DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT INDWELL IN THE CHRISTIAN PERSONALLY (IN ADDITION TO THE WORD), OR REPRESENTATIVELY (ONLY THROUGH THE WORD)?
1. I believe that the Holy Spirit Himself really, literally, actually, personally,or just about any other way you want to say it, dwells, lives, and resides in heart of the Christian.
2. I cannot explain the mechanics of how that happens, but I believe that the Bible clearly teaches it and I accept it simply because that is what the Bible says as well as what I have experienced in my own life.
3. I believe that the Spirit dwells in us in harmony with the word and in conjunction with the word, but never in conflict or contrary to the word.
4. The Bible clearly teaches that both the Spirit and the word dwell in the Christian:
a. Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
b. Romans 8:9 “But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you…”
5. I do not believe that there is any such thing as a “measure” of the Spirit. In fact, the Bible clearly says, “for God does not give the Spirit by measure” (Jn. 3:34, NKJV, ESV, ASV, NASB, NIV).
6. There are various “gifts” or “manifestations” that the Spirit distributes “to each one individually as He wills (1 Cor. 12:11), and “according to His own will” (Heb. 2:4), but those gifts are not different amounts of the Spirit Himself (Jn. 3:34).
7. The idea that Jesus had the Spirit without measure, and the apostles had a gallon, and the prophets had a quart, and the miracle workers had a pint, and the tongue speakers had a cup full, and you and I get a teaspoonful, or thimbleful, is not taught in the Bible.
8. Remember that the Holy Spirit is a person and you have Him dwelling in you or you do not have Him at all (Jn. 3:34).
9. And the Bible clearly teaches that the Spirit of God dwells in the child of God.
a. Acts 5:32 “…the Holy Spirit whom God has given to them that obey Him.”
b. I Cor. 6:19 “…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God…”
c. Gal. 4:6 “…God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts…”
d. Eph. 3:16 “…strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.”
e. I Thess. 4:8″…God, who has given us His Holy Spirit.”
f. See also Jn. 7:37-39; 14:16-18; Acts 2:38-39; Rom.5:5; 8:9-11; 1 Cor. 3:16; 12:13; II Cor. 5:5; Gal. 3:2; Eph. 1:13-14; 2:22; 4:30; 2 Tim. 1:14; Titus 3:5-6; Heb. 6:4; James 4:5; 1 Jn. 3:24; and 4:13.
10. But there are some (a very small minority in my judgment) who believe that the Spirit dwells in us only through the very words in the Bible.
11. Those who believe in the “word only” indwelling cannot produce one passage that says the Spirit dwells in us “through the word.”
12. The Bible does say that the church is a “habitation of God through the Spirit,” but it never says that the church is the “habitation of the Spirit through the word.”
13. In this study, we will notice reasons why I believe the “word only” concept of the Spirit’s indwelling cannot be true.
I. THE JEWS ON PENTECOST RECEIVED THE WORD, BUT NOT THE SPIRIT, BEFORE THEY WERE BAPTIZED (ACTS 2:37-41).
A. Peter promised the “gift of the Holy Spirit” to those who would “repent and be baptized.” He said to those who believed his message: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
B. “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized…” (Acts 2:41).
C. If the Spirit indwells one through the words of the Spirit then, since the word was received before baptism, the Holy Spirit indwelled those people before baptism.
D. These people received the word (Acts 2:41) before they were baptized, but according to Peter’s promise on this occasion they were to “repent and be baptized” in order to “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
II. THE APOSTLES RECEIVED THE WORD DURING THE EARTHLY MINISTRY OF JESUS, BUT THEY DID NOT HAVE THE SPIRIT.
1. The Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit was not given to those “believing” in Jesus until “after” He was glorified (Jn. 7:39).
a. Jesus “suffered” and then entered “into His glory” (Lk. 24:26).
b. He was “glorified” after His death, burial, and resurrection when He ascended into heaven (Acts 2:29-33).
c. It was after He went “away” that He sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples (Jn. 14:7; Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-4, 33).
2. But the apostles had “received” His word during His earthly ministry. Note:
a. Jn. 15:3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”
b. Jn. 17:6 “They have kept your word.”
c. Jn. 15:7 “If you abide in me and my words abide in you…”
d. Jn. 17:8 “For I have given to them the words which you have given me and they have received them…”
3. Note carefully that Jesus said, “I have given to them the words” and “they have received them…” (Jn. 17:6). The apostles had the word in them, but they did not have the indwelling Spirit because the Spirit was not given to them until after the resurrection of Jesus.
4. If the Spirit dwelt in them as the words of Christ dwells in them, they already had the Spirit before the Spirit was given (Jn. 7:37-39).
III. THE GOSPEL DOES NOT COME IN “WORD ONLY,” BUT ALSO IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
1. “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit.” (I Thess. 1:5). Note: Our gospel came not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit.
2. The gospel came also to the Thessalonians “in the Holy Spirit.”
a. What did that mean?
b. Notice in the next verse how they “received the word” with “joy of the Holy Spirit” (1:6).
c. I take that to mean they received the word as well as the joy of the Holy Spirit (i.e. the joy of having the Holy Spirit.)
d. In chapter 4:8 he later affirmed the fact God has also “given us his Holy Spirit.”
3. Therefore, the gospel did not come to them in “word only,” but also “in the Holy Spirit” (I Thess. 1:5) whom God has “given us” (1 Thess. 4:8).
IV. CHRISTIANS HAVE BOTH THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT.
1. The Book of Hebrews was written to “holy brethren” (Heb. 3:1).
2. In Chapter 6, the writer encourages them to “go on to perfection” (Heb. 6:1).
3. He reminded them of what had already been taught, and what had already occurred in their lives (Heb. 6:1-5).
4. Notice carefully, in verses 4 and 5, two of the things that are said:
a. They had become “partakers of the Holy Spirit” (v. 4).
b. They had “tasted the good word of God” (v.5).
5. Please observe they had become partakers of the “Holy Spirit” AND have tasted the good “word” of God.
6. It was not “Spirit only” or “word only,” but the Spirit and the word.
A. One of the most encouraging and powerful motivations there is in living the Christian life is the knowledge and assurance of God’s presence in the heart of the Christian through the indwelling Spirit.
B. Just knowing that God Himself is personally in us is an encouragement not to sin and to “glorify God in our body and our Spirit which are God’s” (See 1 Cor. 6:18-20).
C. There is absolutely no reason to allow anyone to take our faith in this fact and this force out of our hearts.
D. The Bible clearly teaches it in numerous passages that can be understood by anyone who reads them. Read the verses yourself, trust and rely on His help, and you can easily see for yourself.
Wayne Dunaway https://waynesblogsite.wordpress.com/