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Holy Spirit:  Can you lose Him? 

Gary Googe Nov 27

Probably the first thing you need to know about this is that the Holy Spirit is not an “it” but a person.  This is true even though the word itself is in the neuter gender in the Greek text.  Personal pronouns are used in association with Him.

John 14:17 

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. [Emphasis added]

John 16:13 

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. [Emphasis added] 

People often speak of Him as the third person of the Godhead because He is not only recognized as a person, but as God.

Genesis 1:2 

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. [Emphasis added]

2 Samuel 23:2 

2 The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. [Emphasis added]

Isaiah 48:16 

16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me. [Emphasis added]

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is as much God as God the Father and God the Son.  He is a part of what is known as the trinity.  Even though the word trinity is not found in the Bible, the principle is.  For more information about this please see my article about it.

Trinity:  Is God Three in One?

Having been created in the image of God, there’s a sense in which we also are a trinity.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Emphasis added]

Unlike how things are now, there was a time when a person who had the Holy Spirit could lose Him.  Please note King David’s prayer about this.

Psalm 51:11 

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. [Emphasis added]

In this present age of grace, we can grieve or quench the Holy Spirit, but there’s nothing in Scripture that tells us we can lose Him.

Ephesians 4:30 

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. [Emphasis added]

1 Thessalonians 5:19 

19 Quench not the Spirit. [Emphasis added]

In both cases it involves suppressing His work in our lives by our resistance to His leadership over our decision-making.  That occurs as a believer resists the teaching of God’s Word.  At the heart of this problem for us is our resistance to His authority in our decision-making.  Can believers really do that? Of course! If they couldn’t there wouldn’t be a need for commands like the ones given in these two passages—Ephesians 4:30 and 1 Thessalonians 5:19. But even by doing this, the Holy Spirit remains present in us.  This is true for us just as it was for the rebellious believers in the Corinthian church.

1 Corinthians 6:15-20 

15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members [the various parts of our body]of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 

16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 

17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. [Emphasis added] 

Some would claim that a “true” believer would never do such a thing.  That is incorrect and here’s the proof of it.  These Corinthians Paul rebukes are all saved believers.  He addresses them as “brethren,” telling us they were all brothers and sisters in Christ. 

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

20 For ye are bought with a price [speaking of the redemptive work of Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection]: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. [Emphasis added] 

In verses just prior to this we have some statements that are often taken out of context to attempt to prove something false.  There he reminds these saved believers that they’re not to be doing the sinful practices of unsaved people. 

1 Corinthians 6:5-14

5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

These people were doing all kinds of things that were contrary to God’s will for them.  The book of 1 Corinthians is loaded with examples. 

6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren [fellow believers].

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

The “unrighteous” he speaks of are those who’ve not been saved, those without the imputed [or credited] righteousness of God that’s given to believers for their justification and resultant salvation. 

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 

None of these virtues tell us they were no longer sinners.  These things I’ve underlined here are positional [things not felt or experienced] blessings believers all gain when they are saved.  This reminds us that there are things we may think, say, or do that are not consistent with who we are as God’s people. 

12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient [advantageous or profitable]: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 

13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 

14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. [Emphasis added] 

At the beginning of this 1 Corinthian letter Paul describes these people to whom this letter is addressed.  They are all clearly saved.  He just doesn’t want them living as though they were not.

1 Corinthians 1:1-3 

1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 

2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s: 

3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. [Emphasis added] 

He reiterates this by what he says later in this writing. 

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 

1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual [believers who know and are obedient to God’s Word], but as unto carnal [controlled by their sinful nature], even as unto babes [speaking of their immaturity] in Christ. 

2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 

3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? [Emphasis added]  

When he speaks of them as ones who “walk as men,” he’s saying they’re living like unbelievers. 

A simple question that always needs to be asked is this:  Can a Christian sin? The correct answer is:  Of course, they can! If you think “true” Christians wouldn’t do the sinful things mentioned in this book [or letter], what’s the point of Paul’s rebuke of them? As we noted in 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 the book [or letter] is clearly addressed to people who are saved brothers and sisters in Christ.  But even though every Christian is capable of any and every sin you could name, none of those sins would cause the loss of one’s salvation. 

God’s people are not saved today because they’ve quit sinning.  We’re all saved by the grace provision of God even though we all still have a sinful nature that resides in us right along with the new nature we gained when we were first saved.  Even as great a man as the apostle Paul was, he admits to this situation concerning himself. 

Romans 7:22-25 

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 

23 But I see another law [or principle] in my members [referring to every part of his body], warring against the law of my mind [the principles by which he knows he should live], and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. [Emphasis added] 

A shorter version that describes this situation is found in Paul’s letter to the Galatian believers. 

Galatians 5:17 

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other:so that ye cannot do [ongoing, with perfect consistency] the things that ye would.[Emphasis added] 

As God’s people we “would” or desire to perform God’s will, but there are times when we let our sinful nature have its way.  Every honest Christian will readily admit this just as the apostle Paul does here about himself. 


In this present Dispensation of Grace, God the Holy Spirit indwells every believer when he accepts the gospel concerning Christ’s work by which He provided us with a way of salvation.  No exceptions! This permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit is just one of many blessings gained by every believer when he is saved.  We don’t gain any of these blessings because we’ve quit sinning or earned these blessings some other way.  They are all provided for us courtesy of the grace of God. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Emphasis added] 

Some people try to claim that a true believer wouldn’t commit such sins.  Such is simply not true.  You can hardly name a sin the Corinthians believers were not guilty of committing.  Salvation was not made possible for any of us because we earned it.  It is available to all of us only through what Jesus Christ accomplished for us through His death, burial, and resurrection. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added] 

It is then His righteousness we become identified with that becomes the foundation for our salvation and every other blessing, not our own. 

1 Corinthians 3:11 

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [Emphasis added] 

We are simply warned that every sin has consequences.  Furthermore, it is because of our obedience and faithfulness to God’s Word that we can be awarded eternal blessings at that which is called The Judgment Seat of Christ.  Please see my article about this on this website. 

Rewards:  For what will God wish to reward you in eternity? 

One of the reasons we have the Bible giving us the record of what happened to other believers who’ve lived before us is to warn us of the consequences of living disobediently. 

1 Corinthians 10:11-12 

11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 

12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. [Emphasis added] 

I hope you’ll make it a priority to allow the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to lead you in your every decision, knowing it is always to your advantage to do so.  You will never lose the Holy Spirit because of your unfaithfulness, but you certainly will lose out on many eternal rewards for such.  That’s an important warning for all of us. 

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