How do we receive the Holy Spirit?


The Holy Spirit is a gift from God[1] we can receive anytime we want. Jesus said 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.' By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified (John 7:37-39).

What is the Baptism
of the Holy Spirit?

Jesus made a promise shortly before He left the world, And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth... (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit is a supernatural help for us. He will guide us into truth, tell us what is to come,[2] bring things to our remembrance,[3] speak through us in time of trouble[4] and intercede for us on our behalf.[5] He gives us power[6] and confirms we are born again.[7] He also helps others through the gifts He gives us.[8] He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7).

How do we receive
the Holy Spirit?

We do not receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit when we are saved. We might sense His presence as He lives with us. However if we are baptised in the Holy Spirit He will come and live in us.[9] One time, Paul found some disciples and asked them, 'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?' They answered, 'No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.' (Acts 19:2). We do not receive the Holy Spirit automatically when we are baptised in water.[10] We receive the Holy Spirit in the same way we are saved - by believing what we hear[11] that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (Galatians 3:14). There is no human effort needed beforehand.[12] We certainly cannot buy the Holy Spirit with money.[13] 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 11:13). We need to ask God in faith, believing He will answer us.[14]

How do we receive
the Holy Spirit?

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How do we know
when we have received?

When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied (Acts 19:6). We will know, when we speak in a foreign language we do not understand.[15] God may prompt us to speak out in tongues especially if it is our first time. However we do not need this prompting. If we really believe God's Word, then we can speak out, trusting the Holy Spirit to give us the words we need. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude 20). As we continue to speak in tongues, we will be built up and strengthened.[16]