8.3.4 The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

In His farewell discourses, Jesus Christ repeatedly promised to send His Apostles the Holy Spirit, for example in John 15: 26: "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me." This promise was fulfilled on Pentecost when the Apostles and disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 1-4).

God acted directly in both of these fundamental events, and this symbolically prefigures the sacrament of Holy Sealing: He sealed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and testified that He was the Son of God. He sealed the Apostles–and the believers who had fellowship with them–with the Holy Spirit.

After the Pentecost sermon, when those who had come to believe in Christ asked him what they should do, Peter answered: "Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2: 38). This shows that Holy Baptism is a prerequisite for receiving the Holy Spirit.

The centurion Cornelius was an exception: here God gave the gift of the Holy Spirit directly to non-baptised souls in order to show Apostle Peter that salvation was now also accessible to the Gentiles. Therefore, in this special case, Holy Baptism was only administered after the dispensation of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10).

See also