And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” – Acts 5:32 ESV
That is the issue in this verse. Of course some could say the initial belief is the act of obedience that is being referred to in this verse, but I wonder.
Some questions arise in my mind though.
- Does God give the Holy Spirit to those who do not believe?
- Does God give the Holy Spirit to those who do not obey Him?
- Are these the same question? Is believing the same as obeying?
- Is this an unconditional gift of the Holy Spirit to anyone who at one point believes?
- If so, is one act of obedience/belief all that the Lord is looking for from us?
The Greek verb edoken (has given) is in the aorist tense. “Obey” is a translation of peitharchousin, which is a present participle. The literal translation is “obeying.” According to Robertson (Grammar, pp. 891-892) the “obeying” can come before, at the same time, or after the act of giving. It can even refer to past action still in progress. Obviously, much depends on the context.
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