Why We Need the Holy Spirit

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Why We Need the Holy Spirit

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“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God …” (Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 2:8For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
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“… Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’ ” (Matthew 19:23-26 Matthew 19:23-26 23 Then said Jesus to his disciples, Truly I say to you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
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At baptism we commit our life to God. But, within ourselves alone, we possess neither the power nor the faith to keep that commitment as we should. We desperately need divine power to assist us in fulfilling God’s wonderful calling. That strength comes as a gift from God.

How do we receive strength from God?

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you …” (Acts 1:8 Acts 1:8But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
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As Paul explained: “… It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 Philippians 2:13For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
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). He also wrote, with great confidence, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
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Is receiving God’s Spirit, like baptism, a necessary part of conversion?

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit …’” (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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“But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, unless one is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter God’s kingdom. Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit’ ” (John 3:5-6 John 3:5-6 5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
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, New Century Version).

How and when does God give His Spirit?

“Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit … Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:14-17 Acts 8:14-17 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen on none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
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The Scriptures, by example, show that God normally gives the Holy Spirit to those who are baptized when the true ministers of Christ pray for them as they are laying their hands on them (Acts 8:14-17 Acts 8:14-17 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen on none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
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; Acts 19:5-6 Acts 19:5-6 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.
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). In Hebrews 6:1-2 Hebrews 6:1-2 1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
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the “laying on of hands” is listed among “the elementary principles of Christ” that make up the foundational doctrines of the Church—showing it is a procedure we should still practice.