QAWhen does a believer receive the Holy Spirit?
According to the Scriptures, a believer does not “automatically” receive the Holy Spirit the moment he or she believes the Lord Jesus Christ is their Savior. The people in Samaria had not received the Holy Spirit even though they had accepted the gospel and had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 8:12-17).
In Acts 19:1-6, the very first thing Paul asked the disciples when he met them on the road was whether or not they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. It was not until Paul laid hands on them that the Holy Spirit came upon them.
A person must believe in “the word of truth, the gospel of salvation” in order to receive the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13). A person cannot receive the Holy Spirit if he believes in a false gospel.
Only those who believe, repent and are baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will receive the Holy Spirit. Sometimes God gives the Holy Spirit to people before they are baptized to strengthen their conviction and move them to be converted.