Now think about this question; don’t think about the theology which you have been taught; just the question. Could God take His elect to Heaven without first giving them the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? Does the Lord do that? Can you prove that the saints of God in the Old Testament were indwelt by the Holy Spirit? I have read in dozens of theology books that the Old Testament saints were not permanently indwelt, but proving that statement one way or the other is open to challenge. How important TO US is the question about the Spirit’s relationship to David and Abraham? If being indwelt, or not indwelt, by the Spirit does not directly relate to salvation, the question about the Spirit’s relationgship to Old Testament saints is not vitally important to us. What is important is not what Isaiah or Moses say about the subject, expect in prophecy. What is important TO US is what the New Testament says TO US.
Scriptures which teach the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:8-11 – “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 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. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 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.” Today, according to these verses, if someone does not have the Spirit of Christ, is that person a Christian? “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Notice that the Spirit of Christ is also called the Spirit of God, telling us what about Christ? If someone doesn’t have the Holy Spirit that person is not one of God’s people; ie. a Christian. What word does this scripture use to describe the Holy Spirit’s relationship to that Christian? (Dwell.) What is it “to dwell” somewhere? When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, according to verse 10 Who else is in us? (Christ.) Can a person be a Christian if Christ does not dwell in him? If Christ and the Spirit dwell in a person is there any doubt but that person will be raised from the dead? Does this scripture say that ONLY those who are indwelt by the Spirit will be raised from the dead?
I Corinthians 2:9-12 – “As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” In verse 12 has Paul limited in any way the pronoun “we”? By that I mean was he talking at that point only about Apostles, or pastors, or evangelists? Does he say that only those people who speak in tongues have received the Spirit of God? Who are the “we”? (Although some disagree, apparently this is anyone who is a child of God.) Although this scripture doesn’t say anything about indwelling, what does the word “receiveth” mean? How permanent is that receiving?
I Corinthians 6:15-20: – “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. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 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? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I heard a man try to argue that this scripture was referring to the Lord’s church – the body of Christ. Is it? Paul was writing initially to one church, but he was referring to the people in that specific church. When he used the plural word “bodies” he was talking about those church members’ specific bodies. Then he referred to a physical form of sin. As an argument against that sin, he told those Christians that their bodies were temples of the Holy Spirit. What exactly is a temple? (A building, a place, for the worship of God.) There is a sense in which God dwells in His temple. The Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian’s body as if it was His home, not his hotel or his cabin – His home.
II Corinthians 5:1-5 – “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” What is Paul’s basic theme in this scripture? (Resurrection.) Who is it that will change and glorify us, making us fit for Heaven? In addition to His promises, what is the assurance that He will do this? Although this “giving” of the Spirit, isn’t the same thing as His “dwelling” in us, is there really a difference?
Galatians 3:1-3 – “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” From what you know, were the Galatians spiritually powerful people, wowing the world with Christ? So Paul wasn’t writing this letter to a bunch of super-Christians? Had these less-than-perfect Christians received the Holy Spirit? When had they received the Spirit? How had they received the Spirit? Was this receiving of the Spirit a temporary and special gift?
Galatians 4:4-7 – “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Who had given these Galatians the Holy Spirit? When did the Lord give them the Holy Spirit? In looking at verse 6 and the word “because” could we assume that to be a child of God means – always means – that the Spirit of God will be given to him? I John 3:23-24 – “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” Is this talking about the Holy Spirit or some other Spirit? When was the Spirit given to these people? And what did the Spirit do when he was given to these people? (He began to dwell in them.)
I John 4:10-13 – “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” To whom was this First Epistle of John written? It’s not an evangelical message to the lost? What is the doctrine of the omnipresence of God? Does this scripture say that God dwells in us because He is omnipresent? How do we know that God dwells in us? How do we know that He has given us His Spirit?
Further points, implications and conclusions about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
The absence of the Holy Spirt within a person proves that person’s lost condition. Is the lost man a temple of the Holy Spirit? In this New Testament or post-New Testament era, can someone who does not possess the Spirit be one of God’s saints? Finish this verse: “If any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is………… (none of his.)” Listen to Jude 17-19 – “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”
What happens in their relationship to the Holy Spirit when Christians sin? (They grieve Him.) Ephesians 4:30 – “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” What is this “day of redemption”? Where in the New Testament are we told that we told that if we sin, the Holy Spirit will be withdrawn from us?
What words are used to describe how the Holy Spirit comes to us at the time of our salvation? Romans 5:1-5 – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” What is the nature of a “gift.” Can a good person give something and then take it back, and still be considered good? A gift by its nature is bestowed without merit.
Coupled to the indwelling of the Spirit, is the sealing of the Spirit. II Corinthians 2:18-22 – “But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” Ephesians 1:13-14 – “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 4:29-30 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” As understood by the people in Paul’s day, what was the purpose of a seal? Who was it that sealed the child of God? What is the seal of the child of God? What does that seal guarantee? Does the seal have any different meaning in John 6:27? “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” What indication is there in the New Testament that some Christians are not sealed? Do we have to feel like we are sealed by the Holy Spirit in order to be seal?
Every child of God is indwelt and sealed by the Spirit, and, in part, the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of the completion of our salvation.