“Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” (Acts 10:47)
Bible Reading: Acts 10:34-48
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him. As for the word that He sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all that He did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree, but God raised Him on the third day and made Him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.” While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
Before the creation of the universe, the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. Today, we know that approximately seventy percent of the world’s surface is covered with water. Water is also found in the air we breathe and the soil we stand on. About sixty percent of our body is made up of water. We are surrounded by water. No water means no life.
In regard to our spiritual life, water is also needed. Jesus tells a man named Nicodemus that people must be born again by water and the Spirit to see the Kingdom of God. John the Baptizer began the process of baptism with water, but it is Jesus who combines water and His Word to baptize with the Holy Spirit. Through the waters of Baptism, a person receives eternal life.
Where earthly water provides cleanliness and nourishment, baptismal water cleanses our sins and rescues us from death and the devil. Through the Spirit, we are unified under Christ who died for our sins and was raised to new life. In baptism, we share in Jesus’ resurrection and have access to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Discussion: List various ways in which water is used.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for providing all that I need in this life and the next. Help me to live in baptismal grace, through the work of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.