Lesson 5: The Gift of the Holy Spirit
Instructions: Read the lesson. Make sure that you check the Scriptural references (don’t just skip it). Then answer the questions below. Do your best to answer them without looking at the lesson. You can close your eyes while you’re trying to answer the question. This will show whether you have actually understood the lesson or not. If you cannot really answer the question, then go back to the lesson to find the right answer. If you were able to answer, check if it’s correct by going back to the lesson.
Our initial salvation is not complete until we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is the signature that makes the check valid or, more biblically, it is the seal that proves you have heard and believed in the Gospel of truth (Eph 1:13-14).This signals the beginning of our Christian life.
But the Holy Spirit is not an “it”. He is a Person. He is the third Person of the Triune Godhead — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). He was promised as a gift to indwell all those who will believe in (or obey) the Gospel (Acts 2:38-39). Without Him, a person is not a true child of God (Romans 8:9). The Spirit is the only One who can give us true assurance of our salvation (Romans 8:16). Therefore, it is important to be sure that we have received this gift already (Acts 19:1-2). Without Him we cannot have the power to fulfill His purposes in this world (Acts 1:8).
The Holy Spirit is received primarily through the laying of hands (Acts 19:6). However, there are times when God may pour out His Holy Spirit without anyone laying his hands on the recipient of the gift (for example, Acts 2:1-4). At times this may even happen before people are water baptized (for example, Acts 10:44). But no one receives this gift unless they have heard and understood the Gospel first, and have obeyed by believing in the Gospel (see Acts 5:32).
A person who receives this gift the first time may manifest certain signs. He or she may speak in other tongues or languages (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6). They may exhibit certain gifts that show that God’s power is with them (Acts 6:8,10; 1 Cor 12:1-11). Sometimes they may just be filled with great joy (Acts 8:39). Some may even see visions or dreams or prophesy (Acts 2:17-18). But the most important sign would be love — true love for God and for others, especially for God’s people (1 John 4:7). According to the apostle John, those who do not live in love do not really know God. Only those who are truly born-again can love God and other people, because love comes from God.
So this completes the first part of what every person needs, i.e. to be saved. To recapitulate, to be saved, a person must hear and understand the Gospel, respond in faith to the Gospel (repent and trust in Jesus as his Savior and Lord), be water baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is the normal process of being born again (John 3:3). There may be unusual circumstances where not all of these are experienced (for example, like the repentant thief at the cross). But generally speaking a person needs to experience all these in order to be truly born again and enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3,5).
- What completes our initial salvation?
- Why do we need the Holy Spirit?
- How do we receive the Holy Spirit?
- How do we know that we have actually received the Holy Spirit?
- What is the real proof that we have received the Holy Spirit?
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