Theology: The Holy Spirit – THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN INDWELLING

The Scriptures will show us that the Spirit indwells each and every believer in this current age. It will show that His residence may not necessarily be His throne. It will show that His residence should be His throne.

 

The Holy Spirit’s residence is automatic for the believer; His enthronement is optional in many people’s minds. It is not mandatory, but it is an act of the will. We must consciously decide to allow Him control of our lives.

 

As Dr. Bob Jones Sr. mentions, “It is one thing for us to have the Holy Spirit; it is another thing for the Holy Spirit to have us.” (Jones, Dr. Bob Sr.; “The Holy Spirit” (small pamphlet), p 9)

 

Just what does we mean by indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is that existence of the Spirit whereby He exists within the individual believer. This existence is automatic at the point of salvation, and it is for the duration of the believers physical life.

 

THE DOCTRINE DOCUMENTED

 

Indwelling Was Promised: John 14:16, 17, “…shall be in you.” vs 17 When the Lord Jesus was preparing His disciples for His death, he mentioned that the Spirit would be sent to assist them in their life and ministry. This assistance was to come from within them — from the Holy Spirit within.

 

INDWELLING IS STATED AS FACT

 

1. Paul mentions that if there is no indwelling, then there is no relationship between God and the person. Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

 

 

2. Not only is there a relationship, but there is a responsibility. The Spirit is within the believer. We are His place of residence. 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” Most of us take pride in our place of residence. We try to keep it in proper repair and we attempt to keep it clean. So why do we treat our Spirit’s residence, our bodies, so shabbily?

 

3. Paul depicts a beautiful picture of this relationship of indwelling in 2 Corinthians 6:16,

 

“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

 

4. John 7:37-39 talks of the rivers of living water and that this was speaking of the Spirit which was yet future. It is clear that all believers would be indwelt.

 

Also see Romans 5:5, Galatians 4:6.

 

SOURCE OF THE INDWELLING

 

The Spirit is sent by both the Father and the Son. (The Father, John 14:26, The Son, John 15:26) I suspect that the Father is the instigator, and the Son is the instrument. The Son provided the possibility of the indwelling through the work of the cross.

 

RESULTS OF INDWELLING

 

It is a proof of salvation: Paul states this in Romans 8:16, “The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God;” If we know that the Spirit is working in and through us, then we know that we are saved. He will reveal this to us.

 

It is a protection in salvation: The thought of a seal in the New Testament as well as in our own time, is that the item sealed, is guaranteed correct and safe. This concept of sealing is used of the Spirit’s indwelling of the believer. 2 Corinthians 1:22, “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” (Ephesians 1:13 also)

 

 

Ephesians 4:30 also mentions the sealing of the Spirit and this sealing is why we are not to grieve the Spirit. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, by whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” The seal is for a long long time, until the day that the Lord completes our redemption.

 

THE DOCTRINE MISAPPLIED

 

Pache has a section on some of the errors of receiving the Spirit that may be of interest to you. (Pache, Rene; “The Person And Work Of The Holy Spirit”; Chicago: Moody Press, 1954, p 80 ff)

 

One problem that exists today in this area is the fact that some view some of the interdispensational to old dispensation texts as usable today and this causes confusion.

 

One error is that some believe that the believer may have to wait to receive the Spirit until some point in the future. This is based on the Scripture which shows the disciples awaiting the Spirit in the upper room. This was a transition period between the day of the law and the beginning of the Church. Later in the book of Acts it is clear that the Spirit came at the point of salvation.

 

Another problem is that there needs to be a laying on of hands for a believer to receive the Spirit. Again this is based on the book of Acts where this was the procedure for a time. There is no indication that laying on of hands is required. Indeed, what can the physical touching of two people do to bring a spirit being into the physical person? The two are not related. In the book of Acts, it would seem that the people were just recognizing the new belief of the person. There was a laying on of hands in the commissioning of Barnabas and Paul in Acts 13 as well. It was not the impartation of something special, but rather a recognition.

 

Another false teaching is the reception of tongues as the proof of receiving the Spirit. The first error is that tongues are for this age. The second error is that the Spirit cannot indwell a person that has not spoken in tongues. The Spirit comes to the believer at the point of salvation, and not at some time future when the person works themselves up emotionally.

 

Others suggest that obedience is a prerequisite to receiving the Spirit. Again, there is no Scripture which shows this concept. Salvation is not based on obedience, security is not based on obedience, nor is the indwelling of the Spirit based on obedience.

 

The Charismatic movement has had for one of its basic tenants that you do not have the Holy Spirit within you just because you are saved. This has changed in recent years to the belief that the Spirit indwells but you have to get the baptism of the Spirit to really be spiritual. The Baptism of the Spirit has recently become separate from His indwelling in their thinking.

 

In very recent times the movement has realized it is countering scripture with some of their teaching and have sharpened their pencils a bit. They now believe that the Spirit indwells all, and most of the intellectual folk would probably feel that the baptism of the Spirit would be very close to our view of it, being the baptism of the person into the body of Christ.

 

They now camp on some of the teaching of the 1800’s from men that mentioned a time when they were really overflowed with the Spirit. The people holding this will be their seminarians and recent grads plus the faculties of their better schools. It is not based on Scripture, but upon experience.

 

I sat at a pot luck with two charismatics in a community church in the northwest. One was a talker, and the other appeared to be a disciple. As we talked the disciple kept looking confused when I quoted Scripture and would stare at the other man for an answer. The “disciple” never spoke. The man opened the conversation with something border line charismatic and I jumped right in with a few sweeping statements. He would tell me his belief on a subject. I would give Scripture against what he was saying. He would counter with an experience of some friend. Each Scripture I used was countered by the experience of others. Never mind truth — I have this experience.

 

THE DOCTRINE APPLIED

 

1. Since the Lord Jesus bought us with a price, and since the Spirit is living within us, then it seems that we are really not our own for our own benefit. It would seem that Romans 12:1 would some how possibly relate to some of us today. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Reasonable Service.

 

2. 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you?” The term used here for temple is a term that indicates the most sacred part of a temple, indeed the very area of the idol. The term is “naos” (Strong’s number 3485) It is translated temple all of the time. It appears around forty-five times in the New Testament.

 

One of the interesting times is Luke 23:45 when it mentions, the veil between the holy place and the holy of holies was rent at the death of Christ on the cross.

 

Verse 20 of 1 Corinthians 6 fits quite well with 19,

 

“For ye are bought with a price; therefore,

glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

 

3. It should be noted that when Paul mentions the indwelling in the Corinthian epistles, that he did not make stipulations of which of the believers were indwelt and which were not. They all were indwelt. This was a church of CARNAL believers. Many were not living obedient proper lives. The spiritual condition of the believer has nothing to do with the indwelling Spirits presence.

 

4. Several of the verses we have covered show that the Father GAVE us the Spirit, and indeed He is mentioned as a gift from God to us. A gift of such importance, and we for all practical purposes ignore the Spirit.

 

I told a class once that if I were to gain an inheritance and come in the next morning and pass out keys to fifteen new Corvettes as gifts to them, I really couldn’t imagine any one of them ignoring that gift for any great length of time. The Spirit should become more precious to us than even a Corvette.

 

5. Chafer likens the indwelling of the Spirit to the anointing of the Old Testament in His “Major Bible Themes” pp 104-106. He mentions the sanctification of the oil of the Old Testament and this is a good picture, probably, of our needed view of the Spirit living within us. We should be set apart for His use at all times in our lives.

 

 

Walvoord’s abridged Chafer mentions, “The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the same as the anointing of the Holy Spirit.” (Reprinted by permission: Walvoord, John F.; “Lewis Sperry Chafer Systematic Theology”; Wheaton: Victor Books, 1988, p 265)

 

If this is true, all are anointed — set apart. Let’s live like it. (Anointing being equal to the indwelling of the Spirit is indicated in 1 John 2:27)

 

6. If you went to live with your pastor for three months to work in camp or vacation Bible school, would you not live on your best behavior. If you had any bad habits, I’m sure that you would refrain from doing them for the time that you were with the pastor. We live in the same house with God and we don’t refrain anywhere near as often as we should. That is not right.

 

7. Since Christ has bought us, the Spirit has indwelt us, we have no right whatsoever to do anything with, or for ourselves without His okay. Something to contemplate for a year or two.

 

“WHERE THE SPIRIT DWELLS”

 

“The believing man hath the Holy Ghost; and where the Holy Ghost dwelleth, He will not suffer a man to be idle, but stirreth him up to all exercises of piety and godliness, and of true religion, to the love of God, to the patient suffering of afflictions, to prayer, to thanksgiving, and the exercise of charity toward all men.” Martin Luther[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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