Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
A dodge hardly worth the notice has been attempted by connecting Acts 2:38 with the following verse 41, which reads, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized”—and we are told that if receiving the word is receiving the Spirit, then they received the Spirit before they were baptized! Only a tyro could emit such sophistry. The word in verse 41 where they gladly received the word, is apodechomi which means to welcome, but in verse 38 “shall receive the gift” is lambano which means to take.
Another example of the first word and its meaning is in Luke 8:40, where the people gladly received Jesus—they welcomed Him—the same word as in Acts 2:41. But another example of the second word is in Galatians 3:2, where the Galatians received the Spirit through the hearing of faith—and that is the same word as in Acts 2:38. Of course the word is not the Spirit, but it is the medium through which the Spirit operates upon and dwells within us, therefore the medium of reception.
After all that has been said on Acts 2:38 from any worthy pen—McGarvey’s or any other—that the gift of the Spirit means the Holy Spirit “as a gift,” the quotations still fall short of proving the assertion that it is received or dwells within us apart from the word.