A devout and sincere man, Cornelius worshipped and prayed continually to God. Yet, just like so many devout and sincere people today’ he was not saved (see Acts 11:14). Only when Cornelius and his company heard the Apostle Peter teaching the Gospel did they repent of their sins, and trust the Lord Jesus Christ to save them. Then the Lord “cleansed their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:7, 9).
2. “Be baptized” – These people repented of their sins, and while Peter was still preaching, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, even before they were baptized in water. However, Peter immediately “commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:48). On this occasion, the three experiences of THE ONLY FOUNDATION did not change – only the order in which they were received.
It is possible to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit before you follow the Lord through the waters of baptism. Indeed, it is possible to repent from sin and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit almost simultaneously. However, note carefully that the Bible teaches repentance from sin together with the miracle of being born into the family of God and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, are two separate operations of the Spirit of God. While it is possible to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit before water baptism, the Bible clearly teaches it is not possible to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit before you have repented.
3. “Receive the Holy Spirit” – The Bible says that while Peter was still preaching: “the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God “(Acts 10:44-46).
When Peter told the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem about the outpouring of the Spirit in the house of Cornelius, he gave this testimony:
“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit’ “(Acts 11:15,16).
THE ONLY FOUNDATION does not change… “The firm foundation laid by God stands, sure and unshaken” (2 Timothy 2:19 – Amplified Bible).
THE DISCIPLES AT EPHESUS
1.”Repent” – In Acts 19:1 we read that the Apostle Paul “found some disciples.” In the New Testament, when the word “disciple” is used for any except those who are true followers of Jesus Christ, it is specifically stated (for example, the disciples of John). It is safe to conclude then, that these disciples at Ephesus were followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as such had repented of their sins, and been cleansed by the power of His blood.
Further proof of this is found in Acts 18:24-28. Here we read on Apollos, who went to Ephesus. The Bible says Apollos “had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John” (verse 25). Apollos instructed them about Jesus, and Paul took them on to the second and third steps in THE ONLY FOUNDATION.