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Question 54

Q: A person gets saved and receives the Holy Spirit.

How does receiving the Holy Spirit change him from being born a sinner?

Asked by: Dan

A: Well Dan, thank you so much for your email. And I want you to know that your question is more complicated than it might seem.

I believe (and the Bible teaches) that when you receive Jesus Christ as Savior, you receive the Holy Spirit and are born again.

But many Christians believe that somehow the Holy Spirit is just tacked onto our sinful nature and that no other change happens within us.

Well, I disagree with that.

The Bible says that if any man is in Christ, he’s a new creation. All things have passed away and all things become new. What that means is this: when we’re born again, it’s not just that we receive the Spirit. Something else happens within us and we are recreated—we’re fundamentally different people.

Because of that, it’s true to say that after you are saved, there’s something within you that wasn’t in you before—and that’s the new creation. It isn’t something that’s just simply tacked on to our sinful nature. It’s a fundamental change that God brings about in the human heart.

Now of course because we are talking about the soul, it’s a little hard for us to exactly define it beyond that. But even though we have been fundamentally changed, we still struggle with sin.

Receiving the Holy Spirit and being born again happen simultaneously, and this brings about a deep change in the human heart—a change that only God can make in our hearts.

Scripture references

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