God Gives The Holy Ghost To Those That Obey Him

Acts 5:32 reads “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”

This verse has three clauses:

• And we are his witnesses of these things;

• and so is also the Holy Ghost,

• whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Some erroneously insert “witnesses” (miraculous) into the third clause, but it isn’t there.

In this verse the Holy Ghost himself is what is given; He is the gift. It is not a gift or power from the Holy Ghost. This confirms that in Acts 2:38, the “gift of the Holy Ghost” is the Holy Ghost himself.

Compare to John 7:39: “But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive ….” Believe and obey are used synonymously across these two verses. They represent the condition that must be met in order to receive the Holy Ghost (same as in Acts 2:38).

Who gets the Holy Ghost according to Acts 5:32? Those that obey him (same as Heb 5:9 – Jesus is “the author of salvation unto all them that obey him”), that is, ALL those who become Christians (not just a select few – like the miraculous would be).

There were many thousands at that point in time who had obeyed Jesus (Acts 2:41, 4:4) and so there were many thousands who had received the Holy Ghost at that point in time. There have probably been many millions who have obeyed the gospel since then, and so there have been many millions who have received the Holy Ghost since then.

Many deny Christians receive the Holy Ghost today, but their theory flies in the face of many clear passages like Acts 5:32.

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3 Responses to “God Gives The Holy Ghost To Those That Obey Him”

  1. Richard Roberts Says:

    This was a response made by Peter in defense of the apostles who had miraculous gifts. It does not apply to us today as we do not have these gifts. Ask yourself: How was the Holy Spirit a witness to the things they were teaching? It was through the miracles they did. We do not have that ability today.

    • Patrick Donahue Says:

      But the miraculous is not mentioned in the phrase “Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Consider this debate chart …

      Acts 5:32 – All Miraculous ?

      This argumentation would throw out the whole New Testament, since it was all written to Christians who possessed the miraculous.

      Amos 7:12 – … go … into … Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there. Is “eat bread” miraculous here just because prophesy was?

      Romans 12:6-8 mentions prophecy along with the non-miraculous → “giving, ruling, exhorting, and ministry.” Are all these miraculous just because prophecy was?

      • Paul’s sermon in Acts 20:7 was undoubtedly inspired. Does that mean this first day of the week Lord’s Supper example is not binding today?
      • Does Mark 16:16 not apply today because verse 17 is about the miraculous?
      • Does I Cor 14:34-35 not apply today because the chapter is about the miraculous?

      Suppose I said the true following statement – “David Ortiz plays for the Boston Red Sox, and so does Craig Kimbrell, who is the nephew of the HR director where I work.” Does that sentence prove our HR lady also plays for the Boston Red Sox?

      According to my opponent’s logic, since “gift of the Holy Ghost” in Acts 2:38 is miraculous and doesn’t apply today, then the rest of the verse (“repent, and be baptized … for the remission of sins”) doesn’t apply today either.

      • Richard Roberts Says:

        My point, possibly not well expressed, was that this is not a good passage to support that God has given the Holy Spirit to Christians today. The context of the passage cannot be ignored. You are making the case that the “them” in the passage is referring to all that obey God when in fact the “them” is referring to the Apostles that Peter was defending who were promised and received the Holy Spirit in a miraculous way which was not a promise to all that obey God.

        Peter states that “we are his witnesses of these things”. The “we” is obviously referring to himself and the apostles that he is defending. He then makes the statement “and so is also the Holy Ghost” more completely stated, and so is also the Holy Ghost a witness of these things. When one considers the question: How was the Holy Ghost a witness of these things? one is left to conclude it is by the miraculous power of the Holy Ghost in performing miracles through the apostles.

        You state that the miraculous is not mentioned in the phrase “Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” If this was not referring to the miraculous witness of the Holy Spirit demonstrated through the miracles performed by the apostles, how else would you conclude that the Holy Ghost which God hath given to them that obey him was a witness of these things?

        My point is that we can no more apply this passage to us today than we can apply the promises made by Jesus to the apostles in John concerning the miraculous gifts they were to receive.

        I was unable to find the debate chart you referenced. I appreciate all the material you have posted on Doctrine Matters which I just recently discovered. I look forward to reading more of your articles.

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