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Religious Folklore - You Do Not Get all of the Holy Spirit when You are Saved

Religous folklore has it that we only get part of the Holy Spirit (1) when we are saved and the rest when we have a second experience commonly called being baptized with the Spirit.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9 NET)

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When you accept Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior (referred to as being born again or saved), then you receive the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of the Anointed.  Remember, Christ, means anointed in the original Koine (common) Greek of the New Testament.

For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he does not give the Spirit sparingly. (John 3:34 NET)

God has never given the Holy Spirit piecemeal.  Furthermore, Jesus received all of the Holy Spirit when He was baptized to show us what will happen when the Holy Spirit baptizes us.

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13 NET)

When we are born again, the Holy Spirit comes upon us and baptizes or immerses us in Himself.

Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth."  God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 NET)

Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy and may your spirit and soul and body be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NET)

The LORD God formed the man from the soil of the ground (body) and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (spirit), and the man became a living being (soul). (Genesis 2:7 NET) (2)

God exists in three different forms simultaneously (the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit).  Man was created in God’s image; therefore, it follows that man has three parts: the spirit, the soul, and the body.

Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? (Hebrews 12:9 NET)

God is the Father of all spirits.  Therefore, when we were conceived God gave us a spirit that was alive.  Alive meaning a spirit that could go into God’s presence.

And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! (Romans 7:9,10 NET)

The Apostle Paul, who wrote the book of Romans, is referring to when his original spirit died.  Remember that spiritual death is separation from God not ceasing to exist.  This means you cannot go into His presence and when you leave the physical body, you must be incarcerated in Hell.  Again, we are all born with a spirit that is alive unto God but when we understand that sin leads to death (the law of sin and death) and chose to sin anyway – we separate our spirit from God or die spiritually.  Furthermore, being born with a spirit that is alive unto God is why those that are mentally challenged and young children, both of which never understand the law of sin leading to death, can still go to heaven when they die physically (Deuteronomy 1:39. Matthew 18:1-4).  They have never died spiritually and are still alive unto God (i.e., have a spirit that can go into God’s presence).

 I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26 NET)

After our voluntary separation from God, we need a new spirit to bring us back in fellowship with Him.

because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NET)

GOoD news, Jesus died on the cross at Golgotha so that we could have a new spirit by just believing and submitting to His Lordship!  Consequently, we are given a new spirit when we are born again.  This new spirit is not a baby spirit but rather a perfect spirit.

But you have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22,23 NET)

Our new or reborn spirit is perfect and must be to serve its intended purpose – be the Most Holy Place of the New Testament.  Remember that the Most Holy Place was where God dwelt on Earth in the Old Testament.

I will put my Spirit within you; I will take the initiative and you will obey my statutes and carefully observe my regulations. (Ezekiel 36:27 NET)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19 NET)

The Holy Spirit comes to live in our reborn spirit that is located within our physical body.  The Holy Spirit is so holy that even His name reflects this attribute.  Consequently, it would be impossible for Him to reside in a less than perfect spirit.  It is He the third person of the Godhead that causes us to walk in His Word.

I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26 NET)

The misunderstanding about the Holy Spirit is further exacerbated by our failure to rightly divide the second thing given to us when we are born again – a new heart!  Furthermore, understanding the spiritual heart will clear up confusion about if one can lose their salvation.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NET)

The heart and the spirit of man are not the same things.  I am referring here to the spiritual heart and not the physical blood pump.  The words for heart and spirit are different both in the Greek of the New Testament and the Hebrew of the Old Testament.  Furthermore, that verse tells us that the word of God is the only way to examine the differences between the soul and spirit of a man.  It reveals that upon dividing the soul and spirit, we find the heart of man. 

but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God's sight. (1 Peter 3:4 NET)

The heart is the soil or incubator of our thoughts and intents (motives) and is what science calls the subconscious mind.  It is the hidden person, inner man, or real you.  You can fool people with your soul, but your heart reflects who you are in reality.

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Don't be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7 NET)

Again, God looks on the heart because it is the real you.

For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, "Eat and drink!" But his heart is not with you. (Proverbs 23:7 NAS)

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21 NET)

The heart of man is changed by what we give attention to or think about with the soul.  The soul of man is the center of our mind, emotions, and will.

If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile. (James 1:26 NET)

The words that we say go into our heart for good or for bad.

Offspring of vipers! How are you able to say anything good, since you are evil? For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart.  The good person brings good things out of his good treasury, and the evil person brings evil things out of his evil treasury. (Matthew 12:34-35 NET)

Whatever you think about is being stored or treasured in your heart.  When these thoughts become predominant in our heart then our behavior changes.  These predominant thoughts then manifest themselves as our motives.

For the heart of this people has become dull; they are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes, so that they would not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' (Matthew 13:15 NET)

We understand spiritual truths with our heart.

For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. (Romans 10:10 NET)

It is with our spiritual heart that we believe not with the soul.

When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches what was sown in his heart; this is the seed sown along the path. (Matthew 13:19 NET)

Our heart is the soil for the Word of God.  A tender heart is likened to good soil, and a hard heart is likened to rocky soil.

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap unfailing love. Break up the unplowed ground for yourselves, for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers deliverance on you. (Hosea 10:12 NET)

We can break up or plow the soil of our heart by prayer.  That is why those that spend much time in prayer understand much about the Word.  They are spending time preparing the soil of their heart for the seed of the Word.

Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you double-minded. (James 4:8 NET)

Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God– what is good and well-pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NET)

During the new birth (1), God removes our hard spiritual heart and gives us a new heart that is tender unto Him.  However, God does not give us a new soul in the new birth.  Therefore, if we do not renew our minds to His Word, then our still reprobate thoughts will harden this new heart.  This happens to many Christians and is the reason they backslide to the point that the church questions if they were ever saved.  Furthermore, some denominations think that these hardhearted individuals have lost or rather given away their salvation.  I believe we are going to be humbled when we see many joining us in Heaven that we have written off.  Our God is abounding in mercy and is not looking for perfect performance but rather daily progress.

So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, (Philippians 2:12 NET)

Consequently, we must by the Holy Spirit study the Word and allow it to save (deliver) our souls.  This is the only way that we can keep our hearts pure and thus sensitive to God.  We have seen that man is a spirit, has a soul, and lives in a physical body.  The bridge between the soul and body of man is the human brain.  If the brain is healthy, then it functions to provide a two-way flow of information between the physical world and our soul.  If our brain is damaged (e.g., hardening of the arteries, stroke, concussion, etc.) then we may not be able to transfer information from the physical world to our soul and vice-a-versa.  Have you ever known someone that had a stroke that could not talk to you but still knew you?  Furthermore, what the brain is to the body and soul the spiritual heart is to the soul and spirit.  The spiritual heart is the bridge between the soul and spirit of man.  If our spiritual heart is healthy then the Holy Spirit, who came into our spirit at the new birth, can fill our hearts.

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5 NET)

The Holy Spirit desires to fill our reborn spiritual hearts with the love of God.  To be filled with God’s love is to be filled with God because He is love.

And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him. (1 John 4:16 NET)

Again, God does not just love you – He is love Himself!

This filling of our hearts with God after the new birth is what many have referred to as the second experience.  You do not get more of God when He fills your heart but rather He gets more of you!  Unlike the new birth, the filling of our spiritual heart is something that can be done many, many times – thank you, Jesus!  However, when our words and thoughts harden our hearts (similar to hardening the arteries of our brain by eating the wrong foods), then God cannot fill us or not fill us much.  Then the world cannot see Christ in our lives.  That is because the Holy Spirit is limited in flowing from our spirit, to our heart, to our soul, to our brain, to our body.

The spirit of the sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has chosen me. He has commissioned me to encourage the poor, to help the brokenhearted, to decree the release of captives, and the freeing of prisoners,  2 to announce the year when the LORD will show his favor, the day when our God will seek vengeance, to console all who mourn,  (Isaiah 61:1-2 NET)

"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; (Luke 4:18 NKJ)

GOoD news!  Jesus came in the power of the Holy Spirit to heal the broken of heart!

I shall run the way of Thy commandments, For Thou wilt enlarge my heart. (Psalms 119:32 NAS)

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on the earth is named.  I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person,  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love,  you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 NET)

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the skins burst and the wine is spilled out and the skins are destroyed. Instead they put new wine into new wineskins and both are preserved." (Matthew 9:17 NET)

Our new spiritual hearts can be enlarged to hold an ever increasing amount of God.  Again, the heart is the spiritual part of man that is not fully mature when we are born again.

Summary:

During the new birth, we are given three things: a new spirit, a new heart, and the Holy Spirit tabernacles within our spirit.  However, we are expected to submit to the Holy Spirit for the renewing of our minds (salvation of our souls) and for Him to initially fill our spiritual heart and for subsequent fillings of our spiritual heart.

 

Biblical steps to receiving the initial filling of our spiritual heart by the Holy Spirit:

I. We must be obedient which starts with the new birth.

And we are witnesses of these events, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him." (Acts 5:32 NET)

II. We must be baptized in water as an outward testimony of the inward work of salvation.  Although there is nothing “magical” in the water, it is a demonstration to our own hearts that we have submitted to the Lordship of Jesus.  Furthermore, in the Book of Acts, some were baptized in water after being filled with the Holy Spirit.  Whether water baptism comes before or after being filled with the Holy Spirit is not the main issue.  Being baptized with water was important enough for Jesus to make it a command and the Apostles implemented it as a command in the Book of Acts.

Peter said to them, "Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 NET)

III. We must need or thirst and not just want the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  When we desire the Holy Spirit like our next breath of air, then we will find Him.

On the last day of the feast, the greatest day, Jesus stood up and shouted out, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. Just as the scripture says, 'From within him will flow rivers of living water.'"  (Now he said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were going to receive, for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.) (Jonn 7:37-39 NET)

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. (Matt. 5:6 NET)

IV.       We must ask for the Holy Spirit.

 If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13 NET)

V.         We must drink or actively receive the Holy Spirit.

On the last day of the feast, the greatest day, Jesus stood up and shouted out, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. Just as the scripture says, 'From within him will flow rivers of living water.'"  (Now he said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were going to receive, for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.) (Jonn 7:37-39 NET)

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13 NET)

VI.       We must present our ourselves (our hearts) surrendered to the Holy Spirit.

and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness. (Rom. 6:13 NET)

VII.     We must surrender our body to the Holy Spirit.

and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness. (Rom. 6:13 NET)

 

For subsequent filling of our spiritual heart by the Holy Spirit:

And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, (Ephesians 5:18,9 NET)

When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God courageously. (Acts 4:31 NET)

Prayer and singing unto God will keep you filled with all the fulness of God!

 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father I have hardened my heart; consequently, the World is not seeing Christ in me, and I am bringing reproach to your great name.  You paid the price for me at Calvary by conquering sin and all its effects.  I thank you that your word of my redemption is the same today as when you first spoke it upon Jesus’ resurrection.  I thank you now for a heart that is tender towards you, a heart that has been made whole.  Fill my heart Holy Spirit to overflowing.  Let your rivers of living waters flow out of me so that this lost World may know You are in me and I am in you – that we are one so that the World will know that you sent Jesus!


(1) Left click on underlined phrase to open another article in a new tab with more explanation.

(2) Words in (italics) inserted by the author to aid in understanding.

 


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