|Vol. 13 No. 7 July 2011||
Indwelling of the
Holy Spirit and Salvation
Louis Rushmore, Editor
Can anyone really be a child of God without possessing the Holy Spirit today-from Romans 8:9, 14?
Romans 8:9 and 14 read as follows: “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” (verse 9) and “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (verse 14).
Similar passages respecting the Holy Spirit being in the child of God include these:
“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” (Romans 8:11).
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6).
“That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us” (2 Timothy 1:14).
Besides the Holy Spirit dwelling in the child of God, “the truth” or “the word of Christ” dwells in the child of God; “For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever” (2 John 2) and “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). Likewise, God dwells in the Christian; “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God” (1 John 4:15) and “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16). Further, Christians dwell in God; “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13). New Testament passages teach about indwelling whereby (1) the members of the Godhead dwell in the children of God, (2) Christians dwell in the Godhead, and (3) the Word of God dwells within Christians.
Therefore, the indwelling question goes far beyond consideration only of the Holy Spirit dwelling in the child of God. It is reasonable that the manner of indwelling characteristic of the different members of the Godhead dwelling within the children of God is the same. It is logical as well as that the manner in which the Word of God dwells within Christians is the same as the way in which the Godhead indwells the children of God. It is sensible that the way in which the child of God dwells in various members of the Godhead is the same way in which the members of the Godhead and the Word of God dwell within the Christian.
Hence, the real question is not does the Holy Spirit (or other members of the Godhead and the Word of God) dwell in the child of God. Two subsequent questions, though, are (1) How does the Holy Spirit (or other members of the Godhead and the Word of God), such as literally, figuratively, miraculously, indwell the child of God? and (2) How does the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (or other members of the Godhead and the Word of God) manifest Himself, (such as direct revelation or communication, miraculously, etc.)?
That the Holy Spirit no longer manifests Himself miraculously is clear from passages of Scripture that teach the cessation miracles once their purpose of revealing the New Testament and validating the apostles and prophets who delivered that new revelation was accomplished (Mark 16:20; 1 Corinthians 13:10-13; Ephesians 4:11-14). There is no more new revelation from God coming, it is evident from several New Testament passages (Galatians 1:6-9; Jude 3; Revelation 22:18-19); we already have all the Scripture that we need to worship God acceptably, live Christian lives, practice Christian service and know Christian doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3).
Incidentally, Christians are not agreed upon the manner of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – whether it is literal and bodily or figurative. However, students of the Bible who follow closely follow biblical authority do agree that irrespective of the manner of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the child of God, no new revelation or communication from God occurs today and there are no true miraculous manifestations today. (Providence is a different matter.)
I do offer this Scripture reference as to the manner in which the Holy Spirit dwells within the child of God. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17). Indwelling “by faith,” I believe, is the manner by which not only the Holy Spirit dwells within the child of God, but the manner by which the Father, the Son and the Word dwell within the Christian, as well as the way that Christians dwell within the Godhead. Today, we could not even know that the Holy Spirit dwells within the child of God except that the New Testament so informs us!
Louis Rushmore, Editor
From 1 Cor 6:19 Why is the need for the analogy that the Holy Spirit having our body as a temple? What is the implication of this?
First Corinthians 6:19 reads: “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?” The significance of the Holy Spirit being in Christians appears in 1 Corinthians 6:20. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” The children of God indeed have been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28). Therefore, we belong to God, and as such we need to act godly in conduct and thought, whereby we can glorify or magnify Almighty God.
Adam Clarke voiced it marvelously when he wrote of 1 Corinthians 6:19:
What an astonishing saying is this! As truly as the living God dwelt in the Mosaic tabernacle, and in the temple of Solomon, so truly does the Holy Spirit dwell in the souls of genuine Christians; and as the temple and all its utensils were holy, separated from all common and profane uses, and dedicated alone to the service of God, so the bodies of genuine Christians are holy, and all their members should be employed in the service of God alone.
Albert Barnes summarizes: “The Holy Spirit dwells in us; our bodies are his temples; and they should not be defiled and polluted by sin…” Specific to the context (1 Corinthians 6:15-20) in which 1 Corinthians 6:19 appears, especially Christians are to refrain from sexual immoralities; it is not appropriate for Christians who have been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ from sins and in whom dwell the Holy Spirit to continue in sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), and especially to persist in sexual sins. Elsewhere in Scripture, we have divine instruction essentially to practice what we profess; “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6). First Corinthians 6:19-20 would have the children of God to do no less!
Adam Clarke’s Commentary. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 2006.
Barnes’ Notes. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 2006.