Home > Baptism > What, I now inquire, was the promise of which the apostle here spoke in Acts 2:39?

What, I now inquire, was the promise of which the apostle here spoke in Acts 2:39?

What, I now inquire, was the promise of which the apostle here spoke? It was undoubtedly, the gift of the Holy Ghost. Peter himself so declares.

“This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel: (Joel 2:2832.) And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all. Flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and on my servants, and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my spirit.” “And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:16-21.)

It is decided therefore that the promise was the Holy Ghost, whose influences as predicted by Joel especially, were at that moment seen so conspicuously among the people. This truth is indubitable.

To whom, I next ask, was this promise made? Peter answers, “To you Jews, and to your children, and to all that are afar off.” The words of the promise in Joel, recited by Peter, are, To you Jews, and to “your sons and your daughters.” By “children” therefore, the apostle means “sons and daughters,” or in general terms, posterity. (tekna) The gentile nations are in other places of the scriptures spoken of as “them that are afar off.” They are, therefore, the persons alluded to in that form of language. But was it the promise of God that all or any these classes of persons, who in reality included “all flesh,” should receive the Holy Ghost in the times of Messiah, “the last days”, unconditionally? No one will surely maintain that it was, and especially since these very conditions were explicitly stated. They were according to Joel, that the persons in question should “call on the name of the Lord.” Peter instructs us that by calling on the name of the Lord is implied, that they should “repent, and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” The promise was to be fulfilled to all those who should comply with these conditions, and to none others. If you Jews repent of your sins, and by baptism profess your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for the promise is to you. If your “children,” or as Joel calls them, “your sons and your daughters,” repent of their sins, and by baptism profess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, they shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for the promise is to your children. Nor are these privileges and blessings to be confined to your nation. They are to be extended to “them that are afar off,” to “all flesh,” to “every creature,” to all nations,” to as many as the Lord our God shall call by his gospel, and who shall repent and be baptized, no matter to what people they belong. They also shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for the promise is to them. To that anxious multitude how full of encouragement was this precious gospel message! It fell upon their hearts like gentle showers upon the parched earth. Hope sprang up in the bosoms of about three thousand, who gladly received the word.” They believed it; they acted upon it; they became the subjects of renewing grace, and received the Holy Ghost, according to the promise of God.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 2- Infant Baptism is an evil because its defense leads to most injurious perversions of the Word of God

 

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