Receive the Holy Spirit (Per the Bible)
If you're familiar with Christianity, you've probably heard of the Holy Spirit—but what is it, and how does it become a part of your life? Theologians have filled untold pages with their thoughts on the subject, but the simplest answer is that the Holy Spirit is the presence of God, and it was sent to guide us after Jesus ascended to heaven. You will receive the Holy Spirit after you get saved and become a Christian. However, learning to recognize when the Spirit is moving in you can take a little practice.
- Ask for God's forgiveness for your sins. We all sin once in a while—it's part of human nature. 1 John 1:8 says, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." If you want to feel God's presence—the Holy Spirit—in your life, you'll have to admit those sins to God, ask for His forgiveness, and repent, or commit to doing better in the future.
- It might not seem like a big deal to tell a white lie or to be envious of your neighbor's new car, but any and all sin creates a separation between you and God.
- Believe that Jesus died for your sins. Once you've acknowledged that you are a sinner, say a prayer confessing that Jesus is God and that you believe that He died to save all people from their sins. This is the prayer of salvation, and according to the Bible, it's the only way to get to heaven.
- John 3:16 describes the gift that God gave us: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." This means that believing in Jesus is the path to spending your afterlife in heaven!
- In John 7:37-39, Jesus says: "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." The "rivers of living water" he's referring to are the Holy Spirit.
- Get baptized. A baptism is a spiritual ceremony where you'll be dipped under water and brought back up. It symbolizes the death of your old life and the rebirth of your new life in God. You don't have to be baptized to be saved and receive the Holy Spirit, but if you want to feel the fullness of the Holy Spirit in your life, it's best to follow this commandment of God.
- Even Jesus experienced this, as described in Matthew 3:16: "As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him." In other words, He received the Holy Spirit as a result of being baptized.
Feeling the Holy Spirit's Presence
- Continue asking for forgiveness when you sin. Unfortunately, becoming a Christian doesn't mean you'll be automatically perfect. You'll still make mistakes from time to time. It's important to recognize and acknowledge these mistakes and to ask forgiveness for them. Otherwise, the sins can separate you from God, and you won't be able to feel His Spirit moving in your life.
- The Bible explains this separation in Isaiah 59:2: "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear." You can't be close to God if you intentionally continue to sin.
- The presence of the Holy Spirit may help you have a better understanding of what the sins are in your life!
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to come to you. The Holy Spirit can help guide you, strengthen you, and comfort you. It's already a part of you when you become a Christian, but you can still pray that God will help you feel and recognize its presence.
- For instance, the writer of Psalm prays in 51:11: "Do not cast from me your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me." Even holy men fear losing their closeness with God!
- Look for guidance in the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 explains that the fruits of the Spirit are "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." As you deepen your relationship with God, you should notice these qualities becoming more and more a part of your life.
- It's okay if you don't experience all of these things all at once. It's a process!
- Allow the Spirit to guide your understanding of God. Scholars dedicate their whole lives to trying to understand the nature of God, so don't worry if it seems like a lot to comprehend. Read your Bible and continue praying, and let the Holy Spirit help you gradually come to know God more fully.
- Jesus describes the Holy Spirit in John 14:26: "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." If you listen for the Holy Spirit's guidance, it will be easier to know what's right.
- Let the Holy Spirit speak to God for you. Sometimes, you have so much weighing on your heart that you don't know where to start praying. The Holy Spirit can help comfort you, and it can also talk to God on your behalf.
- Romans 8:26 describes this: "For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."
- For instance, if you're feeling consumed with grief, you might not know where to start praying. However, the presence of the Holy Spirit can communicate that pain to God for you.
- Know that it's okay if you don't speak in tongues. In Acts, the Bible describes the day of Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit manifested as flames and rushing wind, leading believers to speak in "other tongues." Some believers today may even have this experience when they feel the Holy Spirit touching them!
However, the apostle Paul later indicates that this gift is not given to everyone, so don't worry if it's not a part of your relationship with God.
- In 1 Corinthians 12:29-31, Paul writes: "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have the gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts." God intends for us all to have different gifts!
- 1 Corinthians 14:2 explains the experience of speaking in tongues in a little more detail: "For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit."
- "Holy Ghost" and "Holy Spirit" are both terms that mean the same thing.
- Pray for Healing in Jesus' Name
- Appreciate Speaking in Tongues
- Receive Power from God (Christianity)
- Repent According to the Bible