The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the revealed “Holy Trinity” or Godhead–(God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). The Holy Spirit can be used interchangeably with “the Holy Ghost” or “the Spirit of God”. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was on Earth carrying out His Father’s plans. Before he ascended back into heaven, Jesus told his disciples that he would not leave them as orphans, but he would send them a helper to be with them, in them and to stay with them forever. Jesus said that it was best for him to ascend back to heaven because if not, the Holy Spirit could not come. After Jesus died on the cross, he released the Holy Spirit from his mortal body. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out to indwell Jesus’ disciples.
The Holy Spirit is said to be our helper, comforter, advocate and teacher. He is the Spirit of Truth and will lead us into remembrance of all the things Jesus taught. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins and even prophecies to us about the things to come in the future. He gives us dreams, visions, and many different gifts, such as: the gift of wisdom, knowledge, prophecy, faith, healing, miraculous powers, discernment of spirits, speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues. These gifts are distributed to believers as the Holy Spirit sees fit, to help us fulfill the ministry of reconciliation and to help us edify and build each other up for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
Some people claim to be Christians, followers of Christ, or disciples of Jesus’ teaching, yet they haven’t truly believed in the gospel message. Thus, they do not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit–these individuals follow the religious principles of the Christian faith, but have not yet been fully converted into the faith; They have not had a genuine born again experience. It is essential that every true believer be baptized, or filled with the Holy Spirit; If we do not possess the Holy Spirit, we do not truly belong to Christ. In order to be filled, you must sincerely understand and believe in your heart the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As you believe in the gospel, the Holy Spirit can be received several ways, and the Bible gives at least three examples of how one can be filled:
1.) The Holy Spirit can be poured out on you directly from Heaven by you praying earnestly to receive it, and by you tarrying with great expectation;
2.) after you hear and genuinely receive the gospel of Christ into your heart by faith; and
3.) by impartation through the laying on of hands by another believer.
Again, you must sincerely repent from your sins and genuinely believe in Jesus to be filled. There are many evidences of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. One of the most common, external evidences of receiving the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. But perhaps the most important, initial, internal evidence of you receiving the Holy Spirit is the love of God being shed abroad in your heart, and the birthing of spiritual fruit in your life, such as: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self self-control. These fruit are the divine nature or characteristics of God, and only those who are truly born again or filled with the Holy Spirit are capable of bearing such fruit.
Once received, the Holy Spirit becomes one with our spirit. The Holy Spirit adopts us into sonship and testifies with our spirits that we are children of God, so that we, as believers, may cry out Abba Father. When filled with the Holy Spirit, we receive power and boldness from On High to become witnesses to the world about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us and gives us the strength to contend against our old, sinful nature. The Holy Spirit seals us until the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit is also the power of God to resurrect us from our physical death on that Great Day, just as he also rose Jesus from the grave three days after his death.