Acts 2:38 And The Gift Of The Holy Ghost

Peter said in Acts 2:38 “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.”

This verse details two commands to be obeyed (repent and be baptized) and two promises to be received (remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost). So each and every person who meets both conditions will receive both blessings … EVERYBODY!

The phrase “gift of the Holy Ghost” in Acts 2:38 has two possible meanings:

• a gift the Holy Ghost gives (as in “salvation is a gift of God” – Eph 2:8)

• the Holy Ghost itself is the gift – illustrations of this form are:

  1. “gift of money” – money is the gift
  2. “gift of his inheritance” – Ezek 46:17 – the inheritance is the gift
  3. “gift of prophecy” – I Cor 13:2 – prophecy is the gift

For example, I received the “gift of Carol” on my wedding day. That could refer to two different things:

• the wedding ring that was given to me by Carol, or

• Carol herself as a gift (her Dad “gave” her away)

But the following verses prove “gift of the Holy Ghost” in Acts 2:38 refers to the Holy Ghost himself as a gift:

Luke 11:13 give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him

John 7:39 the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive

Acts 5:32 the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him

Rom 5:5 the Holy Ghost which is given unto us

I Thess 4:8 hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit

I John 3:24 the Spirit which he hath given us

This point on Acts 2:38 then becomes crystal clear. God gives the Holy Ghost to everybody who repents and is baptized for the remission of sins. And of course that would include everybody today, as the very next verse says “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”


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