What Are The Evidence of Receiving Holy Spirit?
In Acts, it records the work of the Holy Spirit and history of the origin of the church. “To the law and to the testimony. If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.” (Isa 8:20) The procedure established by God during the apostolic times, is the example for the New Testament church, which must never be altered. From the book of Acts, during the Pentecost, we see the clear evidence of the believers who gathered together in one place, and receiving the Holy Spirit. The descent of the Holy Spirit on men was tangible – manifested internally and externally. It was visible and audible. Peter testified with authority, “… he has poured out what you now see and hear.” (Acts 2:33) The process had actual manifestation; it was not mere imagination or hallucination.
The easiest recognised evidence of receiving Holy Spirit was the speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4) as the Holy Spirit enabled the believers to do so. On Pentecost, one hundred and twenty people spoke in tongues. The voice must have been loud, because the Bible records that “when they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment.” (Acts 2:6-7) The people in the crowd recognized their native tongues, in which the believers declared the wonders of God (Acts 2:11). Later, at Cornelius’ house, Gentiles received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, praising God (Acts 10:45-46). Later still, twelve believers in Ephesus manifest the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues and prophesied (Acts 19:6).
Unless the Holy Spirit opens our ears, tongues are impossible to understand. Paul thanked God he spoke in tongues (1 Cor 14:18). Some Corinthians also spoke in tongues (1 Cor 14:26-27). There are also other evidences of receiving Holy Spirit, eg. singing hymns (Eph 5:19) as in singing in the Spirit (1 Cor 14:15).
Are there any manifestation on those who have the
evidence of receiving Holy Spirit?
The bible shows that those who received the Holy Spirit manifest such evidence. Although it need not be the same for everyone, descent of the Holy Spirit upon men must show evidence for receiving the Spirit is not theoretical but an experience. The fruit of the Holy Spirit produced after receiving the Spirit cannot take the place of such evidence. The bible says, “Hearing them speak in tongues praising God, Peter said, they have received the Holy Spirit as we did.” He thus determined the fact of one’s evidence of receiving Holy Spirit not because they had the virtues, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, but because of their gift of speaking in tongues. Evidence of gift from God that is God’s verification (Acts 15:8) precedes the bearing of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). The outpouring of the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:45) is taken as evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit. For example, Paul laid his hand on the Ephesians, upon whom the Holy Spirit came and spoke in tongues and prophesied. This is evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit. Whoever maintains that there is no need of any external manifestation, has yet to be baptised with the Holy Spirit.
Knowing speaking in tongues is the evidence of receiving Holy Spirit, do you know there is presence of Holy Spirit in water baptism?
In water baptism, the baptised are “saved through water” (1 Pet 3:20), in which the Holy Spirit wields His power, as it was in the beginning of creation, when the Spirit of God hovered above the waters (Gen 1:2). “The Spirit gives life.” (Jn 6:63) “The Spirit of God has made me, the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4; Gal 5:25) “When you send your Spirit, they are created.” (Ps 104:30) This is the work of the Holy Spirit in creation. Water baptism is baptism of rebirth. Naturally, the Holy Spirit works in it. “He did not come by water only, but by water and blood.” “For there are three that testify; the Spirit, the water and the blood.” (1 Jn 5:6-8) Since they are all in one, the Spirit and the Lord’s blood are present in water baptism. “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you I were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:11) It is wrong to say that the Holy Spirit is not working in water baptism.
Receiving water baptism and baptism of the spirit are different. Receiving water baptism is rebirth and revival of spiritual life whereas receiving the Holy Spirit is renewal of spiritual life. It is our hope that you know the evidence of receiving Holy Spirit and to pray for the promised Holy Spirit and in our next post, we will share more on the functions of the Holy Spirit to elaborate on why we need the Holy Spirit.
On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended to give spiritual power to the believers. Can you see the clear evidence of receiving Holy Spirit? Only by receiving power from above, can one renew and advance his spiritual life. Hence, let us pray ceaselessly and with persistence for the Holy Spirit.
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