Receiving the Holy Spirit is one of the core processes and parts of worshiping Jesus Christ under the New Covenant. If you have come to this page via the Pathway on the Finding Jesus page on my website (if not then check it out), then you are part way along this pathway and your journey with Christ. At this point I presume you have been baptised in water by full immersion into the death of Jesus Christ as described in the baptism section of this pathway study.
Why Receive the Holy Spirit?
Jesus taught the following in relation to the need to receive the Holy Spirit:
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.
24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
Do you know how to worship God in the spirit? No man truly does, which is why we need God to give us the gift of the Holy Spirit to show us how.
And the Holy Spirit does much, much more than that. He is our counselor, guide, teacher, protector, intercessory to God on our behalf…and still more than that. Furthermore, Jesus as well as all of the Apostles received the Holy Spirit and they gave us the example to follow. We see that when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was given on the Day of Pentecost, Peter showed that this was the promise of the Father spoken by the prophet Joel for all of mankind. He said:
17 And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
And when the people recognised their sin in condemning and killing Jesus Christ they asked in fear what they could do. Peter said:
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
The promise of the Holy Spirit is for all of mankind. We are those who are far off for we are far removed not just in distance but in time. The promise is still available today and it is a necessary part of the Christian walk for we need to learn to worship by the Spirit.
The Proposed Pathway
In order to learn and understand the requirements for receiving the Holy Spirit I recommend the following reading and actions.
- You can purchase a copy of my Foundations of Christianity eBook and read the section on receiving the Holy Spirit which is in the section titles “Laying on of Hands.” Or as a FREE alternative, subscribe to the eCourse below
- Seek to receive the holy spirit following one of the processes detailed below.
- Subscribe to the eCourse “Nine Steps to become a Christian.” This will help explain a little more about receiving the Holy Spirit and what comes next.
- And if you have any specific questions you can email me at the “contact me” address at the bottom of this article.
Receiving the Holy Spirit
This is not a step to be taken hastily. We are warned in the Bible not to be hasty in the laying on of hands.
In most situations I have been involved in a person is watched for a period of time by the elders of a church before they have hands laid on them. This is both for the protection of the person as well as the elders and members of the church. We are warned not to be hasty in laying on hands, and I believe the reason is so that we do not grieve the Holy Spirit as Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:30 saying, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
In addition to this there is only one unpardonable or unforgiveable sin and that is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Any other sin committed by a person can and will be forgiven by God, but not blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I have discussed what I believe are possible reasons why God has taken this stand in these articles on the blog, “The Unforgivable Sin” and “Who is the Ultimate Advocate.” When you read these you will gain some insight as to why this is not a matter to be entered into hastily.
However, having been warned, it is still an important step to take as a Christian, and one which I believe all Christians should and must take in due time. So how do you receive the Holy Spirit?
The Process of Receiving the Holy Spirit
There are basically two ways a person can recieve the Holy Spirit:
- You can have hands laid on you by the elders of the church to receive the Holy Spirit
- The Lord can just give you the Holy Spirit (as he did at Pentecost in Acts 2)
In either case you need to pray and ask the Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit as he has said that he will give the spirit to those who ask him. Jesus told us this saying in Luke 11:10-13:
9 And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10 For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;
12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
So the very first thing you need to do is to ask the Lord to give you the Holy Spirit. I know of many people who have received the Holy Spirit without having hands laid upon them and in most cases they had previously asked the Lord to receive the Spirit. So if you are seeking to take this step in your Christian walk, I urge you to ask the Lord for the Spirit.
As for having hands laid upon you to receive the Holy Spirit, if you are meeting with a church you should approach the elders of the church to seek this gift through the laying on of hands. For scriptural reference if they are hesitant you could quote the following two scriptures.
14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Sama’ria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,
15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit;
16 for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
1 While Apol’los was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples.
2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.”
4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”
5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
That’s it. Once you have received the Holy Spirit that is not the end. You next need to learn how to use the power of the Spirit to overcome in your life. The Spirit gives each person gifts to assist in building up the church and also to build up the individual so you can stand against the evil in this world. To find out more on this, once you have received the Holy Spirit, continue on in the navigation pathway to the next section.
I hope you find something here to help you or add to your own knowledge. If you have any questions, then please feel free to contact me.