And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
Peter addressed the large crowd on Pentecost, concluding with the appeal in v. 38 to repent, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This reference to the gift of God’s spirit is in the context of the apostles having used those gifts in speaking in tongues to the crowd, explaining that by doing so they were providing a fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy about the giving of the miraculous gifts (Acts 2:16-20). It is therefore reasonable to assume that Peter was promising the miraculous gifts of the spirit to that crowd of Jews who were listening to him. The crowd was composed of Jews, not Gentiles (Acts 2:5). Joel’s prophecy of the giving of the gifts was primarily concerning the Jews. Thus Peter makes the point to them: “The promise is unto you, and to your children” (Acts 2:39), perhaps referring to Joel’s prophecy that the spirit would be given to the Jews and to their children (Acts 2:17 cp. Joel 2:28-32). There may also be a hint here that the promise of these miraculous gifts was only to those two generations — those listening to Peter, and their children.
[B]y the end of the first century (i.e. about 70 years after Peter’s speech), the gifts had died out. This is also confirmed by the record of history. During those two generations the gifts of the spirit would have also been available to Gentiles: “And to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39). Note how the Gentiles are described as “those afar off” in Ephesians 2:14-17.
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Author: Duncan Heaster
Keywords: Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, God's spirit, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit gifts, Gift of the spirit, Gift of the Holy Spirit
Bible reference(s): Joel 2:28, Acts 2:38-39
Source: Bible Basics.
Page indexed by: inWORD Bible Software.