Receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit was promised in the Old Testament (Isaiah 32:15; Ezekiel 36:26; Joel 2:28), and also by Christ (John 14:16, 17). Anyone that sincerely asks for God’s Spirit in the name of the Lord for salvation receives that blessing. Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13).
Christ points His listeners to the Source of power for Christian living recognizing the impossibility for sinners, of themselves, to conduct their lives in harmony with the principles of the divine law. All that citizens of the kingdom need is theirs for the asking. What they cannot do in their own strength can be accomplished when human effort is united with divine power. Those who ask for God’s Spirit will not be disappointed (Matthew 7: 9–11).
In Acts 2:38, 39, Peter says, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” God promises the presence of the Spirit as a personal possession for each believer. Note the steps in the blessed experience of becoming a Christian, as outlined in the above verse: (1) repentance, (2) baptism, (3) remission of sin, (4) reception of the Holy Ghost.
The apostle Paul says, “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 his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). People who claim to have the Holy Ghost yet are disobeying God’s commandments are clearly making a false claim. The Spirit will enable us to be reconciled to the Lord. It is the Spirit of promise who seals, or identifies, those who are His own and equips them to overcome iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19), and secures them until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
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In His service,