In obtaining the answer to the above question, let us commence our inquiry by reading the following scripture: “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). There are several other passages of scripture that clearly reveal that the Holy Spirit does dwells in a child of God. Therefore, it is not a question as to whether or not the Holy Spirit dwells in a Christian, but rather how does He dwell therein? None of those passages designate the manner or mode of the indwelling. There are some unsubstantiated concepts concerning this indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They are as follows: (1) There are those who believe that the Holy Spirit enters an individual for the purpose of converting that person. But this is not so because those of the world cannot receive the Spirit (John 14:16-17). In whatever manner that a person receives the third person of the Godhead, it is not before he or she becomes a child of God. Our God is not a respecter of persons; therefore He would not send the Holy Spirit to convert some but not others (Acts 10:34-35). The means of converting is the inspired Word given by the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:13-14; James 1:21). (2) Others go as far as to claim to receiving the baptismal measure of the Holy Spirit. They further boast of being able to speak in tongues and to perform other miracles. But the baptismal measure of the Holy Spirit was only promised to the apostles (John 14:26; 16:13). (3) Some brethren are drifting into a concept of special leading of the Holy Spirit separate and apart from the inspired Word. We can be thankful that the Word of God sufficiently provides us spiritual guidance in all things that pertain unto life and godliness (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3). (4) A fourth concept held by many is that the Holy Spirit literally dwells in us separate and apart from the inspired Word, but does not communicate with or influence our human spirit. If that concept were true then the only way that a person would know of His indwelling would be from the Bible. But the scripture does not state that this is a literal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Not only does the inspired scripture teach that the Holy Spirit dwells in a child of God, but it also reveals that the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ also dwells in the redeemed (1 Corinthians 6:16; Colossians 1:27). How do all three persons of the Godhead dwell in us? The Bible plainly states that, “…Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith…” (Ephesians 3:17). This takes place after we learn of Christ by way of the inspired Word and obeys His gospel (Romans 10:17; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27; Galatians 2:20). After learning about the Son of God from the Bible, we hold those truths dear in our heart. As a child of God, it is in that sense that Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. This is exactly the manner in which the Holy Spirit dwells in us. At Galatians 3:2, the Apostle Paul writes, “…Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:2). The phrase “by the hearing of faith” literally means “by the message of faith.” In hearing the Word of God, the Galatians received it into their heart and were influenced thereby. This continues to be the only way in which the Holy Spirit directs Christians in doing the Will of the Heavenly Father. There is nothing mysterious or supernatural in a person studying the inspired Word and applying it to their life. Simply hearing the inspired Word is not enough, we must allow it to germinate in our heart and bear fruit (James 2:21-22; Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; Galatians 5:22-26).

--Dub Mowery


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