In Luke Chapter 11:1 through 13, Jesus exhorts us seek righteousness through persistence.

Luke 11:9 and 10 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

and in verse 13 he seems to indicate that when God gives us the Holy Spirit that is the fulfillment of that quest:

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

We have the further example of Pentecost which appears to bolster this concept.

Acts 1:4 through 8 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

In the above verses Jesus charges the disciples not to go into the world to preach the Gospel until they have received holy Spirit. And in the following verses we have the fulfillment of Jesus promice

Acts 2:1 through 4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The question that arises in my mind is whether this receiving of the Holy Spirit was only applicable, those early converts or is that applicable to all converts?

closed as primarily opinion-based by fredsbend, Caleb Jun 30 '14 at 9:11

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    This sounds like a Truth question. – Double U Jun 29 '14 at 14:26
  • Anonymous criticism is valid, even though I didn't VTC and actually chose to answer instead. You need to clarify your scope - what perspective are you seeking? – bruised reed Jun 30 '14 at 3:38
  • Yes, this appears primarily opinion based; different Christian groups will have different opinions. Also, maybe it's because I don't really understand the question title, but the title and your last sentence question in your body do not match. – fredsbend Jun 30 '14 at 4:30

Disclaimer: This answer is from a Charismatic Evangelical perspective with Wesleyan soteriology.

Is receiving the Holy Spirit the completion of Salvation?

The short answer is no.

While it is true that Ephesians 4:30 ESV says

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Given this, it would be easy to think that if we've received the Holy Spirit, we will definitely be kept from falling away and will surely be saved from the wrath to come (i.e. 'once saved always saved'); However, just a little further along in the same discourse, the believer (who has 'shared in the Holy Spirit, and ha[s] tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come' - Heb 6:4-6) is solemnly warned:

5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; - Ephesians 5:5-7 ESV

This is not an idle warning, there are many places in scripture that believers are warned of the dangers of falling away (cf. Heb 3:12-14, Rom 8:12-13, Rom 11:17-22, Matt 7:13-27, John 15:1-6) - even given the unfailing faithfulness of the Heavenly Father, even after evidence of His mighty anointing upon us with signs and wonders. The simple fact is the Holy Spirit's influence in our lives is resistable (cf. Acts 7:51, Eph 4:30, 1 Thes 5:19) and the consequence of this, is that like Esau it is possible to despise our (new) birthright. As we receive Him, so we must walk in Him (Col 2:6).

So when we initially receive the Holy Spirit it is not the 'completion' of our salvation. Paul's instruction to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil 2:12) was given to believers who had received the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will lead us into the fulness of salvation, but we must follow and not shrink back through unbelief. The journey of sanctification is along the straight and narrow road that is difficult, but at the end of the road, our journey will be completed in full satisfaction of that which the Spirit's presence gives us a foretaste.

The 'completion' of our salvation is described here:

28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. - 1 John 2:28-3:3 ESV (emphasis added)

The completion of our salvation, is to be conformed to the image of the Son (cf. Rom 8:29, 2 Cor 3:18, Eph 4:13-15) and to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect (Mat 5:48). "Character trumps Charisma" (cf. Mat 7:15-23).

Nevertheless, receiving the full measure of the Spirit promised to the Children of God is extremely precious and should not be despised - He will convict of sin, of righteousness and judgement (John 16:8), He will lead us to confess that Jesus is Lord (cf. 1 Cor 12:3), He will guide us into all truth (John 16:13), He will equip us to be powerful witnesses to the Truth* (Acts 1:8), He will bring prophecy, dreams and visions that we may know the day of the Lord's favor and see His deliverance* (Joel 2:28-32).

The question correctly cites verses from Luke 11 and Acts 1 & 2 as giving keys as to how to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit - Ask, Seek, Knock, Expect the good gift from your Heavenly Father, Wait on God according to his timing, unite with other believers in prayer with one purpose. We see from the many other examples in the book of Acts that those who have received can help others to receive, particularly through the laying on of hands (cf. Acts 8:14-17, Acts 9:17-18). We can see further, that *'the baptism of the Holy Spirit' is a subsequent experience to believing the gospel and it was always evidenced by outward signs (gifts of prophecy, tongues or healing etc. - cf. Acts 8:14-17, Acts 9:17-18, Acts 19:1-7)

In closing, to answer your final question:

The question that arises in my mind is whether this receiving of the Holy Spirit was only applicable, those early converts or is that applicable to all converts?

This is directly answered in the clearest terms possible by what the Apostle Peter says in Acts 2:38-39 -

38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (emphasis added)

The promise of the Holy Spirit is to everyone whom the Lord God calls to himself - even those who are 'far off'.


By basing the question on the first part of Acts 2 but never making it to the end, you're unwittingly creating a false dichotomy that receiving the Holy Spirit always equals a miraculous measure. John 3:34 shows that the Spirit may be given in different measures, when it affirms that the Spirit was not given to Jesus in measure.

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (John 3:34 KJV)

Whereas the apostles received a miraculous measure and spoke in tongues in Acts 2, when Peter preached to the people saying "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38) we do not find any mention of tongues following or any other miracles when any of these individuals were baptized and received the Spirit.

Furthermore, Paul asks these questions expecting a negative answer in 1 Corinthians 12:30, "Do all speak in tongues? Do all have the gift of healing?" No. Yet, per several passages, it is clear all Christians have the Holy Spirit, even if not in a miraculous measure:

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV)

Rather than the end of salvation, the reception of the Holy Spirit can be seen as the end of conversion, but not really salvation, since the Holy Spirit is said to be a down-payment or earnest on salvation:

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest [or down-payment] of the Spirit in our hearts. (2 Cor 1:22)

  • The Holy Spirit is indeed given in differing measure to each as they have need, my question is not how much we receive, but how does the indwelling of the Holy Ghost affect the Christian's personality. Please note I said affect and not effect. – BYE Jun 30 '14 at 2:17
  • Well, that's certainly a different question that the opening question. – david brainerd Jun 30 '14 at 2:19
  • @Bye I'd have to agree with David - the sense of "how does the indwelling of the Holy Ghost affect the Christian's personality" is not something I can find in your OP. – bruised reed Jun 30 '14 at 2:37
  • @davidbrainerd "Rather than the end of salvation, the reception of the Holy Spirit can be seen as the end of conversion, but not really salvation, since the Holy Spirit is said to be a down-payment or earnest on salvation:" An excellent way of putting it - I heartily agree! – bruised reed Jun 30 '14 at 2:39

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