Lucia's Blog: THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: THE INDWELLING - PART FIVE
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, July 25, 2014

THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: THE INDWELLING - PART FIVE


 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.'"
Revelation 21:1-4


God's ultimate blessing, final reward and eternal destiny for all men who are acceptable in His sight is for HIM to dwell with them as is described in Revelation 21:1-4.  Notice that  this description of the "New Jerusalem," which is the "heavenly home" where God dwells with men, His people, fits the language of the Old Testament that described the way He dwelled among His people, the Israelites,  "I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God. They shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God."  Exodus 29:45-46.  He also walked among them, "I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people."  Leviticus 26:12.  Likewise those, who beforehand had prophesied of Christ and His redemption through His blood for all men, used the same language saying, "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,' declares the Lord,  'I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."'  Jeremiah 31:33.  The promise spoken here is not that of a "tent" but rather the promise of a divine "presence."  This promise of  a divine "presence" was to be a prophecy or sign of God's ultimate dwelling among His people.  This indwelling of the Holy Spirit can only be found when one can study in depth the indwelling of Deity as a whole.

In Ephesians 1:13-14 we read, "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory."

My question is then, how does God dwell in men?  What does the Word of God mean by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?  The problem is that we fail to understand how the Godhead dwells in man.  What this means is that many don't understand the indwelling of God by the Father and the Son making it difficult to comprehend this indwelling of the Holy Spirit in men.  The fact is that whichever avenue God chose for the Holy Spirit to dwell in men, He is dwelling in men through the Holy Spirit.

The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit as being in prophets, in the sense that He was working miracles, supplying or endowing them with power.  As He delivered all Truth, he enabled some to work miracles, confirming the Word.  Although the apostles were also Christians, they were dependent on the Holy Spirit in a special way to work in them and through them to perform signs, wonders, and mighty works. There were only twelve Christians who served as apostles in the beginning and eventually the number grew to include another apostle and many prophets.

I want to point out that the word  ENOIKEO in the Greek language is used of God's Spirit, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."  Romans 8:11; of God Himself, "Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, 'I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'"  II Corinthians 6:16; of the Word of Christ, "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."  Colossians 3:16; of faith, "For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well."  II Timothy 1:5; of the Holy Spirit Himself"Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you."  II Timothy 1:14 and even of sin, "So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me."  Romans 7:17.  Notice that in each of these passages the word "indwell" goes together with an additional "in."  Now when expanding it to include KATOIKEDO, "dwell-with" we must include Christ, "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love."  Ephesians 3:17 and if we include it with MENO, "remain," and add "spirit of truth," John 14:17" for the apostles, "That is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."  We must conclude that the language used in such cases does not make any distinction between the indwelling of God and of the Holy Spirit.  If this reduces the effect or significance of the Holy Spirit, (as some are claiming) then it also reduces the significance of the Father as well as the Son.


I.  GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE

From the beginning, God's greatest desire and eternal purpose was to have a beautiful relationship with men, with Him as their Creator being manifested through men and being glorified by them.  We can clearly see this in Revelation 21:1-4 as the culmination of God's eternal purpose.  Let us consider God's eternal purpose:
  • God wanted to dwell among men:
    • Foreshadowed, Exodus 40:34-38 in the Tabernacle
    • Then in the Temple, I Kings 8:10-13
    • This was to be a symbolic dwelling, I Kings 8:27; Isaiah 8:18; Isaiah 33:5
    • A perfect example of God dwelling in man is seen in Matthew 1:23; Col. 2:9
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, 'God with us.'"
"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form." 
God indwells us as our Mediator, Advocate, link, means of fellowship, seal with God making this indwelling a final and complete one.
  • To be manifested through men:
    • To make known the riches of His glory:   "And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory."  Romans 9:23; Ephesians 3:10
    • As Children of God:  "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."  John 1:12; Hebrews 2:10
    • To the world through the Gospel:  "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.  Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me."  John 17:6-8, 20
  • Intended man to glorify God:
    • Glorify the Father, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."  Matthew 5:16
    • Glory in us making it one in God, "And all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them."  John 17:10, 22
    • To the glory and praise of God, "Having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."  Philippians 1:11
  • Glory in the church:
    • "To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."  Ephesians 3:21

II.  THREE THINGS THAT ENABLED GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE:

The following are three things that completed God's eternal purpose and made it possible for this indwelling:


A.  THE NATURE OF MAN:
  • In the image of God:  "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."'  Genesis 1:26-27.   Notice that other creatures such as animals don't have this capacity.  A deaf person, for example, can not enjoy music since he cannot hear.
  • Man has a spirit that can make it possible to respond to God's Spirit:  "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."  Romans 8:14.
  • God intended man to give him glory and praise:
    • Hebrews 2:5-15:  "For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. But one has testified somewhere, saying, 'What is man, that You remember him? Or the son of man, that You are concerned about him?  'You have made him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and have appointed him over the works of Your hands; You have put all things in subjection under his feet.'  For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.  But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone... "  Being made a little lower than angels and crowned with glory and honor having all things subjected to Him.
    • Romans 8:28-30:  "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."  He foreknew some to be conformed to the image of the Son and these to be glorified.

B.  SACRIFICE OF CHRIST:

Although God had intended man to glorify Him, man with his "free will" rejected his Creator, our Jehovah God.  Man chose evil rather than that which is good and righteous thus he became separated from God.  As a consequence of this, God the Father had to offer His Son as a "guilt offering" to die on our behalf, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  John 3:16.

Consider why it was necessary for Christ to die and become the ultimate sacrifice of our redemption and reconciliation:
  • Because our sins had separated us from God.  "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear."  Isaiah 59:2
  • So that our unrighteous deeds might be taken away.  "For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."  Isaiah 64:6

Thanks be to God that through Christ we are forgiven, justified, and have the compatibility necessary for the "indwelling."  Consider how Christ made this "indwelling" possible:

    • Christ made it possible for us to be reconciled, justified and thus to be compatible with God.  Remember that our sins rendered our fellowship with God impossible, rendering us unfit as a habitation for God to dwell in.  "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."  I John 1:6-7.  Without this cleansing through the blood of Christ, conditioned on our confessing and repenting of our sins, we can have no fellowship with Him. 
    •  God would not dwell with men who walk in darkness.  "Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, 'I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  'Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,' says the Lord.   'And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you.  'And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,'  Says the Lord Almighty.'"   2 Corinthians 6:16-18.
    • It is through Christ that God had made this compatibility, fellowship, and indwelling possible.  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  John 3:16.  This was vital to reconcile us back to Him, for Him to "indwell" us by means of the Holy Spirit.  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."   Rom. 3:23-26

C.  THE CALLING OF GOD:
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.  It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."  John 6:44-45
"Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him."  John 14:23
  • This is where the Holy Spirit comes in:
    • The Father dwells in us through the Son, His messenger, Hebrews 1.  He expressed His mind to us.
    • The Holy Spirit, being their final revealer makes it possible for both the Father and Son to dwell in us, through the effect of the Holy Spirit’s Words.
"In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit."  Ephesians 2:22.  
"That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love."  Ephesians 3:16-17. 
We must freely submit our own spirit to the Spirit of God.  It is only through this total surrendering and submission to Him that we are able to establish true fellowship with God as well as to enjoy all the blessings of this "indwelling."  God then is glorified, and man is blessed.  Isn't that beautiful!
  • Christ is the WAY:  
    • We see God:  "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?'"  John 14:7-9
    • We come to know God: "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments."  I John 2:3
    • We have fellowship with God:  "What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."   I John 1:3, 6-7
    • We abide in God:   "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.'"  John 14:23
    • We must be faithful to Christ:  This is vital in order for God to dwell or abide in us and we in Him.  How is this possible?  Let us consider the following: 
      • By bearing good fruit:  
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."  John 15:1-7
      • By keeping His commandments:  
"Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.'"  John 14:23
      • By His teachings:   
"We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error."  I John 4:6
      • By our love:  
"No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us."   I John 4:12 
      • By the Spirit whom He gave us:  
"The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us."   I John 3:24.  

With all this being said, God's eternal purpose from the beginning was to:
  • Dwell in man
  • Be manifested
  • Be glorified by His children.  
In a few words, God's eternal purposes were made possible by three things:
    • The nature of man.
    • The sacrifice of Christ.
    • The manner by which He calls and draws man to Him which I just mentioned above are all the final realizations that make it possible for this final indwelling
"For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust."  II Peter 1:4.  

This is inseparably related to our acceptance and obedience to the Gospel, the Word of God.  Take note that it is only through the inspired Word of God that He can dwell in us.  This is the only means of "indwelling."  God's Spirit then expresses the things of God to us His children.  Consider why the Holy Spirit is the only WAY to Christ.  Let’s notice also how the Holy Spirit reveals Him to us:

  • The Holy Spirit is the WAY to Christ:
    • We are partakers of the Divine Nature:  "For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust."  2 Peter 1:4.  It is only through the KNOWLEDGE of Christ that we can become partakers of this Divine Nature.  This knowledge comes to us only by the calling of the Gospel, "It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."
      2 Thessalonians 2:14.  This is how the "indwelling" or fellowship begins.
    • This dwelling is made possible by our acceptance and response to the Gospel, God's everlasting Word:  "As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father."  I John 2:24.  For further reading:   I John 1:6-7; I Cor. 2:10-13; Eph. 3:1-12; John 14:9,10-26.
    • Our Lord and Savior is also our Mediator, Advocate.  He is the link between man and Deity, the final union of God's Spirit and man's spirit.  This is the fellowship, the knowing, and the abiding (the indwelling) which makes us into ONENESS with God.
"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God."  Romans 8:16
    • God and the Spirit of God united as Deity:
      • The church(the body of Christ) is called the "house" or "temple" of God where He dwells:  "Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"  I Corinthian. 3:16.
      • One's body is the temple of the Holy Spirit:  "Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?"  I Corinthians 6:18
      • God's Spirit in man's spirit for Christ to dwell in our hearts through faith in Him.  It is through our reception and obedience to God's Spirit that we become strong in Him.  When Christ dwells or lives in us, we are then able to be rooted in Him making us strong. 
"That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:16-19
      • The love of God is poured out in our heart by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.    , "And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."  Romans 5:5
      • We are able to be filled with the Spirit.  "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit."  Ephesians 5:18
      • When we allow the Word of God to dwell in us richly.  "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."  Colossians 3:16 
      • The Holy Spirit dwells in us, Christians, in the same way that the Father and the Son "indwells us."  So the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is through:
        • Fellowship
        • Communion
        • Abiding
        • Knowing
        • Being known
        • Being taught the ONENESS of God and man while in this earthly tabernacle. 
We are looking to, longing for, and preparing for our "ultimate heavenly indwelling" which is to be with God for all eternity.  ALL the above descriptions are but the same relationship of man and God.


CONCLUSION:  

Men have complicated the subject of the "indwelling of the Holy Spirit" when in fact it is not that difficult to grasp.  In John 4:10-14, Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman of the "living water" which one may have "in Him.” The Samaritan woman could not comprehend how this could be possible.
"Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.'  She said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?  You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?'  Jesus answered and said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.'"

Later in John 6:31-35, Jesus described Himself as the "true bread from heaven" which "giveth life to the world."  Again in John 6:56-57, Jesus included "meat" and "drink" saying, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."  (Some misrepresent this today as the Lord's Supper.)  The Jews were offended by this walking away and saying, "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?"  When Jesus saw this He gave a clear explanation of it by saying, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life," verse 63.  This means that Christ dwells in us, and we in Him, if we feed on Him.  How is this done or possible?  We must receive His Words, discern them with understanding, digest them well and allow them to become a vital part of our walk with Him here on earth.  They will produce abundant spiritual life if we abide in them and live by them following Christ all the WAY.  Peter understood this well when he asked the Lord, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of Life,"  verse 68.

With all this being said, let us take to heart that man cannot save himself apart from God through His Word.  Man can never achieve compatibility or fellowship with God by his own means, in spite of how hard he tries.  Nor can he ever summon the Spirit of God by intellectual means of Christ's teachings.  Notice that without the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, there could be no "indwelling."

Let us take notice that the answer to man's problem is not a man made religion.  The commandments, teachings, philosophies, human laws and decrees of man cannot make us compatible with God.  There is no compatibility between God and the kingdom of darkness, "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."  I John 1:5-7.  We have no fellowship with the Father if we continue in sin, "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."  I John 2:1.

It is ONLY through Christ that this "indwelling or fellowship with the Father" is made possible which could not otherwise exist.  It is important to grasp and understand that our spirit must find compatibility or fellowship with the Spirit of the Father in order for this indwelling to exist so that they both may bear witness together,  "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him."  Romans 8:16, 17.  This is the only way the Spirit of God will dwell in us.

Notice also that verse 9 of Romans 8 uses "the Spirit of God and "Spirit of Christ" interchangeably.  Verse 10 of that same chapter continues by saying, "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness."  Therefore, the "indwelling of the Holy Spirit" is the close fellowship that exists between God and men whose primary desire and purpose is to "partake of the Divine Nature," II Peter 1:4 by means of becoming partakers of His Holiness, "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings."  Hebrews 2:10 and through the forgiveness that there is through Christ Jesus, made whole again, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory, "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit."  II Corinthians 3:18.

Finally, our ultimate destination, after living a righteous life, will be heaven where we will be accepted and will enter into our heavenly habitation, our "heavenly dwelling" where God the Father will dwell with us, and we with Him THROUGHOUT ALL ETERNITY.  TO HIM BE THE GLORY.

May the Lord help us to walk with Him in a manner that will allow Him to dwell in us and we in Him:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  May we all one day spend eternity with Him in Heaven, our final dwelling place.


Luci