When you repented and came to Jesus and submitted to Him as Lord, God cleansed you from your sin. He did this based on the work that Jesus did on the cross on your behalf. This cleansing was for a purpose, however, and that is that God might come and dwell within. Many have experienced the freedom of being forgiven and cleansed of their sin, reconciled to God out of a place of estrangement, and thought that was the end. But that is only a step of preparation to God's greater purpose which is to come and dwell with men (see John 14:23).
We have already quoted John 1:37-38, but the following verse reads, "But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." In other places, the Holy Spirit is spoken of as "the gift of promise." It is important to note that the Holy Spirit is not a gift separate from God but rather God Himself. If we miss this aspect of God's purpose, we miss everything because we miss God.
As we have already seen, the main thing that went wrong in the beginning was that man chose to live independently of God. Before we can go on, we must come back to where we left God. When we receive God (the Holy Spirit) into our lives, we are made alive to God. We are joined to the Lord in the Spirit and made one with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17). Apart from God we can do nothing (John 15:5). To be made alive in the Spirit is really our beginning place in God. Everything that God does before this is preparation for this marriage (union), and everything afterwards is living out of our union with God. Our whole life now is to be lived in the ability of His life.
In Acts 2:39 we are told that the promise of the Holy Spirit is for "as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself." If you have come to Jesus and been washed in His blood, then you are included in those for whom the Spirit has been given. It is not automatic, however, since all things in the kingdom of God are appropriated by individual faith. The Holy Spirit is no exception. Perhaps you are like the men at Ephesus in Acts 19 who had not even heard that there was a Holy Spirit. lf this is the case, then know for certain that the Holy Spirit has been given, and according to the words of Jesus in Luke 11:13, He will give the Holy Spirit to all who ask.
What should you expect when you receive Holy Spirit? In three different accounts of believers receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4, 10:34-48, and 19:1-7) we read words similar to these: "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying." Many have said that these signs are not for today, but the Word of God does not say that. When you ask: for the Holy Spirit, do not doubt, but receive from God those spiritual manifestations that He gives you. He would not give them if they were not important. Do not let unbelief rob you of the full blessing that God has for you in Christ Jesus.
In Acts 1:8 we read, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria; and even to the remotest part of the earth. " With the Holy Spirit comes the power to live the life of God as a testimony unto God. He calls us to be witnesses of those things which we have seen and heard, and it is in the Holy Spirit that we find the power to do the will of God in our lives. In Galatians 5:22-23 we read, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." These are attributes of one who has received the Holy Spirit and is allowing the life of God to manifest itself through him. If we want the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, then we must first have the Spirit.
How then do you receive the Holy Spirit? "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink" (John 7:37). Hunger and thirst for the reality of God in your life, and then come to Jesus. He is the one who will give you the Spirit. Many have missed this aspect of the purpose of God for their lives. Do not be numbered among them, but be included in those who pleased God by faith. Be not unbelieving. Receive today.