How Do You Receive the Holy Spirit? [According to the Bible]

Pentecost Jean II Restout (1692-1768), French baroque classicism, Holy Spirit
[Jean II Restout (1692-1768), “Pentecost” // Public Domain]

In my recent studies of Roman Catholicism, someone challenged a counter-example I presented to the RC understanding of how the Holy Spirit comes to live inside people. They claimed using the example was misguided or misrepresentative of the New Testament’s presentation of the subject at large.

I certainly did not want to have a wrong understanding of the subject and realized I did not have a deep or well-formed understanding of all the NT actually presents on it.

All views in the Christian tradition I’m aware of require belief/faith in Christ in order to receive the Holy Spirit. Various traditions add one or more of the following requirements to such receipt:

  1. Baptism (with water)
  2. Confirmation (either laying on of hands, anointing with oil, and/or prayer)- according to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church [affiliate link], “the rite whereby the grace of the Holy Spirit is conveyed in a new or fuller way to those who have already received it in some degree or fashion at Baptism.”
  3. 2nd blessing (or, sometimes, 3rd work of grace)- a spiritual event/experience, considered baptism of the Holy Spirit (e.g., classical Pentecostal views)

I looked at every use of the word “spirit” in the New Testament to do the following:

  1. Examine every instance in which someone received the Holy Spirit and tally which of these additional elements above were present.
  2. Examine every passage which taught about the Holy Spirit, especially looking for any passage teaching on what elements must be present for the receipt thereof.

Click below for the full spreadsheet of my findings!

Examine them and consider their implications for yourself. Please let me know if there is anything missing from my list. Below is a snapshot of just the analysis of the historical instances, not the passages teaching on the subject.

Although it’s a bit choppy, I did make a video on this study and some of the conclusions I draw from it if you really want my thoughts on the matter.

Name the Unknown logo, three blue rectangles

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