The Neglected Christian Basic: The Experience of the Spirit


The Holy Spirit is not automatically received upon profession of faith in Christ and the Gospel; rather, it is an experience of divine power that the believer may or may not have had because it is subject to the Spirit's sovereign discretion. This experience is described in various ways, including drinking in the Spirit.

(1) "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body...and we were all made to drink of one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13)."
"Let him who is thirsty come to me and drink. As the Scripture said, "Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water (the Spirit--John 7:37-38)."

The experience of drinking in the Spirit is a refreshing experience, an experience of having one's intense spiritual thirst quenched. In ancient Hebrew "living water" is slang for "flowing water;" so to experience the Spirit is to experience a divine flow guiding one's life. So it is appropriate to ask poetically , "How often have you taken a sip of the Spirit today?

This thread will survey the most important texts that establish the reception of the Spirit as an experience of power and not just as a doctrinal claim that can be reduced to a matter of faith.