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"When we believed"


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#1 Jan

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 03:50 AM

Reading Acts chapter 11 recently, I was puzzled by a phrase (which I have picked out in bold type) in the following passage:

Acts 11:15-17(ESV):

As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit”. If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?

In this passage Peter is, of course, speaking about the events at Cornelius’ house that showed the disciples that the Gentiles were also accepted.

What struck me is that in verse 15 Peter says that the Holy Spirit fell on them “just as on us at the beginning” which seems to be a reference to the events at Pentecost described in Acts chapter 2. But then in the words I’ve highlighted in verse 17 he says that the gift was given “when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ”.

So should we read it as meaning that this “believing” also dated to that time (of Pentecost)? Obviously the disciples believed before that time, in Matthew 16:16 for example, where Peter declares that Jesus is the Christ.

I think I may have noticed this because I am using my recently acquired ESV study bible this year and the highlighted phrase is translated slightly differently in other versions:

“when we believed” ESV, NKJV, NRSV
“after believing” NET, NASB
“who believed” NIV, KJV

And the NET bible has a note explaining that the translation of this phrase (Gk.πιστεύσασιν ) does present difficulties.

However, whichever translation is preferred, it does still seem that the two ideas, of belief in Jesus and the “gift” given “at the beginning” are linked.

I wondered whether it could simply be that there was an important difference, or rather, a new completeness in the beliefs of the disciples by the time of the Acts chapter 2 events, which is that Jesus had died and risen from the dead, and ascended to his Father. Could this be what is meant by this passage in Acts 11? And if so does this shed light on the incidents described in Acts 18:24-26 and Acts 19:1-6 when Apollos and an unnamed group of disciples respectively are described as only knowing John’s baptism. Was the belief in Jesus death and resurrection what was missing?

It would make sense if so; because Paul in Romans makes it clear that baptism into Christ involves an association by the believer with his death and resurrection: Romans 6:4. Although John’s baptism would have been physically similar, this meaning would have been absent until the believer knew of the resurrection.

#2 Mercia2

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 01:26 PM

What struck me is that in verse 15 Peter says that the Holy Spirit fell on them “just as on us at the beginning” which seems to be a reference to the events at Pentecost described in Acts chapter 2. But then in the words I’ve highlighted in verse 17 he says that the gift was given “when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ”.

When they believed Jesus was the Name (Acts 4:12). The Holy Spirit is indicating that for us God is the Name, as the Name denotes character and that Name is Jesus.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/




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