How can my sins be forgiven without receiving salvation?


Good day,

Acts 2:38 says after obeying the gospel our sins will be forgiven and we will receive salvation (gift of Holy Spirit). Please expound on how my sins can be forgiven without receiving salvation.


"Peter said to them, 'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'" (Acts 2:38).

The word "and" can serve two different functions:

  • It can set forth a sequence of items, as seen by "repent" which is followed by "be baptized."
  • It can establish that items are occurring basically at the same time, as seen by the receiving forgiveness of your sins also gives you the gift of the Holy Spirit.

"In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:13-14).

How do you know which meaning of "and" is meant? Typically it is clear to the reader. If the items in the list do not typically happen at the same time, then it is assumed to be sequential. We don't usually repent as we are being baptized. Changing our attitude toward sin is one of the motivations to be baptized. But if the items are related items, then it is assumed to be simultaneous. Being forgiven of sin is another way of discussing being saved from your sins; thus, we conclude the "and" here is simultaneous.

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