“…you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Our text above reveals a simple truth about all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. They ALL receive the gift of the Holy Spirit! Eph 1:13-14 says that it is by our receiving of the gift of the Spirit that we are assured we will receive all the blessings we have in Christ: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” The parable of the ten virgins in Mt 25, however, teaches a very sobering thought regarding the gift of the Spirit–not all who think they possess the Spirit actually do! Five of the virgins are identified as foolish, and when they say, “Lord, Lord, open to us,” the Bridegroom replies, “Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.” Since it is possible then to be very religious and yet not know the Lord, we must examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith. (2 Cor 13:5) The list below identifies twelve clear characteristics of those in whom the Holy Spirit lives. Note, this list is not a checklist to make sure you possess four or five of these qualities. Everyone born of Spirit has ALL of these traits!
1) You continually cry Abba, Father! Rom 8:15-16, Gal 4:6—we have access to the Father now and cry for Him (Eph 2:17-18) You don’t have to teach a baby to cry out for mama or daddy!
2) You are a witness unto Christ No one has to teach you to testify of Christ–the Spirit prompts you to do so! (Jn 15:26, 1 Jn 4:13-15, Ac 1:8)
3) You bear the fruit of the Spirit These are the inner qualities common to all believers. (Gal 5:22-25, Jn 15:2,5,16)
4) Your life is one of general obedience to the Lord; He is Lord by your confession with your mouth AND your actions The inner fruits of the Spirit manifest themselves outwardly! (1 Cor 12:3, Rom 8:4-5, 13-14, 1 Jn 3:9-10, 21-24)
5) You are sick of sin 1 Jn 5:18 says that which is born of Spirit sins not, but experientially, we know the flesh still sins. Our response to sin in Rom 7:18-24 is thatwe hate it and kill it out, Rom 8:13
6) You are growing and maturing in the Lord You didn’t stop at one doctrine if you’re in Christ (2 Cor 3:17-18), the unspiritual or carnal remain babes (1 Cor 2:14-3:3, Eph 2:19-22, 2 Th 2:13)
7) Similarly, you have an understanding in the Lord, not the confusion once experienced as you heard the truth The word of God now makes sense! (1 Cor 2:9-16, 1 Jn 2:20) It’s like the light coming on for disciples in Jn 2:22 and12:15-16 because Jn 14:26 is true.
8) Because you’re growing, you’re getting stronger by the Spirit The things that used to crush you no longer do! (Eph 3:16) To have the Spirit is to have power in Ac 1:8. In Eph 6:10-12, we’re told to be strong because we now can be! Now we possess God’s strength! (2 Cor 12:9-10) Compare the before and after state of the believer in 2 Tim 2:26 and Jm 4:7.
9) You love God’s children and desire communion with them This love is not simply someone attending the same church as believers! You have a sincere care and affection for the people of God. (1 Th 4:8-9, 1 Pet 1:22-23, 1 Jn 3:10-14, 4:7-8, 12-13)
10) You are equipped by the Spirit with gifts to serve His people We see a sample of these gifts in Rom 12:4-6. Who gives these gifts as appropriate where needed? (1 Cor 12:4-12; 14:12) Note, the gifts are for the good of the whole church.
11) You suffer AND endure that suffering for Christ’s sake Because point 4 was true, 2 Tim 3:12 is the result, and these persecutions for Christ’s sake evidence the Spirit! (1 Pet 4:12-14) Jesus warned this would happen in Jn 15:18-20. In Ph 1:29, “it is given” = “to grant as a favor”, in other words, it’s our privilege! In Rom 8:16-17, notice the “if” which must be there to prove we have the Spirit and are not like stony ground hearers in Mk 4:17 who have no root in themselves, i.e. Christ is not in them!
12) You anxiously look for the Lord’s return and your full deliverance These two things go together per 1 Jn 3:2. Rom 8:18-23 ties this fact to the indwelling Spirit. Paul lusted (which is what “a desire” means) for this in Ph 1:23 and so does all the church in 2 Cor 5:1-8 (“groan” = “intensely craving” in v. 2). In 2 Tim 4:8, we love to see Jesus NOW and look forward to seeing Him then. You assemble with the saints because where two or three are gathered in His name, Christ is there! (Mt 18:20) In Rev 22:7, 12, Jesus says, “I come quickly”, so the church’s response in v. 20 is, “Come!”