What a startling account! Peter was starting to give a long baptismal sermon, or discourse, about Jesus when he was interrupted by a manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s coming down as it had 3 1/2 years earlier at Pentecost with the Jews. Not only was the similarity to Pentecost astonishing to the Jews, but also, while Peter was actually speaking, the Holy Spirit descended without formal prayer and without an altar call, as it were. Peter had simply said that whoever believed in Jesus would receive the remission of sins through his name, and immediately the Holy Spirit came on the waiting Gentiles because they were in a receiving attitude. It is a testimony to the life and heart condition of Cornelius that he had witnessed to and gathered so many others to hear someone who had not yet arrived. Of the Gentiles assembled there, waiting in expectation, all were right-hearted and thus “heard the word” and received the Holy Spirit. Notice, too, that the Holy Spirit preceded baptism here, and there was no laying on of hands by the apostles.