Receiving the Holy Spirit

We're excited to connect with Julian Adams, a man who teaches around the world about a life led by the Holy Spirit. We thought this would be a good read as we prepare for Firebrands. It's not to late to book on if you haven't yet. We anticipate many being filled with the Spirit and sent out boldly to share Christ's love. 

Everything changed for me when I was baptised with the Holy Spirit. In writing this, my hope is to give a biblical framework for why I believe you should seek out and enjoy being filled with the Spirit.

To be clear I believe a person receives the Holy Spirit at conversion. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is the main distinction between the New Covenant and the Old. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)


Those who argue against the baptism of the Spirit as an event separate from salvation tend to use 1 Corinthians 12:13 as a proof text:

“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free— and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”

In his book Holy Fire, Dr RT Kendall writes that, “to superimpose Luke’s usage of the baptism with the Holy Spirit upon 1 Corinthians 12:3 – and to claim that all Christians automatically experience what the early church experienced – is incongruous. Paul is not saying all Christians receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit (as described by Luke in the book of Acts) at conversion. Certainly not.”

In Acts 2 we see the outpouring of the Spirit, which empowers the disciples after they have been saved. Acts 8:14-16 describes how, having heard that a new group of believers had “received the word of the Lord” in Samaria, the apostles sent Peter and John to pray for them, “so that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them”

Again, in Acts 19:1-7, we read that Paul, having come across some believers in Ephesus, asks them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They clearly had not. The point is, Paul didn’t assume that new believers automatically received the empowering of the Holy Spirit at conversion – it was a later experience.

Some argue not to build theological arguments on the “narrative” bits of Scripture, but I think this is unhelpful, as the bible says, “All scripture is God-breathed and useful for instruction.” (2 Timothy 3:16).

What are the results?

Baptism in the Holy Spirit has to do with coming upon a person and anointing them with power – an experience that both witnesses to our adoption as children of God and equips and empowers us for mission. This is not a one-time operation, but the Holy Spirit continues to fill us to overflowing – there are further encounters which God uses to change us, producing joy, spiritual power, boldness and an outflow of spiritual gifts.

My own encounter with the Holy Spirit moved me from being shy and introverted into a bold preacher.

I also spoke in other tongues and prophesied. Tongues is an important aspect of the Christian life, which I believe every believer can enjoy.

I began to see phenomena of power, which have always accompanied the works of the Holy Spirit. Both Scripture and Christian history document numerous examples of the Holy Spirit breaking out with signs and wonders.

How do I receive?

• Come thirsty.

• Be expectant.

• Ask Jesus.

To help you receive, pray this prayer:

Father, I thank you for giving me your Spirit. Jesus you are the one who baptises me with the Holy Spirit. Please fill me now. I receive your free gift now by faith. And I also now receive the ability to speak in tongues. Amen.

Now simply take a deep breath and begin to speak whatever words form and flow from you. Your mind will protest and say this is weird (that’s a biblical response!) Now begin to worship Jesus in your new language.


Julian is a Director at Frequentsee, and author of The Kiss of the Father. He is passionate about bringing people into an authentic encounter with the Holy Spirit. He resides in Durban, South Africa, with his wife, Katia, and two children.