Resaca Church Of God Pastor Mitchell Gaston, left, with Clint Cooper and David Vowell baptize Ellie Langford, 12, in the Coosawattee river, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, near Calhoun, Ga. Ciara Langford, whose two daughters were baptized, said, "I felt immense joy and peace. … The peace comes from knowing my children are surrendering themselves to something larger than they are." (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
No one has power to become a witness of Jesus Christ without having received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, writes Bishop Tutai Pere, BA, LTh, OBE, of the Apostolic Church.
“But ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both
in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of
the earth.” – Acts 1: 8
The Book of Acts records the
activating power of the Holy Spirit of God in the life of the earliest
believers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, how they spread the Gospel
through the ever-expanding missionary activities under the anointing and
unction of the Holy Spirit in them. We shall allow Holy Scripture to speak for
itself in how it all began, observing very closely listed examples, considering
what they did, and the results of their works.
In order to be a preacher and
deliverer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one must fulfil three basic criteria
of the calling, in that one must be:
A believer in the
Lord Jesus Christ and his teachings,
A believer who is
qualified in and at his calling,
Who he/she heard
the calling from?
Who and how were
One must qualify all of the
above, no more and no less. (Romans 10: 14, 15). Top of the list is, they must
be saved and have fulfilled all basic requirement in the original, one and only
given and executed divine plan of salvation as recorded in Acts 2: 38 and 39.
The chosen main speaker and
most senior of all the Apostle Simon Peter, in response to the yearning cries
of the people of the house of Israel, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”.
The Apostle Peter immediately replied and said unto them, “Repent, and be baptised
every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”. The basic requirement here – a must
to have or receive the gift of the Holy Ghost – is evidence of it, entitles or
qualifies one in becoming a witness unto Jesus Christ. No one has power to
become a witness of Jesus Christ without having received the Gift of the Holy
Again, three basic steps of
requirement prior to receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost must begin at:
admitting of one’s life of sin, surrendering one’s life and allegiance totally
to Jesus Christ,
Baptism in water –
identification in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ;
dying to one’s life of sin, burying or laying to death the old self of sin, and
Rising up from
one’s watery grave of baptism, leaving behind the old sinful self-buried, to
start walking in newness of life – with the initial evidence showing that one
has received the Gift of the Holy by speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of
God gave them utterance, without which – “Now if any man have not the Spirit of
Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9).
The list of examples with
evidence of results are as follows:
The Jews of every
nation (Acts 2: 9-11) heard Peter’s faith-producing word, believed, repented,
confessed, and were baptised in Jesus’ name (Acts 2: 36-41). Results: They were
saved (Acts 2:41) after having obeyed and gone through all.
heard the gospel, believed, repented, confessed and were baptised (Acts 8:12).
Results: They were saved and Spirit-filled (Acts 8:14-17).
Eunuch heard, believed, repented (Romans 10:1-10), confessed Christ’s deity and
was baptised (Romans 8:35-38). Results: He was saved (Acts 8:39).
Saul of Tarsus
heard, believed, repented, confessed, and was baptised (Acts 9:3-9, 17-18).
Results: Saul was saved and Spirit-filled (Acts 9:17-21).
Cornelius and his
household, first Gentile converts, heard, believed, repented, confessed
(necessarily inferred, Romans 10:1-10), and were baptised (Acts 10:44-48).
Lydia and her
household heard, believed, repented, and were baptised (Acts 16:14-16).
Results: They were saved (Acts 16:15).
heard, believed, repented, confessed, and were baptised (Acts 18:7-8).
Since Jesus said, “He that
believeth and is baptised shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be
damned”, we, in general consensus and agreement, we are left to generally
conclude that the people of all seven cases were indeed saved (repentance and
confession are necessarily inferred in Jesus’ statement in Luke 24:47; Romans
10:1-10). Hence, belief, repentance, confession of Christ’s deity, and water
baptism in the First Century Apostolic Era (AD.30-70) and Sub-Apostolic Era
(AD. 70-180), the Book of Acts Early Church shows a consistency of obedience
and practice in confirming theirs and our faith and salvation being a witness
unto Jesus Christ which began in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria
and unto the uttermost part of the earth with absolutely no mention of any
other formula or way. Acts 4:12 finally confirms, “Neither is there salvation
in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved”.
God save, bless, protect,
preserve and prosper our beloved Cook Islands. Amen and Amen!