FAQ

A believer wrote:
What about  Acts 2:38? Is this not the salvation plan? Must not we "repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"? The Bible here says we need to be baptized and repent and speak in tongues. This is a necessity for entrance into heaven. please look this up and research it as was not Peter talking to The CHURCH?

 

Our Reply,
God Bless, and thank you for writing. Here at Believer.com, we are always willing to change how we believe if, from Scripture, we can be shown The Word of God more perfectly.

Your question concerns Acts 2:38, which says:

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

When Peter stood up and preached this wonderful message on Pentecost, he was not preaching to the Gentiles but to Israel or the Wife of Christ, not the Church, which is His Body. In Truth, Peter didn't get the message from God to go to a Gentile until Acts Chapter 10. In this chapter, Peter says,

Acts 10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

At this point, the Gospel message was opened to the Gentiles, and God did this to provoke Israel to jealousy and for them to be converted. This is why, several times, it is stated the message was to the Jew first.:

Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Rom. 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

Rom. 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

Deut. 32:21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

This is repeated in Romans:

Rom. 10:19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

Rom. 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Then, finally, in Acts Chapter 28, Paul gathered together some of the Jewish leaders to give Israel the final opportunity to accept Christ Jesus as The Messiah and realize He was the Son of God. Sadly, they went away in dispute, and in Acts 28:28, the Salvation of God was sent to the Gentiles, and this new message is proclaimed:

Acts 28:23-24 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

Acts 28:25-28 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.  Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

After Acts 28:28, the new Gospel message is revealed in The Word of God where there is no separation between Jew and Gentile, and there is not an earthly hope of a coming Kingdom, but a Heavenly Hope of Christ's appearing outside of our known world. Salvation is purely Grace, and all Jewish ordinances are removed. This message is a walk of faith, not sight, as there are no sign gifts. There is now One Baptism. Our blessings are not physical manifestations of the Spirit but are enjoyed in the Heavenlies Places in Christ (Eph. 1:3).

This message was hidden in God and revealed first to Paul. You cannot find it in the Old Testament; it is not part of the covenant made with Abraham. For the first time, the Gentiles are called The Church, where Christ is The Head, and we make up His Body. This is The Mystery message in Ephesians, Colossians, and the rest of Paul's Prison Epistles.

Eph. 3:1-3 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery...

Eph. 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Col. 1:25-26 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

 Col. 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

Eph. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

As you stated, we do not need to be "dunked underwater" or "speak in tongues" for salvation. Yes, we will agree during the Acts period, when the coming Kingdom was being preached to the Jews first and then the Gentiles, they were to be baptized of The Holy Spirit and water. But, as stated above, a new message was revealed (The Mystery). Understanding that God has worked with the human race in different ways (dispensations) at different times is essential. When you get to the New Testament in the Bible, you cannot broad-brush it and say everything somehow applies to today. The Unity of Christian Faith states:

Eph. 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (this is not water baptism)  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Col. 2:9 For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Col. 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Col. 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Col. 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Col. 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Col. 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Col. 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Col. 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Col. 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Col. 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Col. 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

Col. 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

Col. 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

Col. 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

Col. 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Heb. 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Heb. 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Heb. 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.

May God Bless you as you continue to seek The Truth through His Word,
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