Acts 11:15-16 - As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as He had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said : “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Peter spoke these words as he was explaining his first visit to the Gentiles. His fellow Jewish believers were having a hard time accepting the fact that Peter had gone and stayed in the home of a Gentile. Peter explained the story of how God had spoke to him and told him to go and then proceeded to pour out His Spirit upon them. He told of how it surprised him at first, but then he remembered the Words of Jesus, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
There are a couple things that we can take from this story. First I want to point out that God will pour out His Spirit on anyone who will receive it. There is no difference. Once we accept Christ our bodies we are cleansed and made righteous so that we can house the Spirit of God. God does not show favoritism, but gives to all who believe.
I also want to point out the difference in baptisms. Jesus mentioned two baptisms, not just one. There is the baptism of John, which is immersion in water. Then there is the baptism of the Spirit, which is with fire. It is important that we receive both of these baptisms as we get our lives right with God.
First , the water baptism is to represent what is going on inside us. It is an outward expression of an inward work. Paul later describes it as joining with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. We can also think of it as a cleansing; washing away the old self and being made new with Jesus. This baptism is important because it is done in obedience. Jesus was baptized in this way as an example for us to follow.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is equally important. Jesus said that He had to go (to the cross) so that He could send us a helper. This helper is the Holy Spirit. After we are saved and accept Christ into our lives we must receive the Spirit. God’s Spirit helps us to live the lives God has called us to and is our direct line to Him. Through the Spirit we can live in constant fellowship with God.