The Literal Indwelling Of The Holy Spirit?
By: Gary Colley
One may search for a lifetime and not find in the Bible the teaching of the literal indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the physical body of the Christian. Some assert that He does dwell in them, somewhat like they assert that miracles happen today, but without proof from the Bible. Superstitution and subjectivism evidently have caused the confession and questions concerning the direct working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Bible does state the FACT that God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit dwell within the penitent obedient Christian, but never says the way is directly, literally, or personally
(II Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 3:17, I Corinthians 3:16). We do not question the FACT that in some manner the Holy Spirit dwells within the Christian, but rather the HOW of the Holy Spirit's indwelling. The Bible answers that the indwelling of Deity in the Christian is by faith
(Ephesians 3:17). It also states that this faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Hence we can learn that God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit dwell in the Christian, not directly, literally, or personally, but through the Word of God. This representative indwelling, through the medium or agency of God's Word, directs all Christians alike in the "one faith" (Ephesians 4:1-6). The Holy Spirit's special part in the scheme of redemption was to be the revelatory (John 16:13). This He did perfectly in the Word, and needs not to repeat His work (James 1:25, Ephesians 6:18). If any of the Godhead spoke to us directly today, they would not speak anything differently from what is revealed in the Word! If the apostles or an angel spoke directly today it could be no different from that which is written, without rendering themselves "accursed" (Galatians 1:8-9). The Bible commands, and inspiration teaches us how, to "be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)." It explains itself by saying, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom (Colossians 3:16)." Inspired Peter states what the Christian's first lesson should be: "knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but HOLY MEN OF GOD SPAKE AS THEY WERE MOVED BY THE HOLY GHOST
(II Peter 1:20-21)." From these facts we should learn that the Holy Spirit abides in us, as the Word of God abides in us and directs our lives. Does the Word of the Spirit abide in you? Obey today!