While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.…
I. THE EFFUSION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
1. It came to those who heard the Word. The gospel is the channel through which the Holy Spirit in His regenerating influences flows into the soul; the chariot on which the Divine Conqueror goes forth to crush the soul's enemies, and to bring it forth to freedom, light, and glory. True, He works through all nature for various purposes, but for salvation He works through the Word.
2. It produced miraculous as well as moral effects. The recipients spoke with "tongues." In what language they expressed their gratitude we are not told. Now as at Pentecost new thoughts and emotions require a new dialect. Change the thoughts and feelings of the world and you will change its language.
II. THE ADMINISTRATION OF BAPTISM (ver. 47). From this we conclude that baptism is —
1. A symbol of the Spirit's action on the soul; not only perhaps in His cleansing influence, but in the mode of communication — "poured out."
2. A ceremony of easy observance, "Can any forbid water?" which implies —
(1) That the water was in the house.
(2) That water could be brought. Christianity is an universal system, and any ordinance that cannot be attended to anywhere and always has no vital connection with it.
3. A service of subordinate importance. Peter does not baptize; He has a higher work. Christ baptized not (John 4:3), and Paul said, "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel."
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.