Holy Spirit: Does He really indwell all believers today?
We find in Scripture the fact that He truly does indwell each of us as believers. The moment anyone believes in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit enters his body to reside there permanently. Every one of us as believers need to be always mindful of this very important fact. The apostle Paul reminded the carnally minded Corinthian church of this. They were then guilty of nearly every sin you can imagine. If you doubt that, read through the sixteen chapters that are there. Paul rebukes them sternly for all kinds of things but addresses them all as brethren twenty-eight times in that one writing, meaning believers—brothers and sisters in Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:19
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? [Emphasis added]
Wow! What a wonderful truth! Did they deserve this status as God’s people? Of course not! No one ever does. We’re saved by grace, and we’re kept by grace. But being believers, God Himself really does live in all of us.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. [Emphasis added]
Yes, someday that same Holy Spirit that now indwells us will bring us to life in a new body. But another thing this verse tells us is that anyone today who does not have the Holy Spirit living in them has never been saved. Furthermore, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not an addition that comes to us sometime after we are saved.
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. [Emphasis added]
Have you ever thought about what a tremendous blessing this indwelling of the Holy Spirit represents? Because this fact was stated to the apostles during our Lord’s earthly ministry, the idea of the Holy Spirit indwelling believers is not a secret mystery truth exclusively for us as believers today. This is one blessing the Twelve Apostles knew about long before the apostle Paul ever heard about it. Here’s what Jesus told them during the time of His earthly ministry.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
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]
However, when Christ spoke these words, He was speaking to the apostles, not all believers. All believers at that time did not have this indwelling of the Holy Spirit. However, after Christ went to the cross, arose from the grave and ascended into Heaven, God sent the Holy Spirit to empower His people. Jesus had made the promise that after He had died, risen again, and ascended to Heaven, God would send the Holy Spirit to live inside His people. Jesus knew that He would ascend back to Heaven and once He was reunited in glory the Heavenly Father would send His Spirit to dwell within all His people. They would all then become individual temples of the Holy Spirit. And that’s how things are for us today.
1 Corinthians 3:16
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? [Emphasis added]
If you are a believer, the Bible speaks of you as God’s temple because the Holy Spirit dwells in your body.
2 Timothy 1:14
14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. [Emphasis added]
Among other things, this tells us we’re never alone. God is not only with us but in us. He dwells in us everywhere we go and in all that we do. Through the things we come to know from God’s Word the Holy Spirit serves to comfort us and to lead us as we walk through all the ups and downs of life. It is in this manner that God Himself is with us in every breath we take. What a sense of confidence and power this should give each of us just to know this!
Our knowledge of this indwelling of the Holy Spirit should affect the way we use our bodies in every area of life. The apostle Paul speaks of this as He gives us some practical applications for it. Here is an example of that.
1 Corinthians 6:15-20
15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members 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.
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: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. [Emphasis added]
We all face many trials and temptations. Again, we need to always be mindful of the fact that we’re not alone in the matter. God is right there with us and in us. He’s not going to keep us from making bad decisions, but He will be there to work in conjunction with the truths of God’s Word that we’ve come to know and understand. In every generation God’s Word serves to give us guidance in all our decision-making. It is also there to help us address things that tend to cause us to worry. Worry has always been a sin. God’s people have always been exhorted to carry their concerns to our Lord.
1 Peter 5:7
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. [Emphasis added]
Instead of worrying, we need to pray.
6 Be careful for nothing [MERIMNAO = stop worrying (about even one thing)]; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. [Emphasis added]
We must then do what we can to address the concern as we patiently wait for God to answer our prayers. Also, instead of yielding to a temptation, we can choose to resist with the wisdom of God’s Word which the Holy Spirit causes us to recall. The opportunities we have to apply this truth are numerous. But here’s a warning you need to heed. The Holy Spirit never operates independently of God’s Word. In other words, the Spirit of God will never lead you to make a decision that violates the teaching of God’s Word in Scripture. For instance, God the Holy Spirit has never led a believer to marry an unbeliever. Scripture is quite clear on this.
2 Corinthians 6:14-15
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Therefore, just because you feel like you should do something, never violate principles of doctrine God has provided for you. This principle, of course, not only applies to marriage, but certain other contractual or binding relationships we can have with others.
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? [Emphasis added]
So, be very careful about what you think the Holy Spirit is leading you to do. Always realize that when the Holy Spirit “speaks” to us to direct us, it will always be through the words and principles of Scripture we’ve taken the time to study and learn. Another important principle that is related to this, of course, is the principle of right division. Without an understanding of that you can and will make many bad decisions.
2 Timothy 2:15
15 Study [SPOUDAZO = be diligent] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [Emphasis added]
If you are doubtful of the meaning of this, go to my article about it called, 4Us2Us: What does it mean? That will be a good starting place to begin to understand this.
As we seek to live our life in such a way as to please our Lord, we need to realize that as believers we are trichotomous beings. That means we have three fundamental parts to our being. We have not only a body, but a soul and a spirit.
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]
The human spirit and the Holy Spirit are not the same. It is the human spirit that is the major thing that sets us apart from the animal kingdom. It is the Holy Spirit dwelling in us that sets us apart from unsaved and unbelieving members of the human race.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: [Emphasis added]
Ever since the fall of man into sin at the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, man’s whole being has been corrupted by the effect of sin. Now that we’ve been saved, we’ve been given a new nature that battles against the old one we’ve had all our lives. It was when we were “born again” [regenerated] at the point of our salvation that we got a new nature that fights against the old nature for control in our decision-making. Our goal now, of course, is to be led by the Spirit of God in all the choices we make day-to-day.
17 For the flesh [our sinful nature] lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things [with perfect consistency] that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law [the Mosaic Law]. [Emphasis added]
We are to walk [live] by faith and not by sight. This tells us we are to live our lives making decisions that are consistent with the teachings of the Word of God. We are to make our decisions consistent with the things we’ve come to learn from Scriptures. In the Bible this is called walking in the Spirit.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
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 the things that ye would. [Emphasis added]
It is in this manner that we can serve as Christ’s representatives in the world. He lives through us and the decisions we make.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Then the next verse in that passage continues with this main message we are here to be serving up to others.
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]
This is all about encouraging others to accept the work Jesus Christ accomplished to make a way for our salvation. We do this with Christ and the Holy Spirit residing within us.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]
I hope you’ll be courageous to present this message often to the people who come into your life. It is God, the Holy Spirit who lives within you to assist you in this wonderful work.