We often hear about the Holy Spirit in church but many people don’t understand who the Holy Spirit Is. In this article, we will explore who the Holy Spirit is, how we receive the Holy Spirit, and what the role of the Holy Spirit is.
I remember often hearing about the Holy Spirit in church and understanding that the Spirit was a part of God but not understanding Him any further than that. It wasn’t until my heart was regenerated that I began to see the Spirits work in my own life.
I know that there is a ton of people in the church today who are not aware of the Holy Spirit because I have had this conversation with so many people. They say that they believe in Jesus Christ but they don’t think they have the Holy Spirit because they don’t “feel” the spirit.
Though I often do “feel” the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life, it isn’t a constant feeling and it isn’t a “high” or “drunkenness” as some people say. This idea of being “drunk” on the spirit comes from misinterpretations of scripture and is completely unbiblical.
We are constantly reminded to be alert and of sober mind, if this is God’s will for us, so why would he actively work against this? In this article, we will explore the Biblical truths about the Holy Spirit and His role in our lives.
How To Receive The Holy Spirit
Who Is The Holy Spirit
Before we can go into detail about how we receive the Holy Spirit and what His role is, we need to understand who He is. This can be a complicated topic, especially for new believers but scripture easily clears up any confusion one might have.
First of all the Holy Spirit is God. He isn’t some sort of mystical force or a separate god, but a part of God Himself. He has a mind, emotions, and will, the Bible makes this clear in many passages.
In Acts chapter 5, we see Peter confront Ananias about his dishonesty, “Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
Peter says “You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” As God, the Holy Spirit also possesses the divine characteristics of God such as His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence.
Omniscience means that God is all-knowing, we see this in reference to the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, “these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
Omnipotence means that God is all-powerful, the bible has many references to the Spirit being omnipotent, one of the greatest references to this is in 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”
Omnipresence means God is all-present. We see an example of the Holy Spirit being omnipresent in Psalm 139:7-10, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
How Do We Receive The Holy Spirit
For many Christians, the Holy Spirit is an impersonal aspect of God, not God Himself, and many aren’t even sure if they have the Holy Spirit.
First of all, the Bible clearly teaches that we receive the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our personal savior. Romans 8:9 says, “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” This clearly shows us that everyone who belongs to Christ has the Spirit.
Now before you start questioning your salvation let me clear something up that may be an answer to many believers who aren’t sure that they have the Spirit. The receiving and indwelling of the Holy Spirit occurs at the moment of salvation BUT the filling of the Holy Spirit is an ongoing process.
Believers who don’t experience the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives aren’t lacking the Spirit entirely, they simply aren’t filling up on the Spirit continuously. They put the spirit off or as the Bible refers to it, they grieve or quench the Spirit. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30.
We don’t simply fill up on the Holy Spirit by praying, but by being obedient to God’s commands. Jesus said the spirit would lead us and guide us into all the truth when we choose to ignore the Spirit’s guidance in our lives and turn towards sin, we hinder the filling of the Spirit.
As we live a spirit-filled and led life, we can most effectively allow the Spirit to work through us. This comes down to a decision to decision basis, but as we choose to be obedient to God time and time again and as we fill up on the Spirit, we begin to experience the Spirits work in our lives in a powerful and awesome way.
What Is The Role of The Holy Spirit
There are many roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He is our comforter, our guide, and our helper. He was also sent to “prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment” as we see Jesus say in John Chapter 17.
Some of the most important roles of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers is His role in our production of “fruit”, His role in helping us understand the truth found in scripture, and His giving of spiritual gifts.
When we walk in obedience to God and don’t quench the spirit, we start to see great spiritual growth and that is when we begin to produce spiritual fruit. We see what fruit is in Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
As we grow in our relationship with God and begin to see this growth and abundance of spiritual fruit in our lives, we are also guided through the word to the truth of the scriptures through the Holy Spirit. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” We need the Spirit’s guidance into truth and when we quench the Spirit we begin to stumble through scripture applying the wisdom of man instead of the wisdom of God.
In Acts Chapter 2 after the disciples receive the Holy Spirit, Peter goes out and preaches repentance in the name of Jesus Christ and says, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Not only is the Holy Spirit the greatest gift ever given to man but He is also a great giver of gifts Himself.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” 1 Corinthians 12:4
The entire Chapter of 1 Corinthians 12 talks about the gifts of the Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit are given to believers so that we may function as the body of Christ, glorifying his name and be living examples of God’s grace in its various forms.
The Holy Spirit is the person of God who helps us, leads us, and guides us into all the truth. Every believer receives the Holy Spirit the moment they receive Jesus as Lord.
Although all believers receive the Holy Spirit, it is important that we are constantly filling up on the Spirit by being obedient to God’s will. As we walk in step with the Spirit, we begin to truly walk into who God created us to be.
No one, even believers, can navigate this dark world alone, we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He was sent to guide us and if we truly let go of our wisdom and allow the Spirit to lead us where He chooses, we then begin to live life the way God has designed it to be lived and we can truly be a light unto all the world!
Thank you so much for your article. As a Christian I often have question what the Holy Spirit is and how it works in our lives. This clarifies my question and has help me gain some perspective on how the Holy Spirit directs our lives.
This is awesome. Before now i used to think that the infilling of the Holy spirit is a one big experience that happens to people who have prayed far beyond but now i know it occurs daily through obedience to the word of God. God bless you Sir.
Powerful article! Thank you brother. Hope you, your friends, and family are safe and well during this pandemic. I would typically be at work but instead I’m reading this article. I plan to send this to a new confused believer. So thanks beyond for putting his answers in such a clear way.
Thank you for clarifying how and when one receives the Holy Spirit. Some organizations teach that one must be baptized by water and then after an elder lays their hands on the new believer, the believer receives the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:4-8, 12, 14-17). I now realize that one receives the Holy Spirit the moment one accepts Jesus’ atonement for our sins (1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14). Thanks!
Please read Acts chapter 19. Paul found disciples that were believers and baptized but they did not have the Holy Ghost. Paul asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed! Thus showing you don’t receive it when you believe. Read Acts chapter 8 Peter and John came down to pray for the believers from the Samaritan revival that they might receive the Holy Ghost for they they had only been baptized in the name of Jesus.
Hey Kent! Thank you so much for your comment! Actually Acts 19 is a perfect example of believing in Jesus and receiving the Holy Spirit. In Acts 19 it says, “1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.” – Acts 19:1-3. Look at Paul’s logic here… He asks them if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed. Their answer is that they hadn’t even heard there was a Holy Ghost. So he logically concludes they must not be believers in Jesus because his next question is “Unto what then were ye baptized?” He realizes that if they had believed and been baptized in Jesus name they would have received the Holy Ghost as promised in Acts chapter 2, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” – Acts 2:38-39. Their response to his question in chapter 19 is that they had received John’s baptism thus proving they haven’t believed in Jesus and received His baptism. John’s baptism was a baptism unto repentance for the nation of Israel in preparation for the Messiah Jesus. As for Acts chapter 8, yes they were baptized in Jesus name and the Holy Spirit didn’t fall until Peter and John came and laid hands on them. But you’re also assuming they all believed in that instance. You can be water baptized and not truly believe. It could be that they didn’t have faith until the Apostles came and laid hands on them. We don’t know the whole story here. But you also can’t build your doctrines upon isolated scriptures. You must take the full counsel of God into consideration and doing so you must come to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is given upon true belief in Jesus. So in conclusion Acts 19 is actually and argument for the Spirit being given when believing in Jesus and Acts 8 doesn’t give us enough information about the recipients faith. Hope that helps to answer your statements you made! If you have any other questions or statements let me know!
Thank you Nick for addressing Kent about Acts 19. One thing I noticed is, the fact that the question was even asked if they received the Holy Spirit since they believed. Because they asked that question, it makes it obvious that there were people who believed in Jesus who had not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which begs to point out, that we receive the Spirit of Christ when we accept Jesus as our Lord, and may not had been filled with that Spirit yet. clearly in scripture, there are different ways the Holy Spirit fills and manifests in a believers life. Some, just as it was at the beginning , where the Holy Spirit just comes and fills everyone as on the day of Pentecost, other times by the laying on of hands, other time upon hearing. Like Acts 10:44-46 “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. ”
In my own life, in 1982 when I fully dedicated to follow Jesus, I know the spirit was upon me, but I was hearing different things about the Holy Spirit. For me, doubt and fear and misunderstanding was blocking me from being filled with the Spirit. But I committed to trust I had already received the infilling from the point of asking. A year later after experiencing God’s love in different ways and hearing another in person praying in the Spirit , that night my bedroom became filled with a soft creamy like light cloud which felt like being hugged by God’s love, and I began speaking and singing in languages of other nations and of angels. Right then and there, I realized there was a big difference between receiving the Spirit of Christ in Jesus and being filled with the Holy Spirit. I have continued to practice and stir up this ability for about 40 years now. It is such a wonderful and blessed thing to have the Holy Spirit flow through you , and it makes praying and interceding in His will much easier, for the Spirit knows how and what to pray. Thank you again. I’m glad to have found this site online.
Thank you for your message on the filling of the Holy Spirit. I am interested abou the gift of tongues why do some have n some dont ty
Everybody has the spirit dwelling in us. However you can seek the gifts of the spirit. 1 Corinthians 14.
I would like a answer to that as well!
Sir, you should diligently seek for the Holy Ghost because if you are teaching that people can have it and not know it then you have never experienced it for yourself. The Bible speaks of joy unspeakable and full of love. When you receive the Holy Spirit you will understand that very clearly.
Hey Alison thanks for the comment! I wrote the article a long time ago so I just read back through it. I don’t see where I said you could have the Holy Spirit and not know it. If you are referring to my saying that you can have the Spirit and not experience the Spirit then I stand by that as it is a true statement. Galatians 5 tells us that we are to walk in the Spirit to avoid gratifying the flesh. It tells us the two are opposed to one another. You can not live in carnality and experience the Spirit at the same time. I hope that clarified my point and thank you for not just believing everything you hear but being willing to test these things against the scriptures to see whether or not they are true. As far as whether or not I have the Spirit I appreciate your concern and challenge but I have no doubts in my mind that He lives in me and my entire life and daily experience is a testimony to that! I know that you don’t know me since I’m am just some random person on the internet so I don’t hold that against you! God bless you and if you have any more questions or concerns please feel free to either respond here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be blessed!
Nick I apologize if I sounded like a self righteous know it all. That’s not at all how I meant for it to sound but I can see how it might have sounded like it now reading back. I don’t know a lot but I do know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and I know the day and time that I received the Holy Ghost. It was an instant life changing experience. My only intention in my statement was that I want everyone to experience that life changing gift and not settle for wondering if they are saved or not. I did not mean to offend you at all!!!
nice one, more Grace
How do you know that you have received the HOLY GHOST? THE Bible says you will speak in an unknown tongue. This language that is given by God that only HE understands, the devil doesn’t know what you are saying.
My scriptures: Acts 2: 38 and 1 Corinthians 4:2.
Just discovered your blog. Would love to receive your articles.
Wow!!!…am just too speechless on this.i pray it work out the way i want in jesus name ,amen.thanks
There is a definitely an experience of receiving the Holy Spirit. Jesus said we must be born of the water and of the Spirit or we cannot even see the kingdom. In acts chapter 19 Paul found certain disciples when he passed through the upper coasts. His first question to them was Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? Notice he knew they were believers proving that the Holy Ghost is not received when you believe. They answered they did not know if there be any Holy Ghost or not. Paul’s next question Unto what then we’re you baptized? (how were you baptized?) It matters how you were baptized! They said unto john’s baptism wherein they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and when Paul laid his hands on them the Holy Ghost came on them and they spake with tongues and prophesied. Acts 8 tells us that Samaria had received the word of God and when the apostles heard it they sent Peter and John. When they arrived prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) showing again that there is a definite experience of receiving the Holy Ghost.
I was baptized at a young age. I barely remember the experience As a young adult I did not practice Christianity for years. I was led back to God as an older adult and live an obedient Christian life. During the pandemic I missed Church and am so ready to return to Church. Would you believe I would benefit from being baptized agaun?
Thanks so much for this,it just shed light on what I have been eager to know.I would like to be getting more of this.❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️💯💯💯
Thank you. I have been going to church with my mother ever since I was 5years old.Went in the service to serve my country. Came back to small town and worked for 38 years going to church believing the lord died for our sins. And still only have abroad understanding of the Bible. I’m 69 now and hope I can be taught more in-depth. God bless you.
You can not live in carnality and experience the Spirit at the same time. I picked it from your message,please can you put my light to it?
Thank you i learn so much
Thank you , may continue to bless you , I am so glad I read your article
Hello my name is Hope. Recieving the Holy Ghost is not an easy task. I can tell you things that I saw when I meditated to God. Most people think Im crazy and fresh from a mental health clinic but I know what I did and what I saw. I began meditating to God when my son suddenly died. He was 23 years old. The depth of pain was so great and I had a really hard time dealing with it. And someone suggested I should meditate for the “Comforter” to help me. What I learned was the Comforter is the Holy Spirit, (also “Teacher”.) . The Holy Spirit showed me like a photograph, the crosses on the hill of Golgotha also called Calvary. I was shown the 3 crosses, one was at an angle in front of the other two. To me the one cross at an angle says how Jesus laid down his life for all peoples.
I saw other things too.
Have a blessed day.