<%@ Page Language="VB" ContentType="text/html" ResponseEncoding="iso-8859-1" %> Untitled Document The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit


A. Whether you are recently born again, or mature in the faith, no doubt we all have many questions concerning the Holy Spirit.

B. Why is it that so many questions abound concerning this divine person?

1. Possibly because He never became flesh, like Jesus did, therefore His existence is not as tangible to us. And yet, let us not forget that the Father also has not become incarnated, and yet there is not the mystery surrounding Him.

2. But regarding the Father, we have a tangible analogy – fatherhood. That helps us.

3. Also, the King James appellation, The Holy Ghost adds unnecessarily to the mystery. Ghosts are "suspicious." The more accurate translation is, "Spirit." While that might not enlighten your understanding sufficiently, do not forget we all have a spirit residing within us also.

4. And finally, since the Holy Spirit is responsible for some fantastic occurrences within Scriptures, our imagination runs rampant and wild.

C. The purpose of this lesson is to settle our minds and offer a simple, clear and scriptural answer to the question of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.



A. It is a fact that the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian:

1. 2 Tim.1:14 - Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

2. This is a matter of fact and a matter of faith. We accept this truth because God has so stated in His word.

B. However, there are differing ideas about whether this dwelling is literal or figurative, personal or impersonal, direct or indirect. I see three possibilities here.

1. Either the Bible tells us that the dwelling is literal, personal and direct.

2. Or it tells us that the dwelling is figurative, impersonal, and indirect.

3. Or it doesn't reveal machinations of the indwelling thus leaving the subject in the realm of human opinion.

C. In this lesson are some fact and opinions about the Holy Spirit and the Christian. I will try my best to keep my opinions and guesses to a minimum and only included things clearly taught in the Scripture, unless I specifically say something is my opinion. There is nothing wrong with human opinions (in fact, you may have noticed that my own opinions are quite good!) as long as we recognize them for what they are. If, however, because of pride or arrogance I demand that you accept my opinions or I will not accept you as faithful, then I have a serious problem! I am wise in my own estimation having gone beyond what is written (Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 4:6)

D. Let's what the Bible actually says about the Holy Spirit in the lives of disciples.


A. John 7:37-39— [37] Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. [38] "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' "[39] But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

1. Jesus issued a universal invitation to all men to drink and receive.

B. Acts 5:32 - "And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him."

C. Romans 5:1, 5 – [1] Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, [5] and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

D. Galatians 4:6 - Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"

E. Hebrews 6:4 - For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit…


A. John 3:5 - Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

B. Acts 2:38 - Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

1. I know there are different opinions as to whether the gift is the Holy Spirit, or something received from the Holy Spirit. Much discussion has taken place on whether or not the phrase gift of the Holy Spirit refers to the Holy Spirit as the gift, or a gift the Holy Spirit gives. Two comments on this topic: 1) Grammatically, it can be interpreted either way; 2) In my humble opinion, it is an unneeded argument. The reason people discuss this has to do with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The reason I think it is unnecessary are because scripturally speaking, if one gives himself, he gives gifts of and from himself (2 Cor.8:3-5).


A. Romans 8:9,14 – [9] However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. [14] For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

B. Galatians 5:16-21 – [16] But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. [17] For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. [18] But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. [19] Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, [20] idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, [21] envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1. One in whom God's Spirit abides has put off the deeds of the flesh which include immorality, impurity, strife, jealousy, drunkenness and things like these (Gal.5:16-21).

C. Galatians 5:22-23 – [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

1. Instead, he bears the fruit of the Spirit in his life. This includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness and self-control (Gal.5:22,23)


A. There has often been much discussion and disagreement on the Holy Spirit in general, and specifically His indwelling Christians. Maybe the Scriptures do not teach us all we want to know, but that should not keep us from believing what they do teach.

1. Also, we should not be afraid to study the Holy Spirit. And this we will do, Lord willing.

B. Often we speak of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as personal or impersonal, direct or indirect, literal or figurative. This continually causes consternation as each side wonders what applications the other side will have to make or concede.

C. Those advocating a personal, direct indwelling get accused of going Pentecostal. Adversaries ask, "What does this personal indwelling do for you?" "How do you know you have the Holy Spirit?"

D. Likewise, those suggesting an impersonal, indirect indwelling get questioned also since they state the Holy Spirit dwells within us only through the word. This brings a barrage of questions akin to, "Do you not believe God acts directly within the lives of Christians?"

E. The scriptures abundantly teach the indwelling of the Holy Spirit while leaving unexplained the details. And yet, this sometimes leaves us wanting. People want some kind of understanding. Therefore, I present a third, simple view on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Instead of batting back and forth terms not found within the Scripture (I.e., personal or impersonal), let's describe the relationship we have with the Holy Spirit with a biblical word: fellowship. While not burdened with baggage such as the other views, I think its simplicity has grand implications.

1. This description might not be as "personal" as some prefer, but it is far more "personal" that describing the indwelling as "only through the word."

F. The Holy Spirit is not an inanimate object. He is a Divine Person, having location and identity.

G. As a human persona, I have relationship with this Divine Person. It is very personal. Ephesians describes the relationship of Christ to His church in a very personal way — an one flesh marriage (5:22ff) . Maybe we could understand the Holy Spirit's indwelling as an oneness in a similar fashion.

H. As a physical person, I have a relationship with a Spiritual Person. It is very personal and beyond the confines of a physical relationship. Remember, even a Spirit has location. Omnipresence is not defined as, "God's presence in everything," but as "Everything in God's presence." Should we understand the Holy Spirit's Persona as any less definite?

I. When the Holy Spirit inspired men, He indwelt them. How? He gave them power. His power resided within them. Did He personally reside within them? Did the Spirit reside within them the same as their own human spirit? Was the Holy Spirit located within? The Holy Spirit fellowshipped them and shared something very personal with them.

J. Compare these two verse: Referencing our human bodies, Paul said, Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Cor.6:19). In speaking of the church, Paul similarly said: Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Cor.3:16)


A. Rom.8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

B. Acts 2:38 - Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

1. In my opinion, the blood of Jesus gives forgiveness, but it is the Spirit that brings life back to our mortal spirits.

C. Notice how often the Holy Spirit is connected to life:

Jn.6:63 - "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
Rom.8:2 - For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Rom.8:6 - For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
Rom.8:11 - But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
2 Cor.3:6 - who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Gal.6:8 - For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Rev.2:7 - 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.'
Rev.22:17 - The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

D. Comparison to human spirit giving life to Holy Spirit giving life.

1. Gen.2:7 and Rom.8:11

Genesis 2:7
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Romans 8:11

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.


A. As said before, there is a personal relationship between the church and Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:16 shows there is a personal relationship between the church and the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19 proves there is a personal relationship between the Holy Spirit and my body. It is call fellowship (Phil.2:1).

Study by Perry D. Hall

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