The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
Many people in the world believe that the direct indwelling of the Holy Spirit. There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian but the question is how He dwells in the Christian. The Holy Spirit is a divine being just as Jesus and God. He is not something that floats around through the air. When we read John 16:13, we see that the Holy Spirit is called “He” six times.
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
From this verse we see that the Holy Spirit is a person and that He is masculine gender. Therefore, if He dwells in one Christian in person, He cannot dwell in another at the same time. So how does the Holy Spirit dwell in us? In John 16:13, the Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of truth,” and in John 14:26 He is called the “Holy Spirit:”
“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.”
Since the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit, God, Christ and the Word dwell in the Christian we need to see what the scriptures tell us. When we read I John 4:12, we see that God dwells in us:
“No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”
Does God dwell in us in person? We believe that God exists and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. God dwells in our hearts by faith because we love Him and keep His commandments.
I John 4:15 says:
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”
Do we believe that we dwell in God personally? God does dwell in us and we do dwell in Him by faith and this faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Roman 10:17)
We learn that Christ dwells in us by faith according to Eph. 3:17:
“that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;…”
God and the Holy Spirit dwell in us in the same way and that is by faith.
“Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:23)
“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” (Rom. 8:9)
“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (I Cor. 2:13)
If God and Jesus dwell in us by faith, it seems reasonable that the Holy Spirit dwells in us by faith. We can also see that the word dwells in us by wisdom or faith.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,…” (Col. 3:16)
If the Christian has a direct indwelling of the Holy Spirit, why would not the world (alien sinner) also have a direct indwelling? The answer is found in John 14:16-17:
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
The world does not believe nor obey the truth. This spirit of truth abides with the Christian in the gospel. The Holy Spirit was never given to an alien sinner directly. The Spirit which gave us the gospel dwells in the Christian to the extent that the Christian knows and obeys the truth.
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Rom. 8:11)
Rom. 8:14 tells us that the Holy Spirit leads the Christian (Sons of God)?
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Does the Holy Spirit tell one Christian to do one thing and another to do something else? He leads us all, through the inspired word, to mind the same things and to do the same things.
“But if you are led by the Spirit,…” (Gal. 5:18)
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Rom. 8:16)
In the seventh chapter of Acts, Stephen was preaching to the Jews and pointing out that they opposed the message which was brought to them by the authority of God, and the inspiration of His Spirit. They opposed the message brought by Moses, the prophets, the Savior, and by the apostles which was by the infallible direction of the Holy Ghost.
“You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.” (Acts 7:51)
One would think that if the Holy Spirit is part of the God Head and He dwells in us directly instead of through the word that we could not resist Him unless we are more powerful than He. However, it is possible to reject the word of God. The apostle Paul later told the church at Ephesus,
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Eph. 4:30)
When we refuse to obey the word of God, we grieve the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in us by faith just as God and Christ.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (II Cor. 5:7)
This faith comes by hearing the word of God, which was given by the Holy Spirit.
“for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” (Matt. 10:20)
On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached the first gospel sermon.
“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37)
God sent forth his Spirit into their hearts. He did this by His word which was preached by the inspired apostles. Notice that the Spirit did not teach them to say “Father, Father,” because they were not yet Christians. They asked what to do to become children of God. Hopefully, these scriptures will help one to see that the Holy Spirit does not dwell in us personally but enters our hearts by means of His inspired word, by faith.