Indwelling/Presence of the Holy Spirit

By Eusebio Tanicala

Some Bible students believe that the Holy Spirit in person dwells or is present in the Christian. Others think that the Holy Spirit dwells or influences the Christian through the word (Bible) only.

The one who believes that the Holy Spirit dwells or influences the Christian through the word only presents this syllogism to the other party:
1. If you believe that the Holy Spirit dwells in you, that indwelling would make you God;
2. Since you haven’t become God, therefore, the Holy Spirit doesn’t dwell in you.

A fellow preacher asked me to comment on the above line of reasoning. My impression on the above line of reasoning follows.

Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that when the Holy Spirit dwells or is present in a person or in a place that the person or place becomes God. If that were true, then the heavens where God dwells should have become God long time ago.

To further test the veracity of the line of reasoning of those who think that Holy Spirit indwelling would make an indwelt person deity let’s pose some questions:

  1. God dwells in heaven, has heaven become God? Answer: No.
  2. God sits on the throne in heaven, has God’s throne become God? Answer: No.
  3. The “thro the word” advocate we may call Mr. Woods, dwells in his house, has his house become Mr. Woods? Answer: No.
  4. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan (Gen. 13:12), has the land of Canaan become Abram?
  5. God dwells between the cherubim (2 Kings 19:15), does the space between the cherubim turn into God? Answer: No.
  6. God dwells in Zion (Psalm 9:11), has Zion become God? Answer: No.
  7. God dwells in Mt. Zion (Isa. 8:18), has Mt. Zion become God? Answer: No.
  8. The Spirit of the LORD came upon Othniel (Judges 3:9-10), did Othniel become God?
  9. The Spirit of the LORD came upon Saul (1 Sam. 10:6, 10) after he was anointed, did Saul become God? Answer: No.
  10. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary (Luke 1:35 and context), did Mary become God?
  11. The Holy Spirit descended upon Christ on the day of His baptism (Matt. 3:16; John 1:33), did this descent of the HS upon Christ turned Him into God? Answer: No.

Since our answers to the above questions are all “No” the premises and conclusion of the “word only” advocates should therefore be false.

One Comment to “Indwelling/Presence of the Holy Spirit”

  1. There is a story about 2 cowboys discussing Christianity as they are branding the cattle. The younger of the two is a Christian, the elder an atheist. During their conversation the younger mentions how Jesus comes and lives in us and how we can live in Him. Well, that just tells the atheist that these Christians don’t know what they are talking about. So he says, “How can Jesus be in you and you be in Jesus as the same time? It’s impossible.” He gives a sort of “humph, that ought to fix you” shrug. The younger cowboy considers this and then looks down at the branding irons, the pokers in the fire. By now they are bright red from the heat of the fire. Excitedly he points, “Look! The poker in the fire and the fire in the poker.”

    In the same way we live in Christ and He lives in us. In the same way we live in the Holy Spirit, and He dwells in us. It’s up to us to decide whether we want this gift from God or not. Do we want all of what God wants us to have, or would we limit God’s gifts to what we can understand? The choice is ours. I’m willing to accept the full measure of God in any way He wishes to give that to me.

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