An Acts 2 Based Perspective on Salvation, Membership, and Obedience

Acts 2 and some other scriptures are instructive on salvation, membership and obedience. Let us consider the 3,000 spoken of in Acts 2 that were added to the church Jesus is building (Matthew 16:16-18).

A. Acts 2:1-13. They witnessed the miracle of the 120 disciples of Christ speaking in a way that many people with many different native languages understood what was being said. This was the result of the 120 being filled with the Holy Ghost and thus empowered by the Holy Ghost to so communicate with such people from many different nations and thus who only spoke their native nation language. One should note that such a speaking in tongues is not applicable to a church/congregation where the speaker and all hearers speak the same language such as the English language. Therefore that demonstration of God’s power was essential to the Acts 2 event but not to an environment where all speak the same language In fact, for an English speaker to speak non-English in a church/congregation where everyone speaks English, to put in mildly the scripture says is disorderly conduct (1 Cor 14:20, 33, 40).

B. Acts 2:14-21. They witnessed both male and female prophesying which is speaking as the Holy Spirit gives utterance (Acts 2:4); this was not reading and/or preaching from or based on written scriptures but this was God speaking directly through the 120 as that is the difference between prophesying and regular preaching. This act fulfilled Joel 2:28-32. Note that Joel was fulfilled before any of Peter’s and Paul’s scriptures were written. That means whatever they wrote considered and is not invalidated by this prior fulfilment of Joel 2.

C. Acts 2:22-36. They heard Peter preach that God has raised up the slain crucified Jesus of Nazareth from the dead for he is Lord and Savior. They learned that anyone who shall call on the name of Jesus since he is Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21, 36).

D. Acts 2:37. After witnessing and hearing all of that, they asked what were they to do.

E. Acts 2:38-41. To their question Peter responds as follows at first saying:

1. Repent,
2. and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
3. and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

F. It is common sense that repentance necessarily happens first as repentance is about sincerely turning away from those things that do not please God unto those things that do please God.

G. However, with respect to the above numbers 2 (baptism) and 3 (receipt of the gift of the Holy Ghost), Peter is not saying they occur in the spoken order the same for every believer. In Acts 19:1-7 the Holy Spirt fell upon the believers after being baptized. Yet, in Acts 10:44-48 the Holy Spirit fell on the believers before being baptized. So let us not be concerned about the sequence. Let us do our part and God will do his part in the sequence and timing and to the extent that pleases him for he is faithful that promised (Hebrews 10:23). Let us trust God to respond favorably to us as we do our part. Let us trust God to determine what the phrase “gift of the Holy Ghost” means as it applies to our lives. Regarding the gift of the Holy Spirit, let us not get caught up on how God dealt with the 120 nor other folks in the Bible nor other folks we personally know or meet or observe. Believers do not receive the same “gift of the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor 12:4) but every believer receives the Holy Ghost (John 20:22; Rom 8:9) and no received gift makes any believer better than another believer.

H. Now that means that the two things all of should be able to do are:

1. Repent
2. Be Baptized 

I. If you have not repented and/or been baptized I advise all to take up your cross (Matthew 4:17; Luke 9:23-26; 1 John 1:9) by repenting today right where you are by sincerely calling upon the name of Jesus (Luke 19:10; Acts 2:21; Rom 10:8-13) and as soon as possible be baptized (Acts 2:38). Indeed, baptism is the one thing we can easily do to be Christ-like since Jesus was baptized (Matthew 3:13-17).

Then look to God to lead and guide and equip you with and by His Holy Spirit to live for him a lifelong continual life of repentant faith (John 8:31-32; John 14:26; John 14:15; Matthew 5:16; 2 Tim 2:15; 2 Tim 3:16-17).

Sin and Salvation Christianity Baptism and Holy Spirit Basic Christian Doctrine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *