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                        "THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD"

                   The Indwelling Of The Holy Spirit


1. Several passages speak of the Spirit given to the Christian...
   a. Jesus promised the Spirit in some way that would be unique - cf.
      Jn 7:37-39
      1) "...Christ is speaking here of what is peculiar to his own
         personal reign and administration." - Robert Milligan, Scheme
         of Redemption, p.283
      2) "He manifestly refers in this passage to something which had
         hitherto been enjoyed by no one, and which could be enjoyed by
         none until after that he himself was glorified." - ibid.
      3) "This, it would seem, could not have reference to the mediate
         agency of the Spirit, through the written word and the ordinary
         workings of God's providence; for through these media the
         Spirit had always operated on the minds of both Jews and
         Patriarchs." - ibid.
      4) This promise also does not have reference to any miraculous
         manifestation of the Spirit, as such had been experienced prior
         to the glorification of Jesus - e.g., Lk 1:41,67
   b. Peter promised the Spirit to those who repent and are baptized 
      - cf. Ac 2:38-39
      1) "The gift of the Spirit promised in Ac 2:38 was the Spirit
         itself" - David Lipscomb, Queries and Answers
      2) "The expression means the Holy Spirit as a gift" - J.W.
         McGarvey, New Commentary on Acts of Apostles
      3) "Certainly the gift of the Spirit is the Spirit itself given."
         - Moses Lard, Lard's Quarterly
      4) "The gift of the Holy Spirit is not some definite thing the
         Holy Spirit gives, but the Holy Spirit as a gift." - R. L.
         Whiteside, Reflections
   c. Other passages to consider are Ac 5:32; Ro 5:5

2. Such promises of the Spirit likely refer to what is called the
   indwelling of the Spirit...
   a. "Since the gift of the Spirit in Acts 2:38 is promised to all
      believing penitents who are baptized into Christ, and since the
      Spirit dwells in all Christians, this is the gift of the Spirit
      which was promised in Ac 2:38. - James D. Bales, The Holy Spirit
      And The Christian, p.13
   b. "...the reference is to that indwelling of the Holy Spirit by
      which we bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, and without which
      we are not of Christ." - J. W. McGarvey, New Commentary on Acts of
      Apostles, p.39 (commenting on Ac 2:38)
   c. "If they would repent and be baptized, receiving and cherishing
      the word of God in their hearts, this Holy Spirit as the
      indwelling guest of the church and the Christian would be their
      portion." - David Lipscomb, Queries and Answers, p.222 (commenting
      on Ac 2:38)

[Whether certain passages (such as Jn 7:37-39; Ac 2:38) specifically
refer to the Spirit's indwelling may be debatable.  But one thing is
certain, and that is...]


      1. The church is the temple of God, in which the Spirit dwells 
         - 1 Co 3:16
      2. The church is a dwelling place of God in the Spirit - Ep 2:
      3. "...God, by means of the Spirit, dwells in the spiritual
         temple, in the hearts of believers. This temple is composed of
         'living stones' (1 Pe 2:5), has a holy priesthood, and
         spiritual sacrifices." - B.W. Johnson, People's New Testament
         (commenting on Ep 2:22)
      4. "Christians are builded together in Christ, for a habitation, a
         dwelling place of God on earth. He dwells in this holy 
         habitation in the person of the Spirit." - J.W. Shepherd, A
         Commentary on the New Testament Epistles, Vol. IV, p.53
         (commenting on Ep 2:22)
      -- Thus the Spirit dwells in the church as a whole, making it
         possible for the church to be a temple in which God may dwell

      1. Necessary to belonging to Christ, to receiving life in our
         mortal bodies - Ro 8:9-11
         a. If we do not have the Spirit, we are not His
         b. If we have the Spirit, He will impart life to our mortal
      2. A reason to flee sexual immorality - 1 Co 6:18-19
         a. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
         b. What is said of the church as whole in 1 Co 3:16, is now
            said here of our bodies
      -- Thus the Spirit dwells in each Christian individually, which
         ought to inspire godly living

[No Christian disputes the fact of the Spirit's indwelling.  What is
often disputed is...]


      1. Is the Spirit's indwelling literal, personal?
         a. Does the Spirit literally dwell in the Christian?
         b. Does He somehow personally reside in the body of each
      2. Is the Spirit's indwelling mediated, through the Word only?
         a. Does the Spirit figuratively dwell in the Christian?
         b. Does He dwell in the Christian only in the sense that the
            Word abides in us?
      -- I understand the Spirit to literally and personally dwell in
         the Christian

      1. Primary support for such a view - 1 Co 6:18-19
         a. Note the metaphor used by Paul
            1) The body of the Christian is the "temple" of the Holy
            2) Just as the body is a tabernacle for our spirit (cf. 2 Co
               5:1-4; 2 Pe 1:13-14)
            3) So also the body is a dwelling place for the Spirit of
         b. Note the prepositions used by Paul
            1) The Spirit is "in" the Christian
            2) The Christian has the Spirit "from" God
         c. Note the line of reasoning used by Paul
            1) Paul argues from the indicative to the imperative
               a) From a statement of fact or condition to a command to
                  be obeyed
               b) Because the Spirit dwells in them (statement of fact),
                  they need to flee sexual immorality (command to be
               c) Paul argues that because the Spirit is in them, they
                  need to obey the Word
            2) Through-the-Word-only advocates argue from the imperative
               to the indicative
               a) This view argues that a Christian must obey the word
                  (imperative) in order for the Spirit to indwell
               b) I.e., one must flee fornication (heed the Word) so the
                  Spirit will dwell in them
               c) Exactly opposite to the line of reasoning used by
         -- Through use of metaphor, prepositions, line of reasoning,
            Paul depicts the Spirit as dwelling in the body of the
      2. Other passages for such a view
         a. God has sent the Spirit "into" our hearts - Ga 4:6
            1) Note this occurs because we are His sons; i.e., something
               beyond simply hearing and obeying the Word of God
            2) The effect is one of producing endearment in our
               relationship to God - cf. Ro 8:15
         b. God strengthens us by "His Spirit in the inner man" - Ep
            1) God is at work in us as we work out our salvation - Ph 2:
               12-13; 4:13
            2) One way He does this is by His Spirit in the inner man 
               - Ep 3:16
            3) With the Spirit as His instrumental agent, God is "able
               to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or
               think, according to the power that works in us" - Ep 3:20
      -- The plain and simple reading of the Scriptures lead me to
         believe that the Spirit's indwelling is literal and personal

[I find arguments against a literal, personal indwelling of the Spirit
unconvincing, and may address them in another study.  But let's conclude
this lesson by reviewing some of...]


      1. We have been "sealed" by the Holy Spirit of promise - Ep 1:13;
         cf. 2 Co 1:21-22
      2. The word "seal" (Gr. sphragizo) - "mark (with a seal) as a
         means of identification...; so that the mark which denotes
         ownership also caries with it the protection of the owner (see
         Re 7:3)... This forms a basis for understanding the symbolic
         expression which speaks of those who enter the Christian 
         fellowship as being sealed with or by the Holy Spirit" - Arndt
         & Gingrich, p.796
      3. "The word "seal" is used in several important senses"
         a. "A seal authenticates a document and proves its genuineness
            (e.g., notary public seal or seal of an official on a
         b. "It is a mark of ownership (e.g., seals on ancient jars,
            brands on animals)"
         c. "It is a mark of security (e.g., railroad cars closed and
            sealed; medicine bottles)"
         -- Ferrell Jenkins, The Finger of God, p.19
      4. "It is our conviction that when a person obeys the gospel he is
         given the Holy Spirit.  In this way God seals the person."
         a. "In effect God says 'This person belongs to me; let everyone
            take note."
         b. "The other side of the coin is that the Christian greets
            this reception of the Spirit as a guarantee (earnest or
            pledge) of eternal inheritance." (see point B, mac)
         -- ibid., p.19
      -- Though not expressly stated, giving us His Spirit may be how
         God's "seals" or "marks" us as one of His own - cf. Ga 4:6

      1. The Spirit is given as an "earnest" (KJV) of our inheritance 
         - Ep 1:13-14; cf. 2 Co 1:21-22
         a. Translated "guarantee" (NKJV)
         b. Translated "pledge" (NASB, NRSV)
      2. The word "earnest" (Gr. arrabon) - "first installment, deposit,
         down payment, pledge, that pays a part of the purchase price in
         advance, and so secures a legal claim to the article in
         question, or makes a contract valid...in any case, [arrabon] is
         a payment which obligates the contracting party to make further
         payments." - Arndt & Gingrich, p.109
      3. Vine points out that the word is closely connected to the
         modern Greek word for engagement ring - Expository Dictionary of
         New Testament Words, Vol. II, p.11
      4. "The Holy Spirit is God's earnest (down payment) to the
         Christian as assurance of the complete promised inheritance."
         a. "There is no comfort here for the advocate of the
            impossibility of apostasy."
         b. "The Christian can 'grieve' the Spirit (Ep 4:30)."
         c. "We can forfeit the down payment and not receive the
         -- Ferrell Jenkins, The Finger of God, p.19
      -- Receiving the Spirit is an indication that we are the children
         of God, and joint-heirs with Christ of the inheritance of which
         the Spirit is an "earnest" - Ro 8:14-17

      1. God strengthens us by His Spirit in the inner man - Ep 3:16
      2. It is by the Spirit we are able to put to death the deeds of
         the body - Ro 8:13
      3. The Spirit helps in our weaknesses - Ro 8:26a
      -- The Spirit serves as God's instrumental agent by which He
         imparts strength and support to the Christian

      1. Necessary if we are to be the sons of God - Ro 8:14
      2. Necessary if we are not to fulfill the lust of the flesh - Ga
      3. Necessary if we are not to fall under condemnation of the law 
         - Ga 5:18
      -- How the Spirit leads, we shall examine more closely in the next

      1. The fruit of a person led by the Spirit includes love, joy,
         peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
         gentleness, self-control - cf. Ga 5:22-23
      2. We can be filled with peace and all joy in believing,  and
         abound in hope by the power of the Spirit - Ro 15:13
      -- Producing such fruit is contingent on setting our minds on the
         things of the Spirit - Ro 8:5-9


1. Exactly how the Spirit indwells the Christian may remain a mystery...
   a. Many understand the indwelling as literal, with the Spirit
      personally abiding in the Christian
   b. Others view it as figurative, the Spirit dwelling through the Word
   -- I used to hold the latter view; I now lean strongly toward the

2. Whatever the exact nature of the Spirit's indwelling, we must be
   careful to not...
   a. Grieve the Spirit, by whom we sealed for the day of redemption
   b. Anger the Father, who has given us His Spirit as a pledge of our
   -- Which we can do by continuing in willful sin - cf. He 10:26-31

3. Whatever the exact nature of the Spirit's indwelling, we must be
   careful to...
   a. Bring glory to God, by producing the fruit of the Spirit
   b. Walk after the Spirit, being strengthened by the Spirit
   -- Which we can do by being led by the Spirit, as we set our minds on
      the things of the Spirit - Ro 8:5-14

In our next study, we will look more closely at how the Spirit leads. 
In the meantime, don't forget that the Spirit is given to those who are
the sons of God (Ga 4:6).

Have you considered how one becomes a child of God? - cf. Jn 3:5; Ga 3:
26-27; Ti 3:5; Mk 16:16
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