How To Receive The Holy Spirit

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!

Hey Friends! I am Nick Lincoln a co-founder here at Abide and Seek. Besides writing articles to spread the light of Jesus throughout the world, I also enjoy playing music, working out, and spending quality time with my family and friends! My prayer is that by sharing my experiences and the struggles I have faced before coming to Christ, the world can see the life-changing power of a life lived in the light of Jesus Christ!

Comments 16

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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      Author

      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 nick@weareredefined.com. Be blessed!

      1. 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!!!

  6. 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.
    Thank you.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

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