Frequently Asked Questions about Receiving the Holy Spirit

Why do I need to receive the Holy Spirit?

Because the Christian life without power is a rather miserable thing. (Eph. 3:16-19, Rom. 15:13)

Don’t I already have the Spirit?

In one sense, yes, in another, no. You cannot have faith without the Spirit, nor can you receive any of God’s gifts without the Spirit “delivering” them to you: forgiveness, joy, peace, love. But in another sense, the Spirit must be consciously and purposefully received – as a gift offered. When a person receives the Spirit in this way, they enter into a new dimension of experience with God. (Rom. 8:9, Acts 19:2)

How do I receive the Spirit?

By faith. By prayer. By the laying on of hands. By trusting the promises of God. The Holy Spirit cannot be earned or coerced. It is the free gift of God to all who seek Him in faith. (Gal. 3:2, Acts 2:38)

When can I receive the Holy Spirit?

You must believe in Jesus. This is the only true requirement. Most believe and are baptized, then they receive the Spirit, but it is not necessary to be water baptized first. (Acts 2:38, Acts 10:47)

Is it “easy” to receive the Spirit?

The Spirit is received by faith. If you can believe, you will receive. (Gal. 3:2)

What will happen when I receive the Spirit?

It is different for everyone. For some it is a profound and overwhelming experience; for others it is more gentle and subtle. Generally, there will be an experience of the presence of God, often accompanied by great peace, or joy, or love. Supernatural manifestations of the Spirit are also to be expected, most commonly the gift of speaking in other tongues/languages. Some prophesy, or have visions, or erupt in spontaneous praise. (Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:6)

Will I speak in tongues?

Most likely. In Acts chapters 2, 10, and 19, everyone who received the Holy Spirit spoke in tongues (in Acts 2 that was 120 people). We know the apostle Paul spoke in tongues (1 Cor. 14:18). Apparently a significant number of the believers at Corinth spoke in tongues. From the biblical evidence, it seems that speaking in tongues was among the most common of spiritual gifts, and was especially common at the moment someone received the Spirit. (Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:6, 1 Cor. 12-14)

Will I always feel the Spirit to the same degree?

Most do not feel the Spirit’s presence constantly. Though we believe that God is always with us, most of us have “ups and downs.” We still need to pray daily, to study the Word of God, to fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. All of this helps us to renew our experience of the Spirit daily. (Eph. 5:18)

Can I “lose” the Spirit?

“…let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” Anyone can fall, no matter how high they climb. Anyone can lose the presence of God. However, God promises His Spirit and His presence to all who follow Him. (1 Cor. 10:12)

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