Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Holy Spirit's indwelling ministry

Romans 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

God in us - The Spirit's indwelling ministry
Romans 8:9-16 gives us a full treatment and wonderful summary of the key ways in which the Holy Spirit works in the life of the Christian.  Most fundamental to salvation and the beginning of the Christian life is the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit.  Simply put - the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is when God the Holy Spirit comes to live inside a human being at the moment of saving faith. 

Distinguishing the Holy Spirit's ministry in the Old and New Testament believer
All believer's of all ages were marked by the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives - however there was a major distinction that defined Old from New Testament saint.  In the Old Testament or Old Covenant period (Genesis-Acts 1) the Holy Spirit worked from "outward to inward", dwelling "with" or "upon" the believer. In the New Testament or New Covenant era (Acts 2 onward), the Holy Spirit would enhance His work and presence by coming to dwell "in" the believer.  Jesus in John 14:17 most clearly bears this distinction out: "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."

Scriptures that bear out the truth of the Spirit's indwelling ministry in the believer
Before we list a few thoughts regarding the significance of the Holy Spirit's indwelling ministry, it is vital to list some of the key verses which speak about it:
1. Ezekiel 36:27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."

2. Romans 8:16 "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God"

3. 1 Corithians 6:19 "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? 20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."

4. Ephesians 4:30 "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

5. 2 Timothy 1:14 "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you."

6. 1 John 2:27 "As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. "

7. 1 John 4:13  "By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit."

The significance of the Holy Spirit's indwelling ministry
As you can see, quite a few passages underscore the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit.  The quantity of the passages above points to the necessity for you and I as Christians to consider more closely and carefully our Christian walk.  As we close out today's blog, I want to list some observations on the significance of the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit:

1. The Fundamental mark of Christian identity. Romans 8:9, 16; 1 John 4:13

2. The Foundation for the Christian life.  Ezekiel 36:27; 1 John 4:13

3. The Faith-life's source for guidance/understanding.  1 John 2:27

4. The Full-rights God has in owning us. 1 Corinthians 6:19

5. The Faith-life's responsibility to live the Holy life. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 4:30

6. The Full-time home of God in us. John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:16

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