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How to know you have the Holy Spirit

When we’re saved, we become indwelt by the Holy Spirit. You could say we become a home for God or that we are God’s temple. If we don’t have the Holy Spirit in us then we were never saved in the first place.

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Romans 8:9

There are many other bible verses that confirm this truth. You can find them by searching on “dwells in” or “abides in” in your bible.

1 John 4:13 says “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit”. The Apostle John expects that we can know that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit after we’re saved.

Here are ten evidences that you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

1. The Holy Spirit convicts you of sin

Referring to the Holy Spirit, Jesus said “and when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (John 16:8 NLT).

Before I received the Holy Spirit, I could sin without much guilt. Any guilt I did feel was due to my Christian upbringing. After I received the Holy Spirit, I couldn’t enjoy sinning like I did before because the Holy Spirit works in me to convict me of my sin. With the power of the Holy Spirit working in me, I have been able to gradually and continually kill off the sins that I once loved. The struggle isn’t completely over by any means, nor will it ever be completely finished while I have this sinful nature, but with God’s help I can live up to the words of the Apostle Paul “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

2. You are led by the Spirit of God

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Romans 8:14

The Holy Spirit can lead us in a variety of ways. He might arrange circumstances in your life so you meet a particular person or He might open a door of opportunity for you to walk through.

To me, a sure sign that you’re being led by the Holy Spirit is when He divinely illuminates your understanding of a passage of scripture or brings a bible verse to mind that you need when I’m speaking to someone about the word of God. The Holy Spirit also divinely enables us to obey scripture. When you experience these things, you can have assurance that God has adopted you into his family.

3. Our mind is oriented towards God

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Romans 8:5

An unbeliever’s affections, thoughts, and will are oriented towards satisfying the cravings of the flesh. In other words, they crave what their sinful nature desires. These people are spiritually dead. The exact opposite is true for those who live according to the Spirit. They aspire to set their minds on what God desires. This can only be accomplished through the prompting and power of the Holy Spirit.

4. The Holy Spirit will declare God’s truth to you

Shortly before Jesus was betrayed and arrested at the garden of Gethsemane, He promised the disciples that after He departed from them that He would send them the Holy Spirit.

Jesus told them:

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
John 16:13-14

They were promised that the Holy Spirit would only teach what He hears for God the Father and that the Spirit would tell them of future events, which only God can predict with 100% accuracy because He is in control.

Even after spending three years with Jesus, they only had a partial understanding of the truth of Christ, but the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth about Christ. This is also true for us today. If you have the Holy Spirit in you, He will lead you into all truth. He does this by helping you understand the holy scripture. But for this to be effective, you must put forth the effort to hear and read God’s word. This is why I along with many others recommend reading the bible daily.

5. The Holy Spirit fills us with God’s love

When you’re saved, the Holy Spirit lavishly pours God’s love into your heart.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:5

John the Apostle also wrote “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).

The opposite of being filled with God’s love is loving the world more than you love God. This is the kind of love that God hates. The Apostle John warned “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15).

Those who love God and other believers demonstrate that the Holy Spirit has filled them with God’s love.

6. The Holy Spirit confirms that you’re a child of God

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
Romans 8:15-16

If you’ve been genuinely born again, the Holy Spirit make you aware that you are a child of God. Therefore, you can come before the throne of God as a child runs to their daddy. The term “Abba, Father” is a term that conveys a sense of intimacy, much like the English terms “daddy” or “papa”. This implies a relationship that is free from fear or anxiety.

7. The Holy Spirit helps us break free of carnal sin

We don’t stop sinning the moment we’re saved. If we try to stop sinning under our own willpower and determination, we eventually fail. The Apostle Paul taught that only the Holy Spirit has the power to gradually and continually put our sins to death.

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:13

For this to work, we must cooperate with the Holy Spirit in this. Our desire to please Christ and obey His commandments, that were provided to us through the holy scriptures, must become stronger than our desire to satisfy our sinful desires. The Apostle Paul instructed that if we “walk by the Spirit we won’t gratify the desires of the flesh (see Galatians 5:16).

8. We are becoming more and more like Christ

The Holy Spirit helps us to gradually become more and more like Christ over time.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)

We won’t ever be a perfect image of Christ while we are in these mortal bodies and burdened with our sinful natures. But with the Holy Spirit working in us, and with our obedience to God’s word, we will grow more and more into the likeness of Jesus.

9. We will bear good fruit

Jesus told a parable about the importance of bearing good fruit. He said you’ll be able to who  the righteous people are by the fruit they produce (see Matthew 7:16-20). If someone can bear good fruit (good works) then it must also be possible to bear bad fruit.

Paul described the stark contrast between bad and good fruit in his letter to the Galatians.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:19-23

I’d like to add that bearing good fruit by itself is not evidence that you have the Holy Spirit. I know people who do not believe in Jesus who bear more fruit than most Christians I know. However, everyone who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit will bear good fruit at one time or another. Christians who are walking in the spirit should be cooperating with the Holy Spirit to purge the bad fruit from their lives while also demonstrating an eagerness to bear the good fruit of the Spirit.

10. God disciples us

There are consequences to grieving the Holy Spirit because God disciplines those He loves. Just as a good father disciplines his child, God the Father disciplines His children (see Proverbs 3:11-12). When we get sloppy in our Christian life, when we give in to sin and grieve the Holy Spirit, God will provide the discipline that’s needed to get us back on the right path.

In his letter to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul wrote:

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Hebrews 12:4-6 (NIV)

Final thoughts

My hope is that you can see all or at least most of these evidences of the Holy Spirit working in your life. If not, then it’s time to get serious about getting right with God before it’s too late. None of us can know when we’ll draw our last breath and we don’t know the day or the hour that Christ will return for His church. I pray that you’ll be ready because there is no second chance.

This message is adapted (in part) from the YouTube video How to know you have the Holy Spirit by Tim Conway.

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I’ve been a Christian for more than 40 years. In 2013, I began growing in a closer relationship with God as I turned over more and more of my life to Him and asked Him for wisdom. Since then, I’ve been strongly compelled to share God's word and to warn others that we need to get ready because Jesus is coming soon.

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