Who is the Holy Spirit? What does He do? How do you ‘get Him’? How do you know if you’ve got Him?
There is much confusion about the work of the Holy Spirit. In this series of blogs I want to unpack some of what the Bible teaches on this subject, called Pneumatology.
How do you ‘get’ the Holy Spirit?
For many who have come under the influence of Pentecostal teaching this may be a burning question: How do we live in the Spirit? Walk in His ways? Be filled? Be baptised? Not grieve Him?
Let me try and untangle some messy thoughts and unhelpful misconceptions.
I remember spending a number of months in my second year at university desperate to be ‘baptised’ into the Holy Spirit. I really felt as if I didn’t have power and victory and assurance in my life because I had not had this experience that led to a second level of Christianity – the Spirit Filled life. I can still remember crying and begging God to give me the Holy Spirit. I would go to any and every meeting and conference hoping for some special laying on of hands so that I would have the Holy Spirit and two things in particular -assurance and the gift of speaking in tongues. It was one of the most desperate times in my spiritual walk.
But one night on my bed as I was crying out to the Lord a truth came quietly into my mind – ‘Jon, you already have the Holy Spirit.’ When? Where? I was convinced it must have been at a conference I had been to – but then I remembered a few times I’d had similar experiences. So, when was it?
Well, how do you ‘get’ the Holy Spirit?
Answer: Become a Christian
This is where our first passage comes: Ephesians 1:13-14.
Paul is talking here about what it means to be a Christian, and is unpacking the spiritual blessings we have in Christ. He is clear: we have the Holy Spirit. Plain and simple. When we were included in Christ through responding to the gospel, we were given the Holy Spirit – His seal was put on us. In fact, Scripture is clear – you cannot be a Christian without the Holy Spirit. If you are a Christian then you have the Holy Spirit – fact!
Romans 8: 9b ‘If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.’ It is that simple.
No matter what you’ve heard or thought – all Christians have the Holy Spirit – we are all baptised at conversion. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 states that we are all baptised into one Spirit – and that is at the point of conversion. So, we are all baptised into the Spirit at the point of conversion. This is an undeniable fact of scripture.
Let me make this clear – if you are a born again Christian, then you have been baptised into the Holy Spirit.
In the next installment I’ll sort a few false ideas about Pentecost that cause a lot of hurt and confusion.