“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.” (Acts 2:38)
Peter’s message on Pentecost is clear: he calls his hearers to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. This is a huge step for people, for it requires us to admit our sinfulness and our helplessness. But at the same time, it’s so ‘simple’: “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). If people do this, they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit — without any further prerequisites. The Holy Spirit is not reserved for particular groups of people who are extraordinarily holy, or for the circle of Jesus’ disciples, or for Jewish believers. Everyone who believes in Jesus as his Lord and Savior, will be filled with God’s Spirit.
This is what the prophet Joel had prophesied centuries earlier: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2:28). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit unites all kinds of believers into one church: “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
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