OceanSide church of Christ

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The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1)

Lesson Ten

Victor M. Eskew




A.  There is no doubt that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit dwells within the Christian.

1.    Romans 8:9


But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.


2.    Romans 8:11


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.


3.    I Corinthians 6:19


What!  Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.


4.    I John 3:24


And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.  And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.


5.    Acts 2:38 and Acts 5:32 are also used to “prove” that the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian.


And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.


B.   The Bible teaches that that are others who can or do dwell in us, and we can dwell in them as well.

1.    God dwells within the Christian.

a.   II Corinthians 6:16


And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?  For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.


b.   I John 3:24a


And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.

c.   I John 4:12


No man hath seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in his.


d.   I John 4:15


Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.


e.   I John 4:16


And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.  God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.


2.    Jesus Christ dwells in the Christian.

a.   John 6:56


He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.


b.   John 14:23


Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words:  and my Father will love him, and will come unto him, and make our abode with him.


c.   Ephesians 3:17


That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.


3.    Other things that can dwell in us.

a.   Sin (Rom. 7:17, 20)


Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.


b.   Satan can enter into us (Luke 22:3; John 13:27).


Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.


c.   The word, that is, the truth can dwell in us.

1)    Colossians 3:16


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…


2)    II John 2


For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, shall be with us for ever.


C.  The real question:

1.    The real question is not:  “Does the Holy Spirit dwell in us.”

2.    The real question is:  “How does the Holy Spirit dwell within the Christian?”




A.  The Holy Spirit dwells in the child of God literally, personally, and miraculously.

1.    The literal person of the Holy Spirit is inside one’s body.

2.    Most who hold this position contend for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

3.    They believe that once the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the believer that the believer can perform miracles.


B.   The Holy Spirit dwells in the child of God in a direct, literal, and personal way.  He is said to work in conjunction with the word, but this working is non-miraculous.

1.    The literal person of the Holy Spirit is inside the body of the Christian.

2.    Some have referred to this theory of indwelling as the “supra-literacy” theory.  The doctrine teaches that the Holy Spirit works through the Word and in addition to the Word.

3.    The doctrine refers to such things are the Holy Spirit’s guiding, leading, strengthening, protecting, convicting, empowering, and producing fruit in the life of the child of God apart from the Word.

4.    They will point to passages of Scripture that teach the Holy Spirit works in the life of the Christian.

a.   The Holy Spirit brings things to our remembrance (John 14:26).


But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.


b.   The Holy Spirit leads (Gal. 5:18).


But if ye are led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.


c.   The Holy Spirit strengthens (Eph. 3:16).


That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.


C.  The Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian literally and personally, but He does nothing apart from the Word of God.

1.    Again, the Holy Spirit is literally in the body of the child of God.

2.    These individuals will quote the passages that we noted at the outset of this lesson to “prove” that the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian, but they do not believe the Holy Spirit is operating apart from and in addition to God’s Word.  The only difference between this view and the one to follow was a claim of personal indwelling.  The operation of the Spirit in the life of the Christian was identical, through the Word of God.



3.    This was the view of the late Gus Nichols.


“How much more to remember that the Holy Spirit dwells in us?  It is a sobering thought!  I believe the Holy Spirit dwells in me, really and actually, just as I believe my human spirit or soul dwells in me in truth and fact.  Neither is miraculous.  I can’t ‘feel’ either one, nor can either one be found in a laboratory.  Neither works any miracles through me.  All I know of either one of them is through the word of God.  Neither inspires me with new revelations from God.  Neither gives me a single idea of religious truth not found in the scriptures” (Lectures on the Holy Spirit, Nichols, p. 176).


4.    Many believe that this view is the gateway to the previous view of indwelling. 

a.   If the Holy Spirit is in us, He must be doing something.

b.   Then, they read all of the passages in the Bible that talk about the various works of the Holy Spirit.


D.  The Holy Spirit dwells within the Christian by means of the Word of God.

1.    The Holy Spirit dwells and works in the life of the Christian by means of the Word of God.

2.    The reason that the Holy Spirit can be said to dwell in us in this way is because the Holy Spirit is the source of the Word of God.  Whatever the Word does can also be attributed to the Holy Spirit.  An agent works on behalf of another.




A.  In our next lesson, we will set forth several proofs that the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian through a medium, that is, through the means of the Word of God.


B.   One enticer for next week’s lesson:  Paul’s parallel passages:


Ephesians 5:18-19                                               Colossians 3:16


And be not drunk with wine, where in is             Let the word of Christ dwell in you   

excess; but be filled with the Spirit.                   richly in all wisdom teaching and ad-

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and                            monishing one another in psalms and

hymns and spiritual songs, singing and                          hymns and spiritual songs, singing

making melody in your heart to the Lord.            with grace in your hearts to the Lord.


1.    In the Ephesian’s passage he exhorts his readers to “be filled with the Spirit.”  NOTE:  This is a command.  How is the child of God to fulfill this command?

2.    In the Colossian’s passage, he clears the “how” up:  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.”

3.    When the word of God is allowed to dwell in us richly in all wisdom, we are being filled with the Spirit.