Receiving the Spirit –“By the Hearing of Faith”
Lesson 77

You are important, for Christ died for you. God thinks it just as important that you be saved as that of Peter, Paul, or John be saved. All the provisions of Calvary, including the gift of the Holy Spirit, are for you-as though you were the only one to benefit by them. They are yours upon one condition: acceptance by faith.


Some say, “But I have no faith.” That is not true. The Bible says, “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3. God offers this gift to all. We are to receive and cherish it. We should pray as the disciples prayed, “Increase our faith.” Luke 17:5. A distressed father brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus for healing and in his great extremity cried out, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Mark 9:24; Jesus heard his prayer; so will He hear ours. The “spirit of faith” (2 Corinthians 4:13) will provide all the faith we need. How? By the Word: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.


Nicodemus heard the Master say, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:5. And 1 Peter 1:23 says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” One text says we are born of the Spirit, and another that we are born by the Word. Can these two texts be reconciled? Yes!


Every seed has in it the germ of life. Take the germ of life out of a seed, and the seed becomes worthless. The germ of life in the Word is the Holy Spirit. By this agency, God begets a new life in the hearts of believers. When the Bible reader receives the Word of God, the “incorruptible” seed, “ he also receives the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit accompanies the Word as it is read by those who are honest in heart. However, what does it mean to “receive” the Word of God and consequently the Holy Spirit?


John 1:12 says, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John made believing the equivalent of receiving. Hearers become believers, and believers are receivers.


How do we receive the Holy Spirit?  Paul asked this question twice in Galatians 3:2-5: “Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? … He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Paul indicated the answer by his questions. We received the Spirit not because of anything we do but “by the hearing of faith.” To believe is to receive.


The Holy Spirit is Christ’s gift to His spiritual children. It cannot be earned. Not by study, nor by sacrifice, nor by any sort of works that man may devise may we earn this gift. Simon Magus received such a rebuke by Peter as to forever close the door to the thought that the Holy Spirit might be attained in any other way than by faith. Peter said, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Acts 8:20. The Holy Spirit is spoken of here as “the gift of God.” A gift is not earned; it is received.

To receive the Holy Spirit we need only believe in God’s promises and through faith appropriate them to our lives.” Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law… that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:13,14. Notice the words “receive through faith.” Faith in what? Faith in God’s promise. According to 2 Corinthians 1:20-22, “all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen. Now he which hath anointed us, is God; who hath also… given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” The faith we exhibit in accepting Christ and in receiving the Spirit is faith supplied to us by God. (Ephesians 2:8.) The Holy Spirit is a gift, and the faith by which we receive it is a gift. We are to believe in that gift and accept it. That is how we may be born again, born of the Spirit.


Memory Verse:

Ephesians 2:8-10. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


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