"Indwelling of the
In our previous lesson we concluded with this summary:
“There is only one work of the Spirit of God that produces soul saving righteousness; the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
We have learned in this lesson that this unified message of God's word through Christ Jesus our Lord, delivered by holy men who moved as the Spirit directed, thus becoming the gift of the Holy Spirit; is what directs the righteous life of the true disciple of Christ. This is what it means to live a Spirit directed life!”
In this lesson we are going to bring to the surface the real definition of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Everything we have learned thus far will come to bear in this lesson and we should at the conclusion of this lesson be able to completely understand just how the Spirit of God dwells within the true disciple of Christ!
Many think that validation as a disciple of Christ is found in observing part of the Gospel; this is the birth of all perversion of the work of the Spirit as we have seen in this scriptural journey! A disciple of Christ is validated by observing ‘ALL' that Christ has commanded and taught through the Gospel. This trust in the Gospel, is what seals us with the Holy Spirit, note:
Ephesians 1:13 “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise”
In addition, for whatever reason, people seem to be drawn to the mystical and magical; the desire for supernatural feelings. What we must keep in mind is that even though the Lord performed many supernatural signs and wonders in the presence of thousands of witnesses to confirm who He was and what He said; they still killed Him!
Even though the Apostles of Christ performed many miracles to confirm the word they spoke; unless men believed and obeyed that word, regardless of the signs and wonders, they were lost in their sins.
The Apostle Paul writing to the church of Thessalonica would give an example of this very thing, note:
1 Thessalonians 1:5 “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.”
Here Paul describes that these brethren had received the Gospel of Christ in word and in power (confirmation by signs and wonders), all by the Holy Spirit. However, even though they had been partakers of the supernatural verification this letter was being written because they were already weakening in their service to the Lord. Note the instruction of Paul to these brethren apart from the supernatural:
1 Thessalonians 4:1 “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God”
The term walk that we have come across quite often to this point is simply describing our life and the expected control of the paths we choose by the education we receive as to how we should live. Even though they had received the word confirmed by signs and wonders, they had already in a very short time, come to need the chastening of God to remain faithful to the word they had obeyed. This shows us that a life of righteousness is predicated on the true foundation of the word of God and obedience to it, and not on fleeting momentary experiences.
Romans 8:1-8 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
The Apostle Paul in one of his most theological works has up to this point been working diligently in writing to express the superiority of the Gospel of Christ over the Law of Moses. In many cases he even acts as the antagonist of the Gospel, becoming those whom argue that it is still necessary to adhere to the commands of the Old Law; in order to doctrinally establish the superior nature of the Gospel. Here in our text, Paul is using the superior nature of the Law of Christ to teach that we must live as the Spirit directs (set forth in the doctrine of Christ – see: 6:17-18). This is described by those who walk according to the Spirit (remember that the word ‘walk' describes our life). This is being contrasted against a walk according to the flesh! This is a direct reference to those who chose to live according to the Law of Moses, a law designed by its very nature to magnify sin (see: Romans 3:20; Galatians 4:19); however, it also has application to anyone who does not allow the doctrine of Christ to direct their way! This is the point of the first eight verses of this text and is emphasized in vs.5, note:
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”
You can only set your minds on things that can be learned and discerned. This sets forth that those who walk according to the Spirit are those who are taught by the Spirit! How are they taught by the Spirit? By the doctrine of Christ; the Gospel!
So to be spiritually minded is to be established in the spiritual instructions the Spirit of God has delivered.
Summary: The only way we can avoid enmity with God is to live according to all that has been revealed by the Spirit of God. A life directed by the Spirit, is a walk of righteousness. The Spirit directs us through the word of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (see: Romans 1:1-5; 1:16; 2:8; 6:17-18; 10:2-3, 16).
Romans 8:9-11 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
First, there is not a contradiction in the statement of Paul concerning the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God. They are in fact one and the same. We must remember that God gave the Christ all authority, this included the Spirit without measure (Matthew 28:18; John 3:34 -35).
Now based on the statements of Paul in this text, we should not be afraid to say that the Spirit resides in us, IF we are those who are led by the Spirit! Since this comes after the explanation of a life without condemnation being a life guided by the Spirit and that - being a life guided by the Gospel of Christ; we are given the explanation of how the Spirit dwells within us.
Simply, the Spirit is within us when all the word of the Gospel is in us. In us, means to know it well enough to be guided by it!
Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Summary: With this knowledge concerning the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we should not be afraid to say that the Spirit of God or Christ dwells within us. We now know that the Spirit is not going to work in anyone apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to transform us, not mystically, not supernaturally; but by the instruction of the Spirit that transforms those who obey it and only those who honor it in obedience!
James 1:25 “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
See how simple this is, if we allow the word of God to educate us!!!
FOR AN EXTRA NICKEL:
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For
we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself
makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of
the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints
according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
This passage has been misused many times by many people! Many teach that the Spirit of God translates our thoughts as we pray if we cannot come up with the proper words? Or that the prayers we ought to offer are offered instead by the Holy Spirit!
First, out of the same mouth and by the same scriptures we teach the omnipotence of God. Do we really think that a God who knows our hearts and thoughts can't understand us, even if we don't know the right words?
Second, the work of the Holy Spirit is the revelation of the will of God; this work is directional; from God to us.
Third, this would have God praying to Himself!
So, what is Paul telling us?
In the preceding verses which establish context, Paul is continuing the thoughts established earlier in the chapter. He is talking about the work of transforming ourselves from a life in the flesh to one guided by the Spirit of God by the Gospel (see: vs. 20-21). Since the Gospel was in its early stages of being delivered, the saints are receiving the instruction of the kingdom and until this process is complete they only know in part (I Corinthians 13:9). However, just as this letter is enhancing their education, they are being trained by the Spirit as to what they should pray for!
Also, notice that the intercession being made is directional. It is from the Spirit to us (Vs.26), from Christ to us (vs. 27), and that it is revealing the will of God or His purpose (vs. 28).
Christ; who knows our hearts, and knows the mind of the Spirit of God, reveals to us what we should know according to the will of God through the word. Since we now have all things that pertain to life and godliness, the Spirit has now revealed all we should pray for (see: 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18; Ephesians 3:14-16; Philippians 6:6-7; Colossians 4:2-3; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 1:5-8; 5:14-16 – for some examples of the training the Spirit has provided on how we should pray).
Now, we know through the training of the Spirit that Christ mediates our prayers, in that we are to pray through Him (Hebrews 7:25). In our text however; Paul is teaching us how the Spirit guides us! Paul is simply strengthening these brethren by telling them that the Spirit will teach what to pray for and how. In addition, he says that all things according to the will of God will work for us to good according to His purpose as the Spirit will teach us!
This has been a lengthy series! However, the true disciples of Christ should be able to understand that we can trust the Word of God and its power to direct us to righteousness and the salvation it promises those who adhere to it!
In Christian Love of the Truth,