“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.”
Listen to the "Verse by Verse" episode covering this scripture.
God makes many promises in His Bible, but the one made in Acts 2:38 is central: “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.”
Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice made it possible for us to be forgiven of our past sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit—the down payment on eternal life and the power of God.
Receiving the Holy Spirit marks the beginning of a new life as a child of God. Responding to the leading of that Spirit by obeying God is part of developing God’s very mind and character. The Holy Spirit also leads us to overcome wrong thoughts and actions.
On that Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, when the New Testament Church began the work of preaching the gospel and making disciples that Jesus Christ had commissioned it to do (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8), the apostle Peter explained that this promise was not just to those who heard him that day. It was also for their descendants and “all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
What a wonderful blessing that God wants each person to receive the truth at the time God determines is best for that person (1 Timothy 2:4).
For more about the gift of the Holy Spirit, see our article “How Do You Know You Have the Holy Spirit?”