I believe one does NOT have to believe in the Holy Spirit to be saved but once they are saved and have been presented the truth that the Holy Spirit is God, they will believe it. If they outright reject the plain teaching of Scripture regarding the Person of the Holy Spirit, it will prove that they were never saved. Let’s look at some scriptures that support this view.

In Acts 16:30 the jailor at Philippi asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved” (NKJV)?  In verse 31 they replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” What does it mean to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?” First of all, it means that one must believe that Jesus is the “Son of God” and the “Savior of the world.” Jesus said in John 8:24, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” In Matthew 16:13 Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” He asked this because in order to be saved one had to believe WHO HE IS! Later Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am” (verse 15)? This question drew forth Peter’s grand confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (verse 16). That, dear friend, is an absolute requirement for one to be saved. After Jesus died on the cross for sinners it also became necessary to believe WHAT JESUS DID. We see this truth in verses like Romans 1:16 and 1st Corinthians 1:18, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes….For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

We have just seen that in order to be saved it is faith in the PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST that God requires. We read nothing in those verses about God the Father or God the Holy Spirit, yet the one who believes in Jesus Christ will also, at some point, believe in the Father and the Holy Spirit, for the same Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ is God also teaches us that God is made up of three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Take, for example, Matthew 28:19 where Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the FATHER and of the SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT.” The word “name” in this verse in SINGULAR, for there is only ONE God, yet there are THREE Persons who make up ONE GOD. This is the truth of the holy TRINITY, which means “God is one God who at the same time subsists in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Perhaps no one has ever rejected the truth of “God the Father,” for He is spoken of throughout the New Testament and it is usually in connection with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The most well-known verse in the Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This verse brings out the truth we’ve already considered, that one must believe in the PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST to be saved. But it also teaches us that one will surely believe in God the Father, the One who sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. “In this the love of God was manifested toward  us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loves us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1st John 4:9-10). This means that even though we aren’t saved by faith in God the Father, we must believe in Him or we could never believe in His Son.

Likewise, we are not saved by faith in God the Holy Spirit, but the Bible clearly teaches us that the Holy Spirit is God and that He is the One who works in our hearts to bring us to Christ, so we will also believe in Him at some point. Listen to what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit in John 3:5, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” The miracle of the New Birth is brought about through the work of God the Holy Spirit! After one is born again the Holy Spirit continues to work in the believer’s life. In John 14:26 Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” Here we learn that God the Holy Spirit, who is the Author of the Bible (see 2nd Peter 1:21 along with 2nd Timothy 3:16), is also the Teacher of the Holy Scriptures (see 1st Corinthians 2:10-13 and 1st John 2:20 & 27). Now one may be thinking, “But I thought the Holy Spirit was simply a “Divine influence and power, but not a Person and surely not God.” But we just saw Jesus refer to the Holy Spirit as “He,” which is a PERSONAL pronoun, and if you compare 2nd Peter 1:21 with 2nd Timothy 3:16 it is clear that HE IS GOD. One of the clearest passages that prove that the Holy Spirit is a Person and that He is God is Acts 5:3-4, “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to LIE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart” YOU HAVE NOT LIED TO MEN BUT TO GOD.’” Like the Father and the Son He is also ETERNAL (see Hebrews 9:14), OMNIPOTENT (Luke 1:35), OMNISCIENT (1st Corinthians 2:10-11) and OMNIPRESENT (Psalm 139:7).

With all of these scriptures teaching us clearly and emphatically that the Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons who make up the Triune God, it is to be expected that one who has “believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation” will also, at some point in time, believe in the Holy Spirit. If they reject these clear scriptures that bear witness to the Person of the Holy Spirit, one would have to believe they were never really saved, for the same Bible that teaches us WHO JESUS IS also that teaches us WHO THE HOLY SPIRIT IS. To believe one and to deny the other is to reject the authority of the Bible.  (439.5)  (DO)