3. “Receive the Holy Spirit” – After baptizing Him in water, John saw the Lord Jesus Christ receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is written: “And when Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him” (Matthew 3:16). In that river “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power” (Acts 10:38), so that He might demonstrate to the world the love and power of God.
THE TWELVE DISCIPLES
1.”Repent” – The twelve disciples of Jesus lived in a unique age. While they still lived in the Old Testament age, He Who was about to shed His blood of the New Testament, the Lord Jesus, had called them to Himself. Nevertheless, from the beginning these twelve men were confronted with the call to repentance. John the Baptist’s first recorded word is “Repent” (Matthew 3:2). The first sermon of the Lord Jesus began with “Repent” (Matthew 4:17). So they could never have followed their Master without facing up to the command to repent.
2. “Be baptized” -The twelve disciples of Jesus were from the beginning baptizing in water those who became His followers (John 4:1, 2), and at least Andrew and Peter among the twelve had been disciples of John the Baptist (John 1:35). We can be well assured that these first messengers of Christ were themselves obedient to His command to be baptized.
3. “Receive the Holy Spirit”- On the Day of Pentecost – the birthday of the Christian Church – the waiting disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). Those who were to teach others THE ONLY FOUNDATION experienced it, even as their Lord had done. So must all who would be His disciples today.
How then, did the disciples do miracles and cast out devils before they received the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? Jesus gives the answer in John 14:17: “The Spirit…dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
As the Spirit of the Lord “came upon” the mighty men and women in the Old Testament days, so He was with the disciples before the Day of Pentecost. It may be pointed out here, the early disciples had more before the Day of Pentecost, than most have today after the Day of Pentecost! Yet they were instructed not to commence proclaiming the Gospel “until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Only after they received the gift of the Holy Spirit did they take the message of salvation through Christ to a lost and dying world.
THE BELIEVERS AT SAMARIA
1.”Repent” – In Acts 8:5-25 we see God’s perfect pattern fulfilled again, as THE ONLY FOUNDATION is built in the lives of the new Christians at Samaria. As Philip preached Christ in His saving and healing power in that city, the people “gave heed” to the Word of God, “when they heard him, and saw the signs which he did.” The Bible says that “much joy” was in the city. The people repented of their sins, and “believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ.”