Thursday, May 7, 2020

Acts 19:2 And Justification By Faith Alone

        "He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2)

        Paul's question presupposes that one receives the Holy Spirit at the same time he or she believes the gospel. It should also be noted that a person receives the Spirit upon getting saved (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14; Galatians 3:2). The two events are not separated in Scripture.

        Scripture distinguishes between faith and baptism (Acts 18:8). Moreover, Acts 19:1-7 does not make mention of any works that can get us right with God. Faith is the object of emphasis. Thus, baptism cannot be a requirement in order to be justified before God.


  1. Perfect analysis Jesse. Might I add? The Philippian jailer asked, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Notice the sequence of events: 1) "They said, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (John 3:16)." 2) They spoke the word of the Lord to him (Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ). 3) He washed their wounds (James 2:17 the fruit of salvation) 4) Then he was baptized.

  2. I would add that there is nothing in the context of v. 5 to indicate that this was the baptism of water rather than the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I would agree with Calvin in denying "that the baptism of water was repeated, because the words of Luke import no other thing, save only that they were baptized with the Spirit. First, it is no new thing for the name of baptism to be translated unto the gifts of the Spirit, as we saw in the first and in the eleventh chapters, (Acts 1:5, and Acts 11:6) where Luke said, that when Christ promised to his apostles to send the Spirit visible, he called it baptism. Also, that when the Spirit came down upon Cornelius, Peter remembered the words of the Lord, "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost." Again, we see that those visible gifts are spoken of by name in this place, and that the same are given with baptism." (John Calvin, Commentary Upon the Acts of the Apostles, trans. Christopher Fetherstone, ed. Henry Beveridge, [Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1859], p. 180).

    1. Perhaps you don't search deeply enough for the truth.

      Vs 5 says they were baptized, and THEN, after the baptism, when hands were laid on them the received the Holy Spirit. It says that plain as the nose on your face.

      Their baptism wasn't repeated because John's baptism was not in the "name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Calvin was biased by his Augustinian theology.