Do you believe in Acts 2:38?

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  • Do you believe in Acts 2:38?
  • Last week, someone asked this question in the comment section of my blog: “Do you believe in Acts 2:38?” In the English Standard Version, that verse reads: “And Peter said, to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” If this person asked me this question in person, I would ask, “Could you ask that another way?” I am not sure what the specific question about this verse is. So answering it is kind of like shooting in the dark. But I’ll take a shot at it anyway.

    1. Yes, I believe all scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16-17). So I trust every verse of the Bible to be the infallible word of the living God.

    2. Yes, I believe that repentance is a part of saving faith (Acts 20:21).

    3. Yes, I believe that baptism is the identifying mark of a true disciple of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:18-20). No, I do not believe baptism saves. God saves sinners by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (Eph. 2:8-9).

    4. Yes, I believe that every person automatically and fully receives the gift of the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion. No, I do not believe that believers receive the Holy Spirit in any way after conversion (Rom. 8:9). In the course of your Christian journey, the Spirit should get more and more of you (Eph. 5:18). But you don’t get more of the Spirit.

    I hope this helps.


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.