How does one receive the Holy Spirit? Simple. As Peter said in Acts 2:38-39, you “repent” and “believe.” Which just happens to be the same requirements for salvation. After all, the guarantee of our inheritance in Him is the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14). This is a truth most Christians know and understand. No Holy Spirit, no salvation. It’s as simple as that.
But how does one experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit? How do we find our joy in Him? Or, how do we experience the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8) as a daily, living reality? How is that possible?
Consider the following:
Every believer has received the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is only received by repentance and faith in Jesus at salvation.
There is a fullness of the Holy Spirit that is usually greater than what is experienced at conversion. Your own experience confirms this truth.
As there are certain conditions for receiving the Holy Spirit, there are also certain conditions for experiencing the fullness of the Spirit.
They are primarily found in Romans 6 and 12.
Let’s dig a bit deeper, shall we?
Two Words: Deny and Surrender
The fullness of the Holy Spirit is found in the same way, and under the same conditions, as following Jesus. Do you remember the requirements Jesus placed on those who desired to follow Him? They are self-denial and surrender and are found in Matthew 16:24-25, among other places.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Denial and surrender. Or, by letting the Lord be Lord over our lives. The same principle is required to experience the fullness of the Spirit. To experience the fullness of the Spirit requires the absolute, unqualified surrender of your life to God, to do His will and not your own. But this shouldn’t surprise you. You had to do this to receive salvation by declaring someone other than yourself as Lord.
Remember, when we surrender our sins and believe, we receive the Holy Spirit with salvation. And when we surrender our lives and believe, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Why? Because the receiving of the Spirit is God’s answer to repentance and faith and the guarantee of our salvation. And, in a like manner, experiencing the fullness of the Spirit is God’s answer to a life surrendered to Him. When we are saved the Spirit enters into our life. But at surrender, the Spirit takes full possession of our lives and brings us the blessings that come from a life that is fully surrendered to God.
So the choice is ours. We can continue to live in lukewarm Laodicea satisfied with less than the abundant life Christ promised. Or we can jump into the deep end of the pool and surrender all to Him. It’s not complicated. It’s just hard. What do you want to do? The ball is in your court.
The following is a study on being Fully Surrendered to God from Romans 6.