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How do we receive the Holy Spirit?

In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul made it clear that we receive the Holy Spirit the minute we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the same Spirit to drink," the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:13. According to Romans 8:9, if a person does not have the Holy Spirit, he or she does not belong to Christ: "You, on the other hand, are ruled not by your sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you." In addition, if anybody does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not a member of Christ." Paul teaches us in Ephesians 1:13-14 that the Holy Spirit is the seal of salvation for all who believe: "Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of God's glory.

Three passages in the Bible make it very evident that the Holy Spirit is received at the time of conversion. If not all of the Corinthian believers possessed the Holy Spirit, Paul could not claim that we were all baptized by one Spirit and that we were all given one Spirit to drink in the same way. It is much more emphatic in Romans 8:9, which declares that if a person does not have the Spirit, he does not belong to Christ. As a result, the possession of the Spirit serves as a distinguishing characteristic of the possession of salvation. Furthermore, if the Holy Spirit is not received at the time of redemption, He will not be able to serve as the "seal of salvation" (Ephesians 1:13-14) as described in the Bible. Many passages of Scripture make it very apparent that when we accept Christ as our Savior, we are assured of our eternal salvation.

This debate is contentious because the ministries of the Holy Spirit are frequently mistaken with one another. During the process of salvation, the Spirit is received and indwelled by the believer. The process of being filled with the Holy Spirit is a continual one in the Christian life. While we believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at the time of salvation, other Christians do not believe this to be true. As a result, the baptism of the Spirit is commonly confused with "getting the Spirit" as an act that occurs after salvation, which is not the case.

Finally, how do we become receptive to the presence of the Spirit? We receive the Holy Spirit simply by acknowledging our need for the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Savior (John 3:5-16). The Holy Spirit comes to us at a specific time. We get the Holy Spirit as a permanent possession the moment we believe in him.


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