Spirit was made to Jews only (Matthew 3:9 and 11). Second, it is manifest that this promise was limited to obedient Jews (John 14:16-17). Third, it is clear that it was limited to the apostles: John 14:16, Acts 1:4-5, and 19:1-7.

It can be seen that the gift of apostleship and the baptism in the Holy Spirit are equated to one another. The twelve disciples, including Paul, received it, but Cornelius, who was not an apostle, did not receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.



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