How Do I Know Whether I Have The Holy Spirit?
The Bible teaches that Jesus was the true temple of God, and that through his blood he washes us and makes us fit to be temples too, and through the breaking of his body he imparts to us the Spirit that was in him. But how do we know this is true in our case and we aren’t just fooling ourselves?
A lot of how we answer this depends on what we mean by “having the Holy Spirit.” It can’t be quite like putting a ball in a box; we don’t look inside ourselves and say “There it is!” This is even true of our own self-consciousness: I can’t directly behold myself, for it is I who do the beholding (I will be like the man who stepped outside to look into the window of his own house and said “There’s nobody home”). But even if I can’t directly behold the Holy Spirit, there are still ways I can indirectly know that he is present and that he is working inside of me.
The first way is by simple faith. If I put my faith in Jesus Christ, then I should believe that he has forgiven me and that he has given me the gift of his Spirit. That’s all there is to it.
At the same time, the Apostle Paul says that, if this faith is genuine, it will produce fruit in the course of time. The nine fruits of the Spirit he lists are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. If we have the Holy Spirit, our life should be characterized by the growth of these kinds of things and the removal of things like hatred, depression, restlessness, impatience, meanness, badness, unfaithfulness, harshness, and licentiousness.
If we have been Christians for a time and we are not observing much change in these areas, it may be a sign that we have fallen into the trap of substituting intellectual doctrines for a dynamic relationship with God. Having faith means more than just accepting a set of beliefs. It means daily interaction with the God of the universe.
When we live daily with God, he changes us.
Pastor Chad LewisFebruary 1, 2019