by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Acts 2:29-39
I. Our text - Acts 2:38-39
A. When a person repents and is baptized, two things are promised: forgiveness of sin and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.
1. This promise is for all Christians - “As many as the Lord shall call.”
2. It is also not limited by time - It is for them, their children, and all who are far off (distant descendants).
3. Ephesians 2:11-13 - Those far off are now near by the work of Jesus
B. Exactly what is the gift of the Holy Spirit has been debated for years, and I’m sure will be continued to be debated.
1. The question is this: Is this a gift given by the Holy Spirit or is the Holy Spirit the gift?
2. If it is a gift given by the Holy Spirit, is it the abilities to do miracles or was some other gift in Peter’s mind.
C. Going back to Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:17-21, Peter quotes the prophet Joel to say the events happening that day were in fulfillment.
1. Joel said God would pour from his Spirit
2. Prophetic revelations (Peter’s teaching) - Acts 2:17-18
3. Miraculous demonstrations - wonders (the speaking in tongues) - Acts 2:19-20
4. Salvation - Acts 2:21
II. The Gift of the Holy Spirt as the ability to do miraculous things
A. Acts 10:44-46 - The baptism of the Spirit is referred to as the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter said it was the same as the baptism they had received on Pentecost
B. Every Christian did not have the baptism of the Holy Spirit
1. It is only recorded twice - Acts 2 and Acts 10
C. The apostles were able to pass on gifts of the Holy Spirit by laying hands on a person
1. Paul gave Timothy gifts - II Timothy 1:6
2. He gave gifts to those in Ephesus - Acts 19:6
3. And he looked forward to giving gifts in Rome - Romans 1:11
D. Every Christian did not receive the ability to perform miracles
1. Acts 8:12-17 - Those in Samaria were saved, but did not receive the gift of miracles until later.
2. I Cor 12:29-31 - Not all could perform miracles.
3. I Cor 13:8-10 - Miraculous gifts would one day end
4. Since the apostles have died, the means of receiving gifts of the Holy Spirit have ended
E. Miraculous gifts does not match the statement of Peter.
III. The Holy Spirit as the gift
A. The purpose for giving the Spirit
1. Acts 5:32 - The Holy Spirit was a witness, whom God has given to those who obey.
2. Romans 5:5 - God’s love comes to us through the Holy Spirit given to us.
3. II Corinthians 1:21-22 - We are given the Spirit as a pledge.
4. Ephesians 1:13-14 - The Spirit is given as a pledge of our inheritance
B. How the Spirit is received
1. Galatians 3:2 - We receive the Spirit by the hearing of faith.
2. I John 3:24 - Notice the parallelism. We know we abide with God by keeping his commandments, which is equated to the Spirit God gave us.
3. I John 4:12-13 - Our love is equated to the Spirit God gave us.
4. We know that loving God is the same as keeping his commandments - John 14:15
5. Eph 5:18-19 - Be filled with the Spirit
a. Colossians 3:16 - The parallel verse says let the word of Christ dwell in you
b. Therefore, throughout the Scriptures having the Spirit is linked in some manner to having and obeying God’s word
C. What is being described by “having the Spirit”?
1. Romans 8:9-11 - Having the Spirit of Christ is linked to having the Spirit dwelling in us, which means having a close relationship with the Spirit.
2. I Corinthian 6:19 - The Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God. Again showing a tie between the gift and the relationship.
D. Galatians 3:14 - The blessing of Abraham through his seed was the promise of the Spirit through Jesus Christ. This is the promise in Acts 2:39
1. Galatians 4:6-7 - Because we are sons, God has sent his Spirit into our hearts.
2. Not only is having the word of God linked with having the Spirit, but also salvation from our sins.
IV. Each of the Godhead gives us a gift
A. The gift of God
1. John 4:10 - Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that if she knew the gift of God, she would have asked Jesus for living water.
2. We understand that Jesus was referring to eternal life, here referred to as the gift of God.
3. We are justified as a gift by God’s grace and through the death of Jesus Christ - Romans 3:23-26
4. God has given us a gift of righteousness and justification - Romans 5:14-19
5. God’s gift is eternal life in Jesus Christ - Romans 6:23
6. Ephesians 2:4-8 - Our salvation is God’s gracious gift to us.
B. The gift of Christ
1. Ephesians 4:7-13 - Grace is Christ’s gift to us. Notice that he brought salvation and gifts to men.
2. What are those gifts?
3. Ephesians 4:11 - people to teach his gospel, so that we might be saved.
4. Once again, the word of God and salvation are tied to the gift
5. Nothing amazing, Paul said the same thing in Romans 1:16
C. The gift of the Spirit
1. Ephesians 1:13-14 - the guarantee or certainty of our salvation
2. Romans 8:9-11 - Our relationship with God
3. Romans 8:14-17 - A relationship that makes us children of God
D. Or as Paul described it - II Corinthians 13:14
V. So what Peter said in Acts 2:38-39 is that we must repent and be baptized so that we can receive two things
A. Forgiveness of sins
B. Salvation, which is the gift of the Holy Spirit
C. This is not redundant. We could have been forgiven without being saved. But God’s gift to us is both the removal of our sins and the salvation of our souls.