Must We Have the Holy Spirit to Be Saved?
He [Holy Spirit] dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:17b
Can we truly be saved without the Holy Spirit? According to Romans 10:9 the Holy Spirit is not required to be saved. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” However, 1 Corinthians 12:3b says, “No one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5b also shows the Holy Spirit as a requirement for being saved. “According to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” The washing of regeneration would be the cleansing, forgiveness of sins from Jesus, but what about the work of the Holy Spirit?
The answer can be found in in John 14:17. “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” Jesus said the Holy Spirit was dwelling with them, but would be in them, referencing their infilling in Acts 2. After Peter told Jesus that He was, “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17) The only way that Father could have revealed this to Peter was through the Holy Spirit, who again was not dwelling inside Peter yet. 1 more example can be found in 2 Corinthians 5:16. “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.” Paul used to know Jesus according to the flesh, but now he knows Jesus by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God! This helps explain John 6:44 says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” God is not picking only a few chosen ones. Those who are truly seeking the truth have the Holy Spirit dwelling with them. Then when the Holy Spirit gives them revelation from the Father on who Jesus really is, they can be saved as they fulfill Romans 10:9!
The Evidence of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues… Acts 2:4
According to John 14:17, the Holy Spirit can dwell with us or dwell inside us. If there are 2 different, distinct interactions with the Holy Spirit, how can we know if the Holy Spirit is dwelling within us? Many people believe they are filled with the Spirit of God because they have heard His voice (John 10:27), had a vision or dream (Acts 2:17-18), or maybe think that they were filled when they were saved. This does not confirm that you are filled with the Holy Spirit. These are things that can occur as the Holy Spirit is dwelling with you. If you read through the book of Acts after the Holy Spirit was poured out there is 1 distinct indicator that happens after being filled with the Spirit, people speak with new tongues. They receive their prayer language.
When the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2, verse 4 says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” This is also evident in Acts 19:2 when Paul asks some disciples at Ephesus, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So, they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” Then in verse 6, “And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” Some may say when Paul was filled/baptized with the Spirit in Acts 9:18 it does not mention that he spoke with new tongues. However, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:18, “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all.” So, we know that he did receive his prayer language. All these examples show that after being filled with the Holy Spirit, the people spoke in tongues. If you have been led or warned by the Holy Spirit, it does not mean you are filled with the Spirit! Tongues is the evidence of being filled. You want the Holy Spirit to be dwelling IN you and not just in your midst. If you are not filled, obey the Word (Acts 5:32 and John 14:15-16). Then simply ask God to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13).