“Friend, you don’t have the Holy Spirit. You are nothing better— whatever you are, or whatever you may be— than the fall of Adam left you. That is to say, you are a fallen creature, having only capacities to live here in sin and to live forever in torment; but you don’t have the capacity to live in heaven at all, for you do not have the Holy Spirit; and therefore you are unable to know or enjoy spiritual things. And mark this, a man may be in this state, and be a carnal man, and yet he may have all the virtues that could grace a Christian; but with all these, if he doesn’t have the Holy Spirit, he has not advanced an inch further than where Adam’s fall left him— that is, condemned and under the curse. Yes, and he may practice religion with all his might— he may share in the Lord’s Supper and be baptized, and may be the most devout person in church; but if he does not have the Holy Spirit he has not moved a solitary inch from where he was, for he is still ‘a slave to sin,’ a lost soul. Further, he may pick up religious phrases until he talks very fast about religion; he may read biographies until he seems to be a deeply taught child of God; he may be able to write an article on the deep experience of a believer; but if this experience is not his own, if he has not received it by the Holy Spirit of the living God, he is still nothing more than a carnal man, and heaven is to him a place to which there is no entrance.
“Further, he might go so far as to become a minister of the gospel, and a successful minister too, and God may bless the word that he preaches to the salvation of sinners, but unless he has received the Holy Spirit, even if he is as eloquent as Apollos, and as earnest as Paul, he is nothing more than a mere man, without a capacity for spiritual things.
“No, to top it all, he might even have the power of working miracles, as Judas had— he might even be received into the Church as a believer, as was Simon Magus, and after all that, though he had cast out devils, though he had healed the sick, though he had worked miracles, he might have the gates of heaven shut in his face, if he had not received the Holy Spirit. For this is the most important thing, without which all others are in vain— the receiving of the Holy Spirit of the living God.”
—Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)