Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?
TAKE THE TEST
Let me assure you … I grew up with an OVERLY high focus on getting the “order” just right. I also grew up understanding that the order of how you respond to Jesus determined whether or not you were saved.
Here was the order: Hear – Believe – Repent – Confess – Buried in Baptism – Live faitfhully – … and you will be saved.
For real … that is what I was taught.
I was also taught that if people don’t get that order right – then they’re not saved.
I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE
Many of you had your own order of things, right? For you it was:
Hear the Word – Believe – Say the sinners prayer – MEAN IT – and prove it with your works and you will be saved. If you meant it, then you were saved. If you didn’t mean it, then you weren’t saved in the first place and it will show in your lifestyle.
There are many other variances of “order” but what I want to address is “when” does the Holy Spirit enter the picture.
First of all – THERE IS NO ORDER in how God pours out His Spirit.
ONE Biblical order is: A person is saved, water baptized, then filled with the Spirit.
ANOTHER Biblical order is: A person is hearing the Word and we assume they believe, then they are filled with the Spirit and then water baptized. Acts 10
ANOTHER Biblical Order: A person is saved, water baptized, then they receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. Acts 8, Acts 19
ANOTHER Biblical Order: A person is saved and baptized and there’s no mention of them receiving the Holy Spirit … it is just understood that they did. Acts 16
So how do you know if and when you received the Holy Spirit? Is there a pattern or order of things that need to happen in order to receive the Spirit?
Is there some special theological understanding you have to have in order to receive the Spirit?
Is there anything you have to do to receive the Spirit?
How do you know He’s in you – once He’s in you?
Here are three really important “Test” verses in the Holy Spirit series:
1. FAITH TEST: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the FAITH; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” – II Corinthians 13:5
This verse clearly says that if you do not have the Spirit IN YOU – then you are not really in the faith. It also implies – that if you are TRULY saved – then Jesus lives in you … which is the same thing as the Holy Spirit living in you.
2. MINDSET TEST: Romans 8:9 “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God LIVES IN YOU. And if anyone does not HAVE the Spirit of Christ (LIVING IN THEM), they do not belong to Christ.”
So … the “MINDSET TEST” is also the “REALM TEST”. It reveals a shift in our dominant thinking and relational patterns.
It reveals if you live with an earthly mindset or “realm” or do you live by the Spirit-mindset/realm. This helps reveal if you are really “in the faith”. If you are living by faith with your mind in faith – then you DO you have the Spirit living in you. In other words, one way you know if the Spirit is living in you – is do you DWELL/LIVE in the realm of the Spirit or is your life stuck in the flesh?
Only you really know this – no one else can tell.
People think they can tell by looking at the fruit in your life … but it’s possible to be “loving” “joyful” “kind” “self-controlled” “gentle” “patient” … and NOT have a relationship with God. BUT it is NOT possible to be filled with the Spirit and NOT have these fruits in your life.
It’s also possible to have a bad day – and be caught up in the flesh – but not have that as your normal life pattern.
It is also very possible to do a lot of good in life and make a great impact AND be carnal… or fleshly minded.
It’s possible to do great things and never have your “First Love” as God.
What “Realm” do you live in and from? This is part of the test.
3. FIRST LOVE TEST: The evidence that the Spirit is In you IS NOT DETERMINED BY WHAT YOU CAN DO or HOW YOU TALK …. It is determined by “First Love” and what is at the core/heart of what you do.
Matthew 7:21 says, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers?’”
Wow … so it is possible to prophesy the Word of God in Jesus’ name, cast out demons in Jesus name and perform miracles in Jesus name – and NOT have the Spirit of God inside of you?
It is possible to do many great things – and not have your “First Love” right.
If your “First Love” is not right – this is the test as to whether or not Jesus really lives inside of you.
WOW … this is sobering isn’t it?
The difference in a good life and a Spirit-filled life is seen in the “First Love” of your heart.
It’s all about your personal relationship with God by faith.
It’s not determined by a legalistic sequential understanding of how the Spirit fills a person. It is ALSO not determined by a perfect life.
We’re all saved by grace through faith. Our works don’t save us. But if we’re saved, then we should pass the tests of “First Love” “Faith” and “Mindset”.
As you “put yourself to the test today”, don’t let your mistakes condemn you; invite the Spirit to lead you in repentance and renewal of joy and relationship.
If you have never really begun a personal relationship with God today – in Christ and by the Spirit – then I want to encourage you to start brand new today.
Jesus, I receive you as my savior. Today, I give you my life. Your Word says that you will baptize me in the Holy Spirit. Today, I receive Your Holy Spirit in my life fully. Come live in me. Pour out your power and love into my heart. Fill me with your presence. I receive all of you. Thank you for saving me and filling me with your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, amen.