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What if a person never receives the Holy Spirit?

Submitted: 10/2/2006
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Question: If a Christian never receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, is there something wrong? Is that person not saved?

Answer: Yes, there is something wrong. The first possibility is that the person has not truly repented. Maybe he is holding onto some secret sin or some area of self-will. The second possibility is that he has not believed properly. This may be because he has not been properly taught. The third is that he has not been properly baptized. Peter said that if we repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness (remission) of sins, that we 'shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit' (Acts 2:38).

The Samaritans are an example of people who had been baptized but had not received the Spirit (Acts 8:16). Perhaps they were having a hard time believing that Jesus would really give them this wonderful gift, since they had been looked down upon by the Jews for so long. But when Peter and John arrived from Jerusalem, their faith was strengthened and they were filled with the Spirit (Acts 8:17).

Receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is an essential part of the salvation plan. Without it a person is only half born again (John 3:5). He is like a still-born child: out of the womb but not breathing.