Receive Holy Spirit

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

John 14: 16,17.

Note here Jesus’ words: he (The Holy Spirit) dwells with you (will have his place established with people in the world) and will be (at a future date from the dwelling) in you (personally indwelling the individual believer).

There is two significantly different stages of the Holy Spirit’s ministry within the life of the believer. One is the work or regeneration, where we are brought to new life through the conviction of sin and the knowledge of God that leads to repentance, faith and baptism. The second is the work of sanctification, that is the ongoing work of growth in the new life born out of a new heart that loves Jesus. Continual growth of the spirit which bears spiritual fruit as listed in Galatians 5: 22,23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

It is most important to recognise that receiving the Holy Spirit is a necessary experienced reality for every Christian. Sadly, I personally believe that the church has resigned the Holy Spirit to a fact of doctrine and not a fact of experienced reality and have therefor cut many a believer off from the power that Jesus said he would send for us to receive so that we can live as he would have us live. Lives that witness him to the world, that grow in the fruits of the Holy Spirit and above all lives that are set apart to a Holiness and worship to our God.

These passages of scripture (below) Acts 8:13-17 and 19:1-7 show the real experiential nature of the receiving of the Holy Spirit. It is a life – changing experience! Additionally, we see in these text that it is possible to repent and be baptised and not yet receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It also shows that it is important for one to understand that there is a Holy Spirit baptism. For those discipling or fellowshipping with other believers we should feel comfortable to ask “have you received the Holy Spirit?”, receiving the Holy Spirit, like receiving anything, is something to which one should be able to confidently answer even to be able to explain in some manner the details of the receiving.

Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracle performed, he was amazed.Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:13-17

And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland[a]country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in[b] the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all. Acts 19:1-7

How I desire that we would allow the Scriptures to teach us on this. In some churches the gift of the Holy Spirit is virtually equated with the event of water baptism or perhaps it is equated with a subconscious work of God in regeneration which you only know you have because the Bible says you do if you believe. It is easy to imagine a Pastor saying to a new convert today, “Don’t expect to notice any difference. Just believe you have received the Spirit.” Sadly, that goes against the revealed word and will of God and secondly leads to generations of apathetic or frustrated and defeated Christians.

A warning, it should be mentioned the Holy Spirit is received only in the repentant, believing and baptised as biblically exemplified. There is also a warning to be heeded, those who seek God only for power through the Holy Spirit shall be left in wanting. We see this warning in Acts 8:17-24 where a magician of the times offered the Apostles money for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Having seen his corrupt motives Peter responded “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity."

So how can we receive the Holy Spirit?

Jesus gives us a simple example: In prayer

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22

Be intentional and mindful of God, of Jesus and Holy Spirit. Enter into his presence with declaring his glory and his goodness, his majesty and his Heavenly Fatherness. Submit yourself in prayer to him and his will.

Jesus also instructs us to Ask, believing

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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! Luke 11:9-13

Ask your generous Heavenly Father for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Ask with confidence, with a humble heart and the clear conscious through repentance and receive in faith knowing that God is true in what he says and more generous than you can imagine. When God says he who asks receives he means it.

And in Acts 19:6 : the laying on of hands

When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

It can be helpful to have other, more mature, Christians such as elders in your church lay hands on you and pray for you to receive the Holy Spirit. I believe that God has led me to understand this to be his desire for the fellowship / discipleship that may be birthed out of it.

How can we tell if we or others have received the Holy Spirit? What are the indicators?

A heart of praise and worship to God:

“And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared”

Acts 10:45-46


But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. Acts 5:29,32

A believer who has received the Holy Spirit will be changed in their affections, they will have a heart that desires God, a posture of praise toward him. In the first text we see the extolling (praising enthusiastically) to be in such a manner that brought an obvious understanding that the gentiles had received the Holy Spirit. The new converts were also speaking in languages or tongues, indicating that they were languages outside what they had the normal capacity to communicate with, it was a supernatural occurrence.

The topic of tongues is something I feel led to discss in the coming weeks so will continue to focus more toward the RECEIVING of the Holy Spirit specifically here. I will say, now however, that when we let go of our awareness of self, our inhibitions, fears and conservative temperament and allow God to fill us completely when we ask him to then speaking in other languages (even if we have no idea what it is) should not surprise us or cause us to fear or doubt. Whether in tongues we know or do not know the Holy Spirit will cause the utmost praise to the Lord.

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34

Secondly, obedience. It is obvious to those whom you love and consider as your Lord you will obey. Not only will you have a new desire for obedience, but you will have a new Spirit within you to accomplish that obedience. The Holy Spirit accomplishes this through many specific and slightly separate ways that all leads to obedience, perhaps the greatest being an understanding of the word of God (The Bible) so that you can understand Gods ways.

Is it a one time thing?

I believe that the initial receiving of the Holy Spirit is a one time initial event. Distinct, necessary and identifiable. Once we have received the Holy Spirt he now has made his home within you and you need to now continue on in that relationship intentionally.

Our God is a wonderful trinity, we do not forsake the Father or Jesus after the receiving of the Spirit but in kind we do not forget the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our guide, our teacher, the one who is commissioned with the task of conforming us to the image of Christ, it is essential that we develop relationship with HIM. Out of that relationship, that reverent and submissive relationship, we are strengthened to give to him more of the Glory and honour due to his name.

We can help this relationship but acknowledging Holy Spirit and speaking with him.

By keeping our body, our heart and our mind in a state that is good to be his home. This is right use of our bodies, what we do, watch and say etc. Right use of our mind, always living in the truth, Gods truth and thinking what is right and pure. Right in our hearts, harbouring love, not hate etc.

Also the biggest key to developing relationship with the Holy Spirit is to believe IN him. If you feel a leading from Him, obey. It can be asking a stranger how they are doing, it can be to call an old friend. Nothing is too silly. Step out in faith in what little you are being led to do.

I do highly recommend that you seek to ask mature members of a regularly gathering, bible believing Church that you are apart of if you have any questions in relation to the topic today.

If, for whatever reason you cant do that or would just prefer, reach out:

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