Receiving the Holy Spirit
How does one receive the Holy Spirit: In the Old Testament the Spirit of God would only come upon select favored people. However, as of the time of the New Testament (up until now) the Spirit would dwell continually in the lives of anyone who is saved.
Now, this is a controversial topic in the sense that not many radical Christians believe a person has the Holy Spirit unless they see the person speaking in tongues. However, that concept is negated by the fact that many of those same Christians constantly say to others, "You are not supposed to fornicate because the bible says your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." and they would even say this to believers who have never spoken in tongues before! For obvious reasons those two concepts alone are an obvious contradiction. Nevertheless, it is not my desire to tell you what is not the truth as much as it is my desire to tell you the truth. So here it goes:
Everyone who receives Jesus Christ also receives God and whereby also receives His Holy Spirit. Refer back to part 1 of this Holy Spirit blog series where we stated there is one God who exists in three forms and that God's Spirit is Himself in a different form (just like your "spirit" is yourself in a different form: She has a meek spirit). The same way we do not separate the spirit of a person from their actual state of being is the same way we do not separate God's Spirit from His actual state of being. Once you receive God- once you receive Jesus, you receive the Holy Spirit. What I'm trying to say is this: They are ALL THE SAME GOD! There is only One God! ...who is manifested in 3 ways.
You will further understand this concept once you understand the purpose of the Holy Spirit. The reason we have the Holy Spirit is because Jesus, anticipating His death, did not want to leave the people without a teacher, advisor, & form of God. Jesus' name Emmanuel literally means "God With Us" (God in Heaven is now with us- Notice that Jesus' name Emmanuel is literally saying that Jesus is God; the form of God that is with us). So after Jesus died, does that mean God is not with us anymore? No. Jesus took care of that potential problem in John 14:16-18 when He promised the Holy Spirit. Here, a little while before His crucifixion Jesus says:
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Let us first pay particular attention to the last line, verse 18. Jesus says, I will not leave you orphans. Up until the coming of Jesus Christ the only way God communicated with His people was through prophets, high priests & God's appointed leaders such as Moses. However after Jesus/Emmanuel came God became present, dwelling with all His people (not just appointed leaders); God with us. Jesus knowing He was leaving the earth said, "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you". Here again, you see the forms of God being used interchangeably. Jesus is referring to HIMSELF as the Holy Spirit, saying "I will come to you". He is saying that "God With Us" will still be with the people, but this time not in the form of a man. He will be with us through the form of the Holy Spirit.
In verse 17 Jesus refers to Himself as the Holy Spirit again when He says "for He dwells with you and will be in you". Examine this line carefully. Do you notice that the Holy Spirit technically wasn't dwelling with them at that time? The Holy Spirit technically did not come until the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. So why did Jesus say He dwells with you (present tense) and WILL BE in you (future tense)? Jesus was saying I AM WITH YOU NOW and will come back to dwell in you through the form of the Holy Spirit. This is why He then says, "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you".
(This concept can be confusing to grasp because of the fact that Jesus refers to Himself interchangeably as the Holy Spirit throughout this passage. Nevertheless, please take time to read these verses over so you can see what I am attempting to explain. Also, read over John chapters 14-16. These chapters contain Jesus' promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit and will further show you the purpose of the Holy Spirit and why Jesus wanted the people to have the Spirit.)
So now we see, the Spirit of God was not promised so that people can prophesy or speak in tongues or have power. These are benefits that are inevitable to manifest among people who have the Holy Spirit because this is the Holy Spirit's character. Nevertheless the purpose of the Holy Spirit is for God's people to have God dwelling with them even though Jesus Christ/"God With Us" is not here anymore.
This is why teachers of the Word can tell Christians that once they become saved the Holy Spirit is dwelling in them. Just because the Holy Spirit isn't speaking in tongues, prophesying, working miracles through you doesn't mean you do not have the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit Blog-Series