whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises

The Holy Spirit

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

The promise of receiving the Holy Spirit is one of the great promises of the New Testament. Peter says that the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, to everyone the Lord our God calls.

Every believer in Christ, everyone that the Lord our God calls, has the promise of receiving the Holy Spirit.

The Indwelling Spirit

Jesus spoke of a time when the Spirit of God would dwell in His followers.

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

He told His disciples that they knew the Holy Spirit because He dwelt with them and that He would in the future dwell in them.

The Comforter

The Holy Spirit is the believer’s Comforter, the One who comes along side to help. He is also referred to by Jesus as the Helper. The Lord does not expect believers to just get by the best way they can. He has sent the Spirit of God to be our Helper and Comforter.

The Spirit of Truth

The Holy spirit is also called the Spirit of Truth.

John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Jesus told His followers that He had many things He desired to tell them, but they were not able to receive it at the time. But, when the Spirit of Truth comes to you, He will guide you into all of the truth.

We cannot understand the things of God, the things of the Spirit, the divine truth of the kingdom, unless we are led into that understanding by the Spirit of God. The presence of the Spirit of God in the believer’s life is essential for spiritual growth in the revealed knowledge of God.

The Revealer of Divine Truth

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Verse 9 is an often-quoted verse about the wonderful things God has prepared for those who love Him, or, more accurately, those who seek or enquire of Him. But many often fail to look at verse 10, which says that He has revealed those wonderful things to us by His Spirit.

The hidden things of God are revealed to the believer by the Spirit of God within Him. It says that the Spirit of God searches the deep things of God and reveals them to us.

The Spirit of God is meant to dwell in every believer in Christ. Jesus made many references to the indwelling Spirit in the believer.

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

It was always intended that every believer in Christ should receive the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is the Messiah, which means ‘the Anointed One.’ What was Christ anointed with. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that He would ultimately pour out upon those who believe on Him.

The New Birth

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

The new birth is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, or, that is, a new creation. He has been recreated in his inward man.

This is the work of the Holy Spirit, the One Who rested upon the face of the waters when God created the heaven and the earth. The creation of the universe and the visible world we live in was accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit as God spoke creation into existence.

In the same way the Holy Spirit recreates us in Christ Jesus when we believe upon and receive Christ into our heart by faith. We become a new creature in Christ, the Anointed One.

Baptized in the Holy Spirit

There is a second experience of the Holy spirit available to believers in Christ, though many in religious circles today deny its existence. That experience is referred to as the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and it is accompanied by the evidence of speaking in other tongues.

Many have relegated this experience to those of the early church, as seen in the Biblical account in Acts chapter two on the Jewish Day of Pentecost, and not something for the modern believer to aspire to.

Yet there are millions of believers today who pray with other tongues. The experience can be received by anyone who desires to have it, if they will seek the Lord for it.

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

The Evidence of the Holy Spirit

The phenomenon of speaking in other tongues or languages was not just a thing that happened on the Day of Pentecost as seen in Acts chapter two. It happened also at the house of Cornelius, the Roman centurion in Acts chapter ten.

Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
Acts 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

How did they know, how were they fully assured, that the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles? They heard them speak with tongues.

We see another account in Acts chapter nineteen. Paul, the apostle, in his travels, came to Ephesus and met twelve believers in Christ there. And he asked them a question.

Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Then there was a discussion as to how the disciples had been baptized, and it was determined that they had been baptized into the baptism of repentance of John the Baptist but they had not yet been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, which Paul proceeded to help them with.

Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

What was the Biblical evidence that this group of believers had received the Holy Spirit? They spoke with tongues and prophesied.

The point is that this experience of speaking in tongues as evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was not just a thing that took place on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two. It was prevalent throughout the story of the early church. Early Church believers spoke with tongues, and so can modern believers.

In fact, the arguments that are against today’s believer speaking in tongues are very weak. Those arguments are based on isolated scripture verses which have questionable meaning. The amount of scripture promoting tongues as a gift of the Spirit to all believers far outweighs the obscure scripture verses that have been used to argue against it.

Receiving the Holy Spirit, the Biblical experience evidenced by the speaking in other tongues, is a promise of the word of God to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.