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How do you know if you have the Holy Spirit?

We can know if we have the Holy Spirit by asking ourselves, "Have I placed faith in Jesus by believing that everything He said and did was true? Do I believe He died for my sins, was buried, and rose again?" (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). If you have accepted the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, then YES, you have the Holy Spirit. Immediately upon choosing Christ, the Holy Spirit becomes a part of us (Ephesians 1:13-14). All believers in Jesus have the Holy Spirit, while those who choose to reject Jesus do not (Romans 8:9).

Indwelled by the Holy Spirit

At the exact second we accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation, we receive the Holy Spirit, which is called the "indwelling" or "baptism" of the Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 explains that "when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, [you] were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit." You see? Right at the moment of salvation, we're given the Holy Spirit. We're marked by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, who serves as a seal on our souls. His presence is a "deposit" of God's glory which is to come. Once we have the Holy Spirit, He will never leave because His indwelling is permanent.

Filled with the Holy Spirit

Sometimes being "indwelled" by the Holy Spirit is confused with being "filled" with the Holy Spirit. Some believe a dramatic, supernatural event must happen in order for them to receive the Holy Spirit, but this is not true. As we said, at the moment of salvation, a believer receives the Holy Spirit—regardless of whether they "feel" it. But there IS such a thing as being "filled" with the Holy Spirit.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit comes and goes as we live out our faith in our lives. When believers submit to the Holy Spirit’s control and obey His guidance, this is called being filled with the Spirit. Being "filled" with the Spirit is kind of like ocean tides. Sometimes it's strong and overflowing, and other times, it feels like we're in the middle of a drought. But that's normal for all believers, and it's OK.

Walking with the Holy Spirit

Throughout our lives, as we develop our relationship with Christ, we are to “walk in the Spirit” or “keep in step with the Spirit.” This means we pay attention when the Holy Spirit leads and guides us, and we allow our lives to be changed by Him for the better (Galatians 5:16-26).

The apostle Paul taught the early churches, "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-20). Walking with the Spirit enables us to better serve God and helps us develop the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Finally, it's important to note that there is unlikely to be outward evidence that the Holy Spirit has indwelled a believer. No band of angels will appear in the sky. No miraculous signs, such as speaking in tongues, are required as "proof." The indwelling or baptism of the Holy Spirit happens at the moment of salvation. If a person has placed faith in Jesus by believing that He died for their sins, was buried, and rose again, then they have the Holy Spirit. Period. Placing faith in Jesus is the only prerequisite to receiving the Holy Spirit.

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TL;DR

If you have accepted Jesus Christ by placing faith in His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), then you have received the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14). Once you have the Holy Spirit, He will never leave because His indwelling is permanent. As we continue in our faith, the Holy Spirit fills us and guides us toward becoming more Christlike.

By: Vivian Bricker

Vivian loves learning, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She is dedicated to helping people learn more about Jesus and is ready to help in any way she can. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, cooking, drawing, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, you can find her soaking up the sunshine or going on an adventure.

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