“Have you received the Holy Spirit?” Acts 19:2
What are the evidences of having received the Holy Spirit?
If we have received the Holy Spirit — the Lord Jesus stands high in our estimation — and our views of ourselves are very humbling. And just in proportion to the power and depth of the Spirit’s work — will be our conceptions of the glory, grandeur, and excellency of the Savior; and our discoveries of the depravity, pollution, weakness, and misery of our own hearts.
If, therefore, we have heart affecting views of the glory of Christ and His finished work — and if we lie low in the dust under a sense of our weakness and worthlessness, so that we are brought to depend wholly on Christ, and on Christ alone — we have surely received the Holy Spirit.
Also, if we have received the Holy Spirit — there is in us a deep-rooted, abiding hatred to sin — all sin, especially sin in ourselves. What was once our darling sin, has become the object of our hatred — and against that sin we set a double guard. For nothing do we sigh so often, for nothing do we desire so ardently — as holiness. The Holy Spirit always sets the whole soul against sin — and longing for perfect holiness.
True, our old desires toward sin will sometimes revive — but then we loath ourselves on account of it, mourn over it, and confess it before God. The cry of the soul is, “Holiness, Lord, more holiness! Deep, penetrating, all-pervading holiness!”
Now, if we hate sin everywhere, all sin, and especially the sin that dwells in us; and if we love holiness, admire holiness, pray for holiness, pant for holiness, and strive for holiness — then there is no doubt that we have received the Holy Spirit.
Once more, if we have received the Holy Spirit — then we are ruled by God’s Word; we do not follow custom, or allow our desires or prejudices to dictate our course. In all times of difficulty, when in any perplexity, something seems to say within us, “To the law and to the testimony,” and to the precepts of the New Testament, we turn.
The Word of Christ is the law of the true believer. Everything short of it, or beyond it, or beside it, or contrary to it — is sin! “Only what Jesus commands, all that Jesus commands, and because Jesus commands,” is the language of the soul.
And while we thus make the Word of Jesus our rule — we deny ourselves. We deny our own wills, our own passions, our own desires, our likes and dislikes. We are before Him, as He was before His Father, when He cried out, “Not My will — but may Your will be done.” If, then, we make the Word of God our guide, and habitually deny ourselves for Christ’s sake — we may rest assured, that we have received the Holy Spirit.
Reader, “Have you received the Holy Spirit?” Remember,
“If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ — he does not belong to Him!” Romans 8:9
James Smith (1802-1862) was a predecessor of Charles Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel in London from 1841-1850. He also ministered with great blessing in Cheltenham. His devotional, The Believer’s Daily Remembrancer, subtitled Pastor’s Morning and Evening Visit, was very popular in its own day. It has been said that his writings were even more popular than Spurgeon’s.