Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Pt2
We continue our series on the Holy Spirit with “part 2” of our sermon on being temples of the Holy Spirit. In our last lesson, after establishing the fact that everyone as far as I know agrees on (that the Holy Spirit does dwell in us), we examined some of the common views on the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, two of which are commonly held by brethren.
1. The first view that we considered was that the Holy Spirit dwells in us in a miraculous way, separate and apart from the word of God, which is evidenced through signs, gifts of the Holy Spirit, and Inspiration. We will, Lord willing. We didn’t look at this view too in depth because I plan on dealing with this view in a future lesson. I again will say that I do not believe there is credible evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in this way today, and also that scripture says that His work in the miraculous would be limited in time.
2. The Holy Spirit dwells in us only through the word. This view states denies that the Holy Spirit actually indwells the believer and that the Holy Spirit figuratively indwells the Christian only as they fill their minds with the word of God and obey it, and the more we study and obey scripture, the more the Spirit is said to dwell in us. I examined the two main arguments given for this view, showing what I believe to be the case, that this view is an overreaction to view #1, that its arguments do not hold water when compared to scripture, and that this position does not adequately explain many passages on the Holy Spirit.
3. The Spirit dwells in us in conjunction with the word. This view, which is the view that I presently hold, says that the Spirit uses the word of God as His tool to convict the sinner. When the sinner responds to the gospel, they are regenerated/born again by the Holy Spirit “breathing life” into them spiritually. It is at this moment that scripture teaches us that the Spirit enters the body of the believer and actually dwells within the physical body of the believer. This is the view I believe is supported the most by scripture, the two main passages being and , both of which we will talk more about in this lesson.
This evening I would like to explore what scripture teaches us regarding the blessings or benefits we receive as God’s people because the Holy Spirit dwells within our bodies. There are three main benefits I would like to discuss in this lesson:
· He sanctifies us
· He strengthens us
· He seals us
HE SANCTIFIES US
The Holy Spirit is the member of the Godhead who sanctifies us.
- "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood"
We are told that we have been sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit. He is the One who is doing the work. He makes us Holy, and He sets us apart for God’s purposes.
As we have seen in an earlier study, this begins when the Holy Spirit gives spiritual life to the believer. He regenerates them and cleanses their sins away. Let’s quickly review a couple of the passages once again that show this work of the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at one passage from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament:
- "Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life”
In the New Testament, we saw this work of the Holy Spirit in :
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." –
God by His mercy washes us and regenerates us through the Holy Spirit who is poured out on us abundantly by His mercy and grace.
This point is also made in . After recounting the many sins in which the Corinthian Christians were wrapped up in before they became Christians, He says:
- “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
Just as a side note: this is a great passage to share with people when talking about baptism. I believe it is a parallel passage to , and it shows us what is meant when we are told that we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit:
“Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Both talk about a washing that happens in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of God. At the point of baptism, we receive the Spirit, and He sanctifies us. We are also told in that the Holy Spirit justifies us at this same point. He makes us right with God and acquits us of our crimes against God. If our sins are washed away, there are no longer any crimes at that moment to be held guilty for.
A MOTIVATION TO PERFECT OUR SANCTIFICATION
Paul, after a section in which he encourages the brethren to live as a new creation, speaking and acting differently than we used to, he says, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (). Knowing that we can grieve the Spirit who indwells us, this should give us motivation not to sin in our bodies. If we remember, this was the point that Paul was trying to make in . He said not to use our bodies for sin because they are temples of the Holy Spirit. Our desire should be to make our temples a more Holy place for the Spirit to dwell.
Paul makes the same point in .
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion…
Our desire should be not to sin in our bodies and to continue to become more and more holy as we grow in Christ. Paul says in “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” ().
THE HOLY SPIRIT STRENGTHENS US
Jesus tells us in that the Holy Spirit is our Helper or Comforter (depending on your translation) as we live this life. The Greek word (paraklētos, pronounced par-ak’-lay-tos) means “someone who is called to one’s side, especially called to one’s aid.”
He gives us strength in the inner man ()
“that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man”
It is by the Spirit's help we are able to put to death the deeds of the body ()
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, even interceding on our behalf to God when we don’t know what to pray ()
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
WE ARE SEALED BY THE SPIRIT
We are told in the scriptures that the Holy Spirit is given to us as a seal (). There are three lessons I believe we can learn from the Spirit being given to us as a seal.
First, a seal in New Testament times was a sign of ownership and authenticity. A king or ruler would have a signet ring or some way to mark something as being from them or belonging to them. This is the case with the seal of the Holy Spirit. This seems to even be prophesied about by Isaiah in :
"For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring; 4 They will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses.’ 5 One will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; another will write with his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and name himself by the name of Israel."
Those who have the Holy Spirit poured out on them not only will be given life, springing up among the grass, but also the outpouring of the Spirit will cause people to know they are the Lord’s. They belong to Him. This point is made in :
"But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."
Also in (which we have just looked at) we saw that because we are temples of the Holy Spirit, we are not our own.
Second, the Seal of the Holy Spirit shows we are the sons and daughters of God.
-”For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’”
- "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." (Also see )
Third, the Seal of the Holy Spirit is a proof that God gives us that He will give us our future inheritance; a “down payment”; or a guarantee for us of at least two things.
First: Our Inheritance
– "In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in which also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory."
His presence in us is the guarantee (NKJV), earnest/down payment, or pledge (NASB) of our future inheritance. This passage also tells us that this sealing happens at the point of salvation. Also, notice the preposition used here. In this passage we are told that it is WITH the Holy Spirit we are sealed. He Himself is the seal that shows we belong to Christ and are God's sons and daughters and guarantees our inheritance.
SECOND, HE IS THE “GUARANTEE” OF OUR FUTURE BODILY RESURRECTION
Second, the Holy Spirit is also the guarantee to us that on the last day our physical bodies will be resurrected. In , we see an amazing chapter that shows us some of the work of the Holy Spirit. In verses 10-11, Paul makes the following point:
“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
If Christ is in us, although our bodies are dead in sin, our spirits are alive. If this is the case for us; if we do have God’s Spirit within us (who has given us spiritual life), then we will (future tense) be given life through the Spirit. He will give life to our mortal bodies. Paul speaks later in the chapter about how God’s creation eagerly awaits this time in which our physical bodies will be redeemed (8:19-23) like a woman who has birth pangs (v22).
THE SPIRIT LEADS US
The final benefit of having the Spirit dwell in us, which will be the focus of our next lesson, is that the Holy Spirit leads us. This is mentioned in two passages, and . I mention this benefit in this lesson because comes in the context right after the passage which tells us that the Spirit indwells us, gives us spiritual life, and will give life to our mortal bodies. Right after this text, Paul says, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
This important work of the Holy Spirit is accomplished some way through His indwelling, but more on this in our next lesson!
So to conclude, let’s just do a quick review about what the Holy Spirit does through His indwelling. The Holy Spirit:
· Convicts Us
· Regenerates us
· Washes Us
· Gives Our Mortal Bodies Life
· Dwells in us
· Sanctifies Us
· Seals Us
· Is Our “Guarantee”
· Shows We are Christ’s
· Shows We are Sons & Daughters of God
· Motivates Us Not to Sin
· Strengthens Us
· Intercedes For Us
We depend on the Holy Spirit. He vital to our spiritual life as Christians. Without Him, salvation would not be possible. And in our next lesson, we will see that He does even more in our lives on a day to day basis as we examine what it means to be led by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, and try to spend a little more time showing how He strengthens us, helps us, and motivates us not to sin.