Can we determine exactly what was the “gift of the Holy Spirit” outside of the context of these verses (Acts 2:38,39)? Or should we read the whole context for the best picture? Undoubtedly the latter.
Firstly, the main “gift” that anybody received that day was the gift of forgiveness of sins: hearing all that Peter and the apostles preached to them, the men of Israel were “cut to the heart” (v. 37) — they knew they were sinners, murderers even! And their only hope was to repent and be baptized; then their sins would be forgiven!
In the context, this was an absolutely extraordinary thing — in fact, it was the most extraordinary thing imaginable! Here was a man offering them the means by which all their sins could be forgiven: something which the Law of Moses could not really do, could never do — because the continual offering of sacrifices only served as a reminder of past sins, and had to be repeated time and again, and never quite accomplished the trick!
To continue reading this Bible article, click here.
Author: George Booker
Keywords: Gift of Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, Spirit of holiness, Pentecost, Outpouring of God's spirit, Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Forgiveness of sins, Forgiveness
Bible reference(s): Acts 2:38-39
Source: “Gift of the Holy Spirit,” The Agora.
Page indexed by: inWORD Bible Software.