Many try to prove they have “the Spirit” by outward manifestations of spiritual gifts (usually only the exciting ones, not ones like mercy), or the fact that they hear God directing them to good parking spots, or brag about supposed evidence of a spiritual fruit (“Like, totally, when my fingernail got cut off, I was like, soooo patient, it was totally the Spirit.”).
It is my contention that the main way the Spirit manifests Himself in a believer is by producing a spiritual life, which begins by making war with sin.
Sin is bad. Sin is natural. Sin cannot be overcome by the flesh. We have no strength within ourselves to defeat sin, which is why we need the Spirit. Once we have the Spirit, if we actually obey Him, and not quench or resist Him, we can overcome sin.
In fact, if a person is not overcoming sin, the case can be made they do not have the Spirit and are thus not saved.
Undoubtedly a guy gets in trouble for such words in our day of sinful abandon and gracious license, but it’s what Paul said.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
“Live” is referring to salvation, in my mind, based on the fact that Christ will “quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” “Quicken” means to make alive.
The Spirit brings life (Romans 8:11). We have no obligation to live to the flesh because it hasn’t done anything for us (Romans 8:12). Fleshly living is evidence of still being in the flesh; living in the Spirit is evidence of spiritual life (Romans 8:13). Those who are led by the Spirit are God’s children (Romans 8:14).
Sticking together Paul’s point we see that the presence of the Spirit changes a person fundamentally. A person who has been changed by the Spirit, who mortifies sin by the Spirit, is the true child of God.
Having a spooky dream about dead people, or going to heaven, or healing your knee, or getting tingling sensations during praise choruses with minor chords, is not biblical evidence for the Spirit’s presence.
The reality of eternal life is that we are truly dead and then born again! It’s a new life! The Gospel is the power of God. Once we get over our fixation with ourselves and truly trust Jesus Christ to raise us up, things happen! Join in!