I believe a Man’s first encounter with the Holy spirit today, is in the preaching of the Gospel.
An instance where we see the conviction ministry of the Holy Spirit in in Acts 10:25-48
Peter had received an instruction to go preach the Gospel to Cornelius who was a Gentile.
When he yet spoke, they were convicted by the Spirit; they believed the Gospel.
While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. Acts 10:44
Salvation precedes the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. So, it will be safe to say salvation took place (they believed the Gospel) while Peter yet preached such that it seemed that both the indwelling of the Spirit and the Baptism of the Spirit took place concurrently.
Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. Galatians 5:1
3 THINGS IT PROVES
1. From the preaching of the Gospel via men to the Believing of the Gospel by men is by the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8, Acts 8:4
2. The conviction of the Holy Spirit leads a man to the point where he realizes that he is guilty and has to make the decision to be saved.
John 16:8-11, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Convict – To confute, admonish; convince, tell a fault, reprove.
3. This conviction by the Holy Spirit comes about by the preaching of the Gospel.
This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. 1 Peter 1:10-12
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14
They will believe by the Spirit, He is the one who testifies of Jesus. He will convict the World of what Jesus has done in taking our place. He points man to the Sacrifice of Christ for Sin.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God; 2 Corinthians 5:21.
The demonstration of the Spirit and power (when the word is preached) will produce faith.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
In conclusion; Therefore, I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3