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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Holy Spirit and Us

Don Stewart :: What Is the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

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What Is the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit and Us – Question 5

One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is His “indwelling.” From a study of the Scripture, we learn the following about the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit Indwells All Who Believe in Jesus

The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit indwells all who believe in Jesus Christ – there are no exceptions to this. The gospel of John records Jesus testifying to this fact in the city of Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles.

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39 ESV).

Jesus promised that those who believed in Him would receive the Spirit of God. This includes all believers.

The Apostle John wrote about how the Holy Spirit indwells those who believe. He said it this way.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:12-14 NIV).

Those who believe in Jesus Christ are indwelt with the Spirit of God.

The Indwelling Occurs When a Person Believes in Jesus

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit occurs the moment a person receives Jesus Christ as Savior. The Spirit then begins His work in the life of the believer.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV).

Later in his letter to the Corinthians Paul again emphasized that the Holy Spirit dwells within all those who believe. He wrote.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19 NRSV).

All believers are indwelt with the Holy Spirit; there are no exceptions to this wonderful promise that comes from the God of the Bible.

The Holy Spirit Dwells Forever with the Believer

What does this mean to the individual? The indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit allows Jesus Christ to dwell in our hearts forever. God can now work in a believer’s life, helping that person conform to the character of Christ. Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Romans. He explained it in this manner.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29 ESV).

The work of the Holy Spirit includes indwelling all believers as long as they are alive.

The Believer Is Secure in Jesus

The indwelling work of the Spirit also gives the believer the security of knowing that he or she is a child of God. Paul wrote the following to the church at Ephesus.

And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. (Ephesians 1:13 NLT).

This guarantees the security of the believer. The Holy Spirit is the down payment, or pledge, that God will deliver on all His promises.

The Indwelling Work of the Spirit Is Unexplainable

Although the Bible promises that the Holy Spirit will live inside each believer in Jesus Christ, we are not able to explain or fully understand how this can be so. His personal indwelling presence is invisible. While we cannot either measure or comprehend Him, believers know, by faith, that He is indwelling those who have trusted Jesus.

Summary – Question 5
What Is the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

One of the ministries in which God the Holy Spirit has in the life of the believer is known as the “indwelling.” From Scripture, we learn a number of important things about this ministry.

The Holy Spirit indwells the believer the moment that a person trusts Jesus Christ as their Savior. Indeed, a person cannot be a Christian without the Holy Spirit indwelling them. The Bible makes this clear.

Thus, all believers in Jesus Christ are indwelt by the Spirit of God. Indeed, there is no such thing as a Christian without the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, the Lord has promised that the Spirit of God will dwell forever with believers. He will never leave those whom He indwells. He is forever with us.

Thus, this ministry of the Holy Spirit secures the relationship of the believer with the Lord. We can have confidence that God will be with us always through His Spirit who dwell inside of us.

While the Bible says this is what takes places, we cannot fully comprehend how this can be so. We believe these truths by faith.

In What Ways Does the Holy Spirit Give Life? ← Prior Section
When Does a Person Receive the Holy Spirit? Next Section →
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