Receiving the Holy Spirit

We are beginning a series on the Holy Spirit.  Today’s Bible Journaling is from Acts 2:38, “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” (NASB) Allow me to give a little background on what has happened.

The disciples had been given a directive from Jesus right before He ascended to Heaven, to stay in Jerusalem until God, the Father, gave them what He had promised, telling them, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NASB) They went to the Upper Room and stayed there.  On the day of Pentecost as they were together, the sound of a mighty, rushing, wind came with tongues of fire and lit upon each one of them, and each one received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Peter preached to those who were witnesses to this occurrence, explaining what had happened. People from every nation were there and the disciples were able to speak to each one in their own language because the Holy Spirit gave them the gift of speaking in tongues (speaking languages they had not learned). 

Peter told them how Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of the whole world, how He was crucified, was buried, and rose again, and is alive, and ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God, the Father. Then, Peter gives the first altar call and asked them to repent of their sins, believe in Jesus, and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, just as the disciples did.  Three thousand people came forward and became Believers, and the Church was born! 

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity.  He is God in spirit, and when we ask God to forgive us of our sins, believe in Jesus, and ask Him to come and live in us, He sends His Holy Spirit to take up residence in us, so that we can have a constant communion and fellowship with Him. 

The Holy Spirit is also our guide, our counselor.  He speaks to us, not always in audible words, but in our minds, or a nudging in our hearts.  He is the still, small voice that whispers to us the way we are to walk.  As new Believers, He teaches us through promptings and opening our minds as we read God’s Word, helping us to understand what the Scriptures are saying.

Many times, in churches I’ve attended, I’ve heard people talk about the Holy Spirit as an “it”.  But the Holy Spirit is not an “it”, the Holy Spirit is a “He”, for He is a person…the third person of the Trinity.  There’s a song we sing in Pentecostal churches call “Send it on Down”.  My Pastor doesn’t like it when we sing it that way, He changes it to say, “Send Him on Down.”  The Holy Spirit is not a thing, He is a person…living inside of us, guiding us, loving us, helping us.

The only way we receive the Holy Spirit is when we become Born Again.  We must be saved to receive the Holy Spirit.  Once we have made that decision, we can be assured that the Holy Spirit is residing in us.  We then can walk in peace and in power.  Remember what Jesus told the disciples?  “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8) The Holy Spirit gives us the power to be witnesses of God’s love and forgiveness.  We must be sure we are listening to His voice as we walk daily with Him. 

When we are saved, we are initially filled with the Holy Spirit, it is called the infilling of the Holy Spirit.  This is different from the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Acts 2:4.  The Baptism of the Holy Spirit gives us power…power to live a holy life, to witness about God’s love and forgiveness, and to evangelize the world.  It is for today to give us power to be witnesses.  We receive Him by faith, and He becomes our comforter, counselor, our friend, and so much more.  What a blessing to have God, the Holy Spirit in a Believer’s life.

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