What Does Acts 4:8 Mean?

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people,

Acts 4:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

It was on the day of Pentecost that Christ's amazing promise was fulfilled: "John baptised with water," Jesus told them, "but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit, not many days from now."

It was only ten days later, that Christ's promise was fulfilled. His faithful followers, who obeyed His instruction to wait in Jerusalem for the Promise of the Father "were gloriously baptised by the Spirit of God into the Body of Christ, which is the Church." We read: "On that Day of Pentecost, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and all received the gift of languages."

The promise that they would be baptised by the Holy Spirit had first been mentioned by John the Baptist. It was repeated to the disciples only days before Christ was crucified when Jesus said, "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth Whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him or know Him. But you know Him because He abides with you and will soon be dwelling within you - permanently."

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a onetime event, which happens in the life of a believer the moment of their salvation. The Baptism of the Spirit occurs when a lost sinner is saved by grace through faith in Christ and is supernaturally born again of the Spirit of God. He is positioned IN Christ, placed into the family of God, and permanently in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit of truth.

The Filling of the Holy Spirit however, is something that happens to a believer time and again after regeneration, when believers are walking in spirit and in truth. We are called to be filled and with the Holy Spirit throughout our Christian life.

We not only see Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit on that day of Pentecost "for they were ALL filled with the Holy Spirit," but in the fourth chapter of Acts, we see this apostle being filled once again by the Holy Ghost, and speaking boldly to the religious leaders of the day, concerning a man who had been healed by the power of Jesus Christ.

We read: "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, 'Rulers and elders of the people... know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, Whom you crucified but Whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.'"

Peter challenged the rulers, elders, and scribes of the people to reflect on the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. He confronted them with the most inspiring dialogue. He proudly proclaimed God's holy Servant Jesus, had been resurrected from the dead through the power of the Holy Spirit of God – which proved His Messianic claims.

The apostle quoted a Messianic Psalm to authenticate Christ's Resurrection from the dead and cried out, "The Stone which the builders rejected, has become the Chief Corner Stone." He also boldly proclaimed, "There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name given under heaven, by which we must be saved."

The apostle Paul similarly encouraged the Body of Christ to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to go on being filled with the Spirit. Day by day, we are called to be filled and to continue to be filled, with the knowledge of Him and with all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the bold witness of Peter and the other disciples who were filled with the Holy Spirit of truth. Thank You that when we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, we are immediately baptised into the Body of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You that by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are enabled to be filled with Your power and Your sufficient grace. May I walk in spirit and truth, and live and work to Your praise and glory, being continuously filled with Your power and grace for Your greater purposes. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

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