Acts (10:44-48)


I have a question here about Acts (10:44-48).

How can the Holy Spirit pour out on these people before they were baptized with water. Don’t we die and rise again with Jesus when we are born of water? Shouldn’t we be cleansed of our sins before we can be born of the Spirit?

Please know I’m only asking due to these verses I just read. I have no doubt of what the Church teaches. I still like to know what this passage means exactly.

Thank you :slight_smile:


If it pleases God to send his Spirit to those who believe, it will be done. In CCC 1257 we read:
God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism,
but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.
I am sure there are other place in the Bible where that happened.


As per the above Catechism quote, God sometimes acts outside of the sacraments.

The Church teaches that mortal sin can only normally be forgiven through sacramental absolution; perfect contrition, however, also will bring is God’s forgiveness of mortal sins. Even then, however, the Church still requires us, as an act of obedience, to receive sacramental absolution thereafter.

I believe this is a similar case, though with the sacrament of baptism rather than the sacrament of reconciliation. Some of the Jewish Christians were skeptical that God’s gift of salvation, as offered through the Church, was also available to the Gentiles. The Holy Spirit came upon those Gentiles who believed to demonstrate, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the gates of the Church, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, were indeed open to the Gentiles, and not only to the Jews. This was a one time extraordinary situation. St. Peter still commanded that they be baptized in order to fulfill Christ’s command and to formally initiate the Gentiles into the Church.


Remember that this was done, at least partially, to convince Peter that the Gentiles were now part of the new covenant. Remember the vision Peter received on the rooftop just before this? He needed to be convinced that all foods were clean - foods that he would eat when evangelizing the Gentiles. God forced Peter’s hand in sending His Holy Spirit upon them, convincing Peter that their hearts were open and that God was willing. Look at what Peter said to them about God showing no partiality.


There are many verses in the bible where people were slain in the spirit before Baptism in order for God to convince them of the Truth. IE: Saul on the way to persecute the Christians and being knocked to the ground/ blinded by the light, hearing the risen Christ Jesus. He was filled with the Spirit :bowdown2:


the Holy Spirit is not limited.God will be God and not conform to our parameters.The Spirit goes where it wills.
Let God Be God-infinite ,loving, compassionate -How can we possibly understand everything He does?


It should be noted here that God does not force Himself upon anyone. This action would both violate and deny free will on our part. The Holy Spirit comes into a heart only by invitation from that open heart. Thus, Paul had to be broken down first before he would repent and be receptive to the graces that God had planned for him. It was our Lord Jesus Himself who spoke directly to Paul, as the Holy Spirit had “spoken through the prophets” - as the creed states. To think that the Holy Spirit is forced upon someone strikes me as awfully close to Calvin’s heresy of “irresistible grace.”


I was not looking at it that way. Actually I’ve never heard of “Irresistible Grace” before. I was more wondering because of the claims of some people that Baptism with water is not important because of some verses that says how the Holy Spirit descended on people without having being cleansed by water first.

Of course it makes sense that in this passage Peter would have them baptized with water. God is not bound by the sacraments like some people said. But I guess we’d have to obey the church. And let’s say this would still happen on this present day, and a man would feel the Holy Spirit after he’s opened his heart, what can guarantee that? He’d still have to be baptized by water and Spirit. But that’s not what I’ve been hearing other people say. They believe in it so much that even if they could be baptized they’d choose not to. How can one even be called a Christian then? Is believing that Jesus is our Lord and savior enough? I don’t see it. Even with some verses in scripture, I can not see anyone having a mark on their soul without being born both by water and Spirit. Even Jesus was baptized by water then the Spirit.

That’s why I asked about this passage, thank you everyone for your replies. :slight_smile:


I assume Jesus baptized the apostles, giving them a first dose of the HS. They received a second dose on Easter evening (he breathed on them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit; 23 when you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven, when you hold them bound, they are held bound). And they received a third dose on Pentecost Sunday.


Paul was a hard case. He was singled out in Acts due to his ferocity against the nascent Church. Thus, our Lord had to take direct action to ensure that the seed planted was not rooted up before it yielded fruit. Jesus, being the light of the world, revealed a tiny portion of His glorified brightness to Paul - so bright that is said to have knocked him off of his horse. For three days Paul neither drank nor ate - and did not until after his baptism.

Yet, Peter was also a hard case. He had to be convinced of things, and the Lord first gave him a vision that all foods were clean, then sent him to Gentiles, who were the perennial oppressors of the Jews. The Spirit falling on the Gentiles was as clear a sign as possible to Peter that the covenant now applied to the entire world - if they would accept it.

The abandonment of baptism is a fruit of the 16th century German rebellion. Oh, it didn’t happen right away, but the rebellion opened the door for it. Baptism is referred to as our washing of regeneration, a baptism that saves us. Christ is our example, and He did nothing that was without eternal meaning.

How certain mislead (or self-deceived) reformers thought otherwise is clearly by the leading of a worldly spirit. When you reject the stability and authority of the Church and place doctrine in men’s imaginations, this is what you get.


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