How does the Spirit indwell?

A reader wonders in what way the Spirit indwells Christians. The scriptures explicitly say that the Spirit of God indwells Christians. Paul says we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6) and he insists that if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in us we can be sure we will be resurrected (Romans 8). Ephesians 2 tells us that God indwells us via the Spirit. That should settle the truth of the Spirit’s indwelling but it leaves other questions to be worked out.
In saying the Spirit is "in" us I don’t think we’re supposed to think he takes up (as it were) "bodily residence" in us. People live "in" houses. In saying this we mean that they take up room within the confines of the walls, as opposed to being outside. Is this how we’re supposed to think of the Spirit’s indwelling? Is the Spirit inside our bodies in the same way our heart and liver and brain are? That is, is he spatially located there? I don’t think so. I think the idea of his indwelling us is a relational notion rather than a spatial one. Christians are said to dwell in God and in Christ but I’m fairly sure that such texts aren’t talking about a spatial indwelling.
So what do phrases like "the Spirit dwells in you" mean? It’s clear that such phrases offer a network of truths and that no one proposal covers it all. His dwelling in the Tabernacle and the temple was no spatial reality—it was God making his fellowship and communion with Israel known. However we explain God’s presence in those sanctuaries we’d do well to remember that even the temple-builder Solomon acknowledged that God didn’t dwell in such buildings (1 Kings 8). Heaven couldn’t hold him, he confessed, so how could a puny little building. No, the Tabernacle and temple were houses God was prepared to "live in" to confirm his identification with Israel but not "bodily" or personally in a spatial sense in the way, someone like priests or Anna, for example, would do—see Luke 2:36,37). God would live among them, assuring them of his commitment, claiming the centre of their life and worship and being their guide to Canaan and their sustainer in Canaan. These and other truths would be the sort of thing that God’s "indwelling" would mean. If Israel gladly acknowledged that indwelling, it would shape them and draw them close to God and one another; thus there would be much wonderful "fruit" borne from it.
I would suppose the same is true of the NT temple (the church). I don’t think any member of the blessed Godhead takes up spatial residence in the bodies of Christians. I think we’re supposed to believe that God has entered into a peculiar relationship with Christians and that some of the proofs that that is true are the existence of our faith in Christ, the hunger for holiness, the glad hope for the future, the strength and comfort under present trouble, the assurance of sins forgiven and many other such realities.
Christ’s prays in John 17:21, "That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." 1 John 2:5 says that if we’re obedient to God we can be sure we are "in him". He goes on to say that anyone that says he or she lives "in him" must walk as Christ walked. 1 John 2:24 says that if the truth his readers have embraced remains in them that they will remain "in the Son and in the Father." There’s nothing spatial about any of these uses of "in". Often we hear that those who became saved were "baptized into Christ" (or his death, compare Romans 6:3-6, Galatians 3:27 and elsewhere). This isn’t the transfer of a body or a person into a new spatial location. It has all to do with a new relationship, a new devotion and commitment, a new centre of consciousness and trust. It isn’t as amazing that we would be glad to be part of that, it’s amazing that God would want to be part of such a transaction.
We often say to someone very dear to us (things like), "I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have you in my life. You will be forever in my heart." None of this is spatial—it’s all profoundly relational. I judge that we should think in this direction when we think of the truth that the Spirit is "in" us and that the Father and the Son dwell "in" us through the Spirit (see John 14:23 and Ephesians 2:22).
So in what way does the Spirit dwell in us? I don’t think we should be thinking in literal terms of embodiment but in relational terms of dynamic and mutual reception, welcome, life-imparting and (in our case) of glad obedience. We "live in the Spirit" and we "walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). The reality expressed in terms of the Spirit’s "indwelling" is—as you would well know—so rich and multi-faceted that we simply keep uncovering more and more about it.
I’d like to return to the topic at another time and say something about the Spirit indwelling the individual and the church, the body of Christ. Click here.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

"Be Not Unequally Yoked" by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


"Be Not Unequally Yoked"

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Paul admonished the Corinthian Christians, “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). This statement often has been applied to the question of marriage, with the subsequent conclusion that Christians are commanded not to marry non-Christians. However, this interpretation creates several problems.
First, marriage is not under discussion in the context. Great care must be taken to avoid misapplying the principles taught in a given passage. The application of a passage must be accurate. For example, to apply the injunction “taste not” (Colossians 2:21) to eating chocolate would be a misapplication on two counts. First, it assumes that chocolate is included in the category of substances being forbidden in the context. Second, it fails to perceive the fact that “taste not” was what the opponents of Paul were enjoining. They were wrong in their making of a law that God had not made. Likewise, the prohibition of not being unequally yoked would have to be demonstrated to apply to marriage.
Second, if forming a marriage between a Christian and non-Christian is being forbidden, the only way to repent of such an action would be to sever the marriage. The only way to repent of an illicit relationship is to terminate the relationship (cf. Ezra 10:11; Mark 6:18; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Paul explicitly stated in the context to “come out from among them, and be ye separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17). But this inevitable conclusion would contradict Matthew 19:9, where Jesus stated that there is one and only one grounds for divorce, i.e., fornication—not marriage to a non-Christian.
Third, if marriage to a non-Christian is forbidden, then non-Christians sin when they marry each other. The non-Christian who marries another non-Christian is guilty of not marrying a Christian.
Fourth, if the Christian sins when he marries a non-Christian, what about that non-Christian whom the Christian marries? That non-Christian would not be sinning since he/she is marrying a Christian. Hence, the very action that is sin for one (the Christian) is righteous and proper for the other (non-Christian)!
Fifth, such an interpretation of 2 Corinthians 6:14 implies that marriage is a “Christian” institution. Yet the marriage relationship was formed by God at Creation thousands of years before Christianity was introduced onto the planet (Genesis 2:24). God’s marriage laws apply equally to all people in all periods of Bible history. No one prior to the cross of Christ married a Christian! Yet marriages contracted prior to Christianity were valid if contracted in harmony with God’s marriage laws (i.e., in accordance with Genesis 1:27, 2:24, Matthew 19:3-12, Romans 7:1-3, and 1 Corinthians 7:1-40).
All persons who choose to be married are required by God to “marry in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39). That is, one must marry in harmony with God’s laws, even as children are to obey their parents “in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1), i.e., compliant with parental instructions that are in harmony the will of Christ. Marriage of a Christian to a non-Christian may well be fraught with peril. It may be at times inexpedient, unwise, or extremely dangerous spiritually. However, the Bible does not teach that it is sinful.

From Mark Copeland... The Signs That Followed (Mark 16:17-20)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   The Signs That Followed (16:17-20)


1. As the gospel of Mark closes, it does so with an amazing promise by Jesus...
   a. "And these signs will follow those who believe.." - Mk 16:17
   b. That are then summarized as to their nature and fulfillment -       Mk 16:18-20

2. This passage has often been used to justify various religious
   a. By many who believe such signs exist today
   b. By some who practice snake-handling in their services

[In determining whether "The Signs That Followed" still exist today, a
good place to begin is to carefully notice what the Bible reveals about
such things.  So let’s first consider...]


      1. Power to cast out demons - Mk 16:17
      2. Speak with new tongues - ibid.
      3. Take up serpents - Mk 16:18
      4. Drink anything deadly without harm - ibid.
      5. Lay hands and heal the sick - ibid.

      1. Power to expel demons - Ac 5:16; 8:7; 16:18; 19:12
         a. Peter, Philip, and Paul cast out demons or unclean spirits
         b. With complete success, with no record of failures by these
            men of God
      2. Speak with new tongues - Ac 2:4-11; 10:46; 19:6; 1Co 12:10,28, 30; 14:5-26
         a. The apostles and some disciples spoke in tongues
         b. These were clearly foreign languages, designed to convince
            unbelievers - 1Co 14:22
      3. Take up serpents - Ac 28:3-6
         a. The only example we have is that of Paul
         b. In which it was done inadvertently, not as a religious
      4. Drink anything deadly without harm - no record
         a. We have no record in the New Testament of this being done
         b. Neither inadvertently nor as a religious exercise
      5. Lay hands and heal the sick - Ac 3:6-8; 5:15-16; 9:17-18,34,
         40-42; 19:12; 28:8-9
         a. The apostles and some disciples healed the sick
         b. Again with complete success, with no record of failures

[Clearly the rest of the New Testament record confirms Mark’s account
(cf. Mk 16:20).  To help determine whether such signs continue today,
let’s take a close look at...]


      1. The purpose was to confirm the word being preached - Mk 16:20
      2. Demonstrating that the Lord was working with them - ibid.

      1. The Lord Himself was bearing witness through such signs - Ac 14:3
      2. God was bearing witness through such signs, wonders, miracles,
         gifts of the Spirit - He 2:4

      1. Regarding the purpose of the signs
         a. "These gifts were part of the credentials of the apostles as
            the authoritative agents of God in founding the Church..."
            - B. B. Warfield
         b. "These extra gifts were given in order to the founding and
            establishing of the church in the world." - Jonathan Edwards
         c. In other words, to confirm that the apostles were indeed
            from God and that their message was truly the Word of God
      2. Regarding the duration of the signs
         a. Paul wrote that a time would come when such signs would
            cease - cf. 1Co 13:8-10
         b. "...since the canon of Scripture has been completed, and the
            church fully founded and established, these extraordinary
            gifts have ceased." - Jonathan Edwards
         c. "That with the passing away of the apostolic age these gifts
            ceased is also the testimony of Chrysostom and Augustine...
            Matthew Henry, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, Robert
            L. Dabney, Abraham Kuyper, Sr., and W. G. T. Shedd."
            - William Hendriksen
         d. If such signs or spiritual gifts exist today, then we should
            1) New revelation from God for the benefit of all
            2) Which should be added to the Bible!
         e. Who would be so bold as to say that their doctrine is from
            1) Those who have, are eventually exposed as false prophets
            2) When their prophecies are proven false, or their doctrine
               contrary to what has been revealed - cf. Deut 18:21-22;13:1-4


1. "The Signs That Followed" were important, the means by which the
   a. Bore witness to His Word and to His apostles - Mk 16:19-20; He 2:3-4
   b. Provided a full and final revelation of His Will - 2Pe 1:3; Jude 3; 2Ti 3:16-17

2. Yet such signs were simply a means to an end...
   a. To produce the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit - Ep 6:17
   b. Which in turn produces the "fruit" of the Spirit - Ga 5:22-23; Ro 8:5-6

3. More important than signs (including tongues, prophecy, knowledge, or
   any other spiritual gift)...
   a. Are the qualities of love, joy, peace, hope, etc., in the life of
      the Christian - Ga 5:22-23
   b. I.e., the "fruit" of the Spirit in our life is more important than
      the "gifts" of the Spirit!

With the aid of the Word of God, including the wonderful Gospel of Mark,
we can be sure that we will faithfully follow the Lord who died for us
and will one day return...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

eXTReMe Tracker 

From Gary.... Bible Reading February 9

Bible Reading  

February 9

The World English Bible

Feb. 9
Genesis 40

Gen 40:1 It happened after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord, the king of Egypt.
Gen 40:2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker.
Gen 40:3 He put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.
Gen 40:4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he took care of them. They stayed in prison many days.
Gen 40:5 They both dreamed a dream, each man his dream, in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were bound in the prison.
Gen 40:6 Joseph came in to them in the morning, and saw them, and saw that they were sad.
Gen 40:7 He asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, saying, "Why do you look so sad today?"
Gen 40:8 They said to him, "We have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it." Joseph said to them, "Don't interpretations belong to God? Please tell it to me."
Gen 40:9 The chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "In my dream, behold, a vine was in front of me,
Gen 40:10 and in the vine were three branches. It was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes.
Gen 40:11 Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand."
Gen 40:12 Joseph said to him, "This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days.
Gen 40:13 Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head, and restore you to your office. You will give Pharaoh's cup into his hand, the way you did when you were his cupbearer.
Gen 40:14 But remember me when it will be well with you, and show kindness, please, to me, and make mention of me to Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house.
Gen 40:15 For indeed, I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon."
Gen 40:16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, "I also was in my dream, and behold, three baskets of white bread were on my head.
Gen 40:17 In the uppermost basket there was all kinds of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head."
Gen 40:18 Joseph answered, "This is its interpretation. The three baskets are three days.
Gen 40:19 Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head from off you, and will hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from off you."
Gen 40:20 It happened the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants, and he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants.
Gen 40:21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position again, and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand;
Gen 40:22 but he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them.

Gen 40:23 Yet the chief cupbearer didn't remember Joseph, but forgot him.
Feb. 8, 9
Matthew 20

Mat 20:1 "For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
Mat 20:2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
Mat 20:3 He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.
Mat 20:4 To them he said, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went their way.
Mat 20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.
Mat 20:6 About the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them, 'Why do you stand here all day idle?'
Mat 20:7 "They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' "He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.'
Mat 20:8 When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.'
Mat 20:9 "When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius.
Mat 20:10 When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius.
Mat 20:11 When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household,
Mat 20:12 saying, 'These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!'
Mat 20:13 "But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn't you agree with me for a denarius?
Mat 20:14 Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you.
Mat 20:15 Isn't it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?'
Mat 20:16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen."
Mat 20:17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them,
Mat 20:18 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death,
Mat 20:19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to mock, to scourge, and to crucify; and the third day he will be raised up."
Mat 20:20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, kneeling and asking a certain thing of him.
Mat 20:21 He said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these, my two sons, may sit, one on your right hand, and one on your left hand, in your Kingdom."
Mat 20:22 But Jesus answered, "You don't know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They said to him, "We are able."
Mat 20:23 He said to them, "You will indeed drink my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with, but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it is for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
Mat 20:24 When the ten heard it, they were indignant with the two brothers.
Mat 20:25 But Jesus summoned them, and said, "You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
Mat 20:26 It shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.
Mat 20:27 Whoever desires to be first among you shall be your bondservant,
Mat 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Mat 20:29 As they went out from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.
Mat 20:30 Behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, "Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!"
Mat 20:31 The multitude rebuked them, telling them that they should be quiet, but they cried out even more, "Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!"
Mat 20:32 Jesus stood still, and called them, and asked, "What do you want me to do for you?"
Mat 20:33 They told him, "Lord, that our eyes may be opened."
Mat 20:34 Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him. 


From Gary... Medicine for the soul

I have been sick with a bad head-cold (think its starting to go to my chest now) and have not felt up to doing a post. But, today, I saw this picture on face-book and was reminded how precious life really is. And not feeling well is just part of the package. With that in mind, I covenanted with myself to have a positive attitude in spite of how I feel. Gary- remember the following...

Romans, Chapter 8
 28  We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.

And if this cute little picture helps you through YOUR DAY, I will be just a bit happier.  May God Bless you and yours.