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BAPTISM QUESTION 16:

QUESTION 16:
Acts 2:38-39 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized 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." It seems to me here that to receive the gift of the Spirit, baptism is essential.

ANSWER:
All scriptures must be seen in the context in which they are in. Peter is speaking to the nation of Israel. Acts 2:36. John the Baptist had previously told them that they should repent and be baptism FOR (a view towards) forgiveness of their sins, and when Jesus comes they were to believe on Him and He would baptize them IN the Holy Ghost. Read Luke 3:3 and Acts 19:1-6.

This requirement was still in effect for the Jews when Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost. He would have certainly confused them had he spoke differently than John. No Jew in the New Testament was ever said to have received the Spirit until they were baptized in water. Not even the Samaritans in Acts 8:15-17. When you get to Acts 10, where the gospel was first preached to the Gentile world, the order was different. Acts 10:43. "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." In Acts 10:44, "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." In Act 10:45, "And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost." In Acts 10:46, "For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter," In Acts 10:47, "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?." In Acts 10:48, "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." Notice the order here. They believed, they were forgiven, and then they immediately received the Spirit. Only then were they baptized in water. This is the order of the day in which we live.

Have ye received the Spirit? You can, but only if you have received Christ as your Lord and Saviour. "...if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His." Romans 8:9.

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated September 23rd, 2013 by Sandra Felix