Monday, October 7, 2013

Differences

A friend of mine, whose theology is not the same as mine, asked me about Acts 10:44-47.  He was pointing out that these people had the Holy Spirit before they were baptized, so he didn't believe baptism is a means of grace.  Here are the verses:

While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.  And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.  For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,  “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 

I went to look up the passage and noted that verse 48 was very important to understanding what happened here.

And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

I pointed out that the Holy Spirit FELL on them, it does not say the Holy Spirit indwelt them.  Then in verse 48 Peter says to baptize those people.   I did not change my mind that baptism in the name of God forgives sin and brings new life. I don't think he changed his mind either ... yet.
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