Sermon on the Holy Spirit 6
Then You Shall Receive
The Gift of the Holy Spirit
< Acts 2:38 >
“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent,
and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the
Do People Receive the Holy Spirit by Repenting?
What is the most biblically sound
repentance? It is to receive the remission of one’s sins by believing
in the Word on the baptism and blood of Jesus.
No one can receive the remission of
sins and become sinless before God through their devoted prayers
of repentance. Moreover, it is even far less the case that they
received the Holy Spirit by doing so. Receiving the remission of
sin and the Holy Spirit is possible only for those who know and
believe in the truth of the baptism and blood of Jesus. The Spirit
of God comes as a gift to those who have received the remission
of their sins.
The coming of the Holy Spirit to those
who believe in Jesus is directly related to the remission of sin
given by Jesus. Acts 2:38 states, “Repent, and let every one
of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” This
gift is given “to you and to your children, and to all who are afar
off, as many as the Lord our God will call (Acts 2:39).” What is
critical in these passages is the relationship between the spiritual
cleansing of sin and the blessing of receiving the Holy Spirit:
God the Father made His Son accept the sins of the world passed
onto Him, and it is by believing in this that we receive the remission
of sin; and as a blessed result of this, we receive the Spirit of
God as a gift. Have you received the Holy Spirit with such faith?
On the Day of the first Pentecost,
the Apostle Peter preached to those who gathered around him that
the resurrected Lord Jesus was the Savior of every one of them.
Pay attention to the fact that they were Jews, who were well aware
of the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. And most of them
might see the crucifixion of Jesus about two months ago. Therefore,
they could easily have faith in the gospel of the water and the
Spirit when they were enlightened by the brief sermon that Peter
After hearing his teaching, they repented
and confessed Jesus as their Savior. They all believed in Jesus’
baptism and His death on the Cross, was cleansed of all their sin,
and came to receive the Holy Spirit. Then, Peter baptized those
who believed. Moreover, from here and on, as far as the Holy Spirit
was concerned, the command to “wait” for Him was no longer repeated
to those who have received the remission of sin. After the Day of
Pentecost, receiving the Holy Spirit as a result of believing in
Jesus no longer entailed any waiting; rather, when people believed
in the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross as their remission
of sin, then they received the Holy Spirit the very moment they
Today’s passage clearly supports that
the faith that believes in the baptism of Jesus and the blood of
the Cross is the condition to receiving the Holy Spirit after the
events of the Day of Pentecost.
By repeatedly confirming the simple
truth that the remission of sin was fulfilled by the baptism of
Jesus, Peter concluded that the Holy Spirit was given as a gift
to whoever believed in His Word of the gospel of the water and the
Spirit, saying, “For the promise is to you and to your children,
and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call”
(Acts 2:39). We should not miss the main stream that since the
Holy Spirit was first mentioned in Acts 1, the baptism that Jesus
received is the baptism that forgives all the sins of the world.
The only condition of this “promise” in the Bible is to believe
in the baptism that Jesus Christ received, the blood of the Cross,
His death and resurrection. It is to those who believe in these
that God has enabled them to receive the Holy Spirit.
The relationship between the faith
in Jesus’ baptism and God’s gift of the Holy Spirit is such that
the Holy Spirit is given only to those who have been washed of their
sins by believing in the baptism and blood of Jesus. We must believe
in this truth. The real truth that the Holy Spirit could come to
this world is found in the fact that Jesus’ baptism washed away
the sins of mankind and His crucifixion bore the punishment of these
sins. We must know and believe in the truth hidden in the remission
of sin that enables us to receive the Spirit of God as the gift
of salvation (Acts 2:38-41).
There are many debates going on among
pastors and theologians about the indwelling of Holy Spirit. All
kinds of different claims are made on how Christians can receive
the Holy Spirit. But what we must remember here is that in the Bible,
it is written that when people believe in the gospel of the water
and blood of Jesus and of the Spirit, they receive the remission
of their sins, and they also receive the Holy Spirit as a gift simultaneously.
In short, the Holy Spirit infallibly comes to the saints whose sins
have been forgiven.
For people to receive the Holy Spirit
given by God, they must repentant in a biblically sound way. The
true repentance is for people to turn around from rejecting God’s
unconditional love toward them. It is, in other words, to throw
away all odds and ends that have stood against the true gospel,
and to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in heart.
Only then can we receive the Holy Spirit as a gift.
The repentance with which we can receive
the Holy Spirit is for us to turn around from disbelieving to believing
in the gospel that enables us to receive the Holy Spirit. Everyone
went on his/her own way and had stood against God. They all worshipped
the creatures as their gods. When Jesus Christ, despite this, saved
them from their sins with the water and the blood, far from believing
in Him, they stood against the gospel that enables them to receive
the Holy Spirit.
As such, in case of most Christians,
the true repentance before God also means to return to the true
gospel that enables them to be born again of water and the Spirit,
turning around from their faith that believes only in the blood
of the Cross. This is the true repentance that the Bible speaks
The Bible tells us, “Repent therefore
and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times
of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
Likewise, the way for people’s minds to be refreshed is to believe
that Jesus has given them the remission of their sins through the
baptism with which He accepted the iniquities of sinners and the
blood that He shed on the Cross. To receive the Holy Spirit, all
our sins must have been passed onto Jesus by believing in Him and
we must have no sin. And in our hearts we must believe in the Word
that Jesus has given us salvation by taking our sins upon Himself,
dying on the Cross, and thereby vicariously bearing all our condemnation
in our place. This faith is the right faith of true repentance.
The Holy Spirit is the third Person
of the Triune God. The son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are
all one God for us who believe in Jesus. Though they are each a
different Person, they are nevertheless the same one God for us
who believe in Jesus. Because the Triune God is the same one God
for us, each of the Trinity planned together to save us from the
sins of the world. And each of them works in their assigned ministries.
As such, the Holy Spirit bears witness to the truth that Jesus Christ
took upon all our sins of the world and was condemned vicariously
in our place.
Acts 2:38 tells us that those who
have receive the remission of sin “shall receive the gift of
the Holy Spirit.” Having planned to blot out the sins of the
world, God the Father sent His Son to this earth. By being baptized
to save sinners, Jesus the Son of God has given us the gospel that
has made the sins of the world disappear. And now to those who believe,
He made the Holy Spirit dwell in their hearts as God.
Those who have received the gift of
the Holy Spirit are the ones who have been saved from all the sins
of the world. Such people are God’s children. They are the ones
who have the Holy Spirit. As such, to receive the Holy Spirit, one
must first turn around from all his/her own stubbornness that has
stood against the truth. And, second, he/she must most certainly
believe in the baptism and blood of Jesus as his/her own salvation.
Why does the Bible treat the baptism
of Jesus so importantly? Because the baptism that Jesus received
was absolutely necessary to blot out our sins. It was because Jesus
had accepted all our sins passed onto Him through His baptism before
being subjected to the punishment of crucifixion that He could die
on the Cross in our place. In short, the baptism that Jesus received
is important because it is through this that He took upon the sins
of the world. Because the baptism of Jesus is the baptism of the
cleaning of sin, faith in it is most required to receive the Holy
Spirit, and it constitutes the gospel that enables us to receive
Him. This is why Jesus’ baptism is so important.
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The Holy Spirit comes to us because
we understand the reason why Jesus was baptized and believe in it.
To turn our hearts sinless, we must listen to the Word of the baptism
of that Jesus received and of the blood that He shed on the Cross.
Only then can we receive the Holy Spirit given by the Lord. We must
realize why Jesus, coming to this earth, had to be baptized. Only
when we know this and then believe in the blood of the Cross can
we have sinless hearts. Because Jesus came to this earth and washed
away the sins of the world by being baptized, as a result of this
He could pay all the wages of our sins on the Cross with His blood.
This is why in our hearts we must believe in the baptism of Jesus
and the blood of the Cross. Only then can we receive the gift of
the Holy Spirit in our faith that believes in the gospel of the
water and the Spirit.
The hearts of those who have received
the Holy Spirit may not get too excited, but because they have the
Holy Spirit in their hearts, they are refreshed automatically. As
such, the hearts of those who have received the remission of sin
are always joyful. The hearts of those who repent correctly are
refreshed, for they infallibly receive the gift of the Holy Spirit
at the same time as they receive the remission of their sins. And
those who are born again receive their baptism unhesitatingly as
the mark of faith that Jesus has saved them from all their sins
through the Word of the water and the blood.
The Bible tells us that the people
who were told about Jesus went through the kind of repentance that
enabled them to become sinless. Have you gone through this repentance,
the one that enables you to receive the remission of your sins and
the Holy Spirit?