Thank you to everyone who submitted a question. There is still time to write in and ask a question. My response took longer than expected because I believe it was important to give a good and complete answer.
Question: I am trying to learn more about the Holy Spirit in general. I know it is given to us to teach, convict, it provides gifts, etc but how do I know if I have it? Some claim you have to speak in tongues when you get the Holy Spirit due to Acts, and according to that, if you never speak in tongues do you never have the Holy Spirit? What if you have gifts of the Spirit but have never received Christ as your savior? Is that possible? Does the Holy Spirit manifest gifts even when we are walking away from the Lord?
Answer: Galatians 5:22-23 (TPT) - "But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless."
The biggest way you can determine if you have the Holy Spirit living in you is by the way you act and react. The gifts of the Spirit and the fruit are very different. The gifts are temporary and given out strategically to build up the body. So some people might be really great at teaching but maybe they don’t have the gift the tongues. Another person might have both teaching and tongues, but they prophesy. All of these are gifts are given at the Holy Spirit’s discretion, however we are encouraged to ask for more gifts and even a deeper understanding than we already have.
The fruit of the Spirit is very different than the gifts in that, unlike the gifts, the fruit is eternal. So even after we die we will continue to have the fruit of Holy Spirit in heaven. Another way of thinking about it is that the Holy Spirit’s very being and personality is seen in the fruit. Holy Spirit is love, He is joy, He is peace, etc. Therefore, if He is living inside of us we will manifest those attributes too. I feel like with everything going on today, it is a great way to see if Holy Spirit is living inside you. Yes, Christians still get anxious and still have fear, but deep down with Holy Spirit living inside of you, you should still feel peace and joy even in the midst of the craziness going on around you.
Let’s talk about this idea of having to speak to tongues to be saved. There is nowhere in the Bible that states that you must speak in tongues to prove you have the Holy Spirit. It was something that some denominations have taken out of context and twisted into something that it was never intended to symbolize or indicate. Tongues is a great gift, but that is all it is--a gift.; some have it and some don’t. It is not an indicator of salvation or being filled with Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:22 (The Passion Translation) states,
“So then, tongues are not a sign for believers, but a miracle for unbelievers. Prophecy, on the other hand, is not for unbelievers, but a miracle sign for believers.”
Can you speak in tongues even if you aren’t filled with the Holy Spirit? Yes. Even people who are possessed by Demons can speak in languages that aren’t their known language. The enemy likes to twist the gifts of the Spirit and use them for his own gain and manipulation.
Likewise, the gifts of the Spirit are not just for those who are filled with the Spirit. For example, someone could have a gift of teaching, yet not be saved. Another could be prophetic, but may be using that gift as a psychic. As we see time and time again, God also gives dreams to unbelievers, like Pharaoh in Genesis 41 and even King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2. The Spirit doesn’t just give gifts to those who belong to Him, but He also gifts to unbelievers as well. The gifts are meant to edify and unite the body. God can do this through believers and unbelievers. God used Pharaoh’s and King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams to warn His people and unit them.
However, only the fruit is given to those who believe. Only someone who is filled with the Spirit can have true peace and true love. It is only when we are filled with Holy Spirit that we will start to manifest the actual character and attributes of the one who lives inside of us. So, what I feel like we should really try to see when observing people, is not how prophetic or what a great and amazing teachers they are, but whether they are showing the fruit of the Spirit. It is when we see the fruit that we can truly know if someone is saved. Some people might walk away from the Lord, but if they truly were saved, they should still have some of that Holy Spirit fruit.
Dani Noe, Sozo & Admin Pastor