New Life of Beauty and Grace
For by grace you have
been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8 WEB


The Indwelling Presence

A New Life in the Spirit's Power

Surprise! The Holy Spirit of God is now living inside of you! He has always been with you, but now He is in you. This is our guarantee that we are indeed going to heaven, but it is so much more. [1]  Holy Spirit has been sent to bring into our lives everything necessary for new life and right living. It is impossible to live as a true Christian without God’s help and we don’t have to: The Helper is always as close as your next thought. 

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 ESV

Did You Ask for This?

As part of our birth from above the gift of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is automatic, involuntary and unheralded.[2] The Holy Spirit is given for free without our asking or our Holy Spirit Dove : Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spiritknowing. You could become a born-again Christian without ever realizing that the Holy Spirit now lives inside you. This is partly because our focus in being saved is almost entirely upon Jesus, and mostly because the Holy Spirit rarely calls attention to Himself.[3]

The truth is that few people ever get saved because their primary desire is to receive the Holy Spirit. They aren't even thinking about the Holy Spirit: they’re thinking about getting rescued in this life or for the next. Once saved, their eyes are on Jesus. They sense His presence. They seek to follow Him. Through faith in Christ they also learn to direct their prayers to the Father. That’s a lot to keep up with at first!

The Holy Spirit, meanwhile, is quiet as a whisper. He resides so gently and unobtrusively inside that He is easily overlooked. As a consequence, the Holy Spirit has been called the “mystery Person” of the Trinity. Why would God do things this way?

Our Disappearing Savior

I’m sure most of us have at one time or another thought that the disciples had it made. They had Jesus with them in the flesh! They could see Him, hear Him, touch Him, bring all of their questions and problems right to Him. What could be better? Actually, Jesus Himself said that it would be better for them that He was going away.[4]

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7

Perhaps Jesus was talking about His upcoming death. He had to gain for them (and us) a “better resurrection.”[5] Naturally, He had to “go away” to do that by dying on the cross. But He came back. Yes, but then He went away again and stayed away. This is apparently His idea of making it “better” for us!

Even poor doubting Thomas, who was allowed to have his faith strengthened by touching Jesus’ wounds, was chided with the words that it would have been a great blessing for Him to have believed without seeing the Risen Christ in the flesh.[6] That includes all of us. We are evidently blessed by not seeing Jesus with our natural eyes. From the Lord's point of view gaining spiritual sight by means of faith is the greater blessing. That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in.

Our Invisible Helper

If what we had really needed was the visible presence of Jesus with us always, then that is what God would have given us. But that is not what He did. Instead, He gives us “another Comforter” by placing the Holy Spirit right inside of us![7] Who could have guessed He would do that? Or that He could do it? Instead of a visible Savior, known for His sudden comings and goings, we have the indwelling presence of a steadfast, invisible Helper who never leaves us.

I suspect that all too often we focus on the invisible character of our indwelling Guest, rather than the amazing FACT of His steadfast presence. Would it help if I told you that it would truly bother you no end, if you could see Jesus all of the time? Of course there might be unlawful or immoral moments (God forbid) when you wouldn’t want to be forced to encounter a visible Lord, or anyone else for that matter. Can you see, however, that even in some legitimate private moments, you wouldn’t want the intrusion of God’s visible presence? For instance would you really want to see Jesus standing beside you while taking a shower? Yet the Holy Spirit is present even then and you don’t mind that at all.

What is even harder to see is that we need “space” from God in order to freely choose to move closer to God. It’s a free will issue. If Jesus reveals too much of Himself it “forces” our choice, either because we’d be drawn to Him like moths to a flame, or because fear (not love) would be making us act against our desires. He has to watch over that one for us. OK, that’s as far as I’m going with this thought. The main idea is that with the Holy Spirit living permanently inside of us, we have the very comfortable knowledge of God’s abiding presence without any uncomfortable sense of invasion of our privacy. How He pulls that off is still amazing to me!

What the Holy Spirit Does for Us

This is only meant to get you started.

1) The Holy Spirit Is Our Helper

Imagine anything you might need help with: memory, reason, skill; studying, planning, organizing; working, buying, trading; loving, laughing, weeping; cooking, cleaning, crafting… The list could be endless! All along He has been with us. He was there in the beginning helping us learn to nurse as babies, teaching us our native language, guiding us into play and laughter as little children.

Now the world’s Greatest Teacher is living inside us. This can give us an edge in any field of endeavor: learning how to yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s enabling power can carry any of us much further than mere natural abilities alone. The key thing to remember is that He is called the Helper, not the Doer. It is still up to us to take the steps that He helps us with.

2) The Holy Spirit Is Our Sanctifier

That’s a five dollar church word if ever there was one! Strictly speaking it means being set apart: We have been set apart as a dwelling place for God; we are now holy because He who lives in us is holy. In that sense we are already sanctified.[8] But hold your horses! We’re not in the home stretch yet. Between here and heaven, the Holy Spirit will be working to sanctify us step by step as He helps us separate from wrong thoughts, wrong beliefs, wrong attitudes, wrong actions and wrong desires.[9]  

3) The Holy Spirit Is Our Truth Teller[10]

This is, perhaps, His most important and all-encompassing job. He has come to reveal truth to us so that we can a) recognize sin and turn from it, b) envision righteousness and turn towards it, and c) become ever more convinced that God’s judgments in these matters is all that matters.[11] Basically He points us to God’s Word and to the Person of Jesus to awaken our conscience and settle the issue: Where the Bible is clear the case is closed; in other matters we look to Jesus. How would Jesus handle it? What would He do? What would He want us to do? Whatever is contrary to the nature and character of Jesus is sin; whatever aligns with Him is righteousness.

4) The Holy Spirit Is Our Guide

Not only does He show us truths to believe, He has also come to lead us in the true path. He is our Guide, our Companion in the way who knows the Way. If  we are attentive to Him, He shows us the next right thing to do. In this way the one who is Truth can lead us step by step through each day and through the whole of our lives. This carries His gift to us as Truth Teller into every dimension of life. By trusting our hearts to God through faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit lifts and leads us into a whole new way of living.[12] We emerge into the glorious liberty of the children of God![13]

5) The Holy Spirit Is Our Source of New Life

By dwelling within us the Holy Spirit is in position to help us dwell within Jesus. The indwelling Spirit is essential for our being able to experience, cultivate and live filled with the fruit of the Spirit—peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.[14] This good fruit comes to us as we abide in Christ through trusting and obeying His leadership over our lives. All of these beautiful and enjoyable qualities comprise that river of "living water" which Jesus said would flow out of our hearts.[15]

Naturally enough, the Holy Spirit is a self-starter. He isn’t going to sit on His Hands waiting for us to get in the right mood in order to begin His divine assignments. With or without our permission He is ever at work helping us, sanctifying us, revealing truth to us, guiding us and supplying us with the fruit of new life. It just goes so much better when we cooperate! Good spiritual health is letting the Holy Spirit have His way. 

Next Wave of the Spirit to Catch

The Baptism of Power  Jesus actually told the first disciples “Don’t leave home without this!” So important is this spiritual empowerment that even the followers who had been trained by Him in person, who had received saving faith and the indwelling Spirit on Easter evening, even these dedicated believers were told to stay in Jerusalem and pray to be “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” If they needed it, don’t we?

Praying in Tongues  Do you have to? No, but you can if you want to and you just may want to. Paul did. In fact he was glad that he prayed in tongues more than the people to whom his letters were addressed. Since he also wrote more of the New Testament than anyone else, he ought to know why something this "scandalous" is so secretly good!  

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Holy Spirit Scriptures

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:3-8 ESV

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37-39 ESV

"These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." John 14:25-26 ESV

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."... And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld." John 20:19... 23 ESV

Scriptures and Foot Notes

[1]  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV
[2]  Being saved through faith in Christ is called by Jesus being born again, being born of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit), or being born from above:  What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at My telling you, You must all be born anew (from above). John 3:6-7 AMP
[3]  "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:12-14 ESV
Perhaps Jesus was talking about His upcoming death. He had to gain for them (and us) a “better resurrection.”[i] Naturally, He had to “go away” to do that by dying on the cross. But He came back. Yes, but then He went away again and stayed away. This is apparently His idea of making it “better” for us:  Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. John 16:7
[5] This evocative phrase comes to us from the list of faith’s heroes in the 11th Chapter of Hebrews. Jesus has surely won this for us: Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Hebrews 11:35 NKJV
[6]  Then He said to Thomas, Reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but [stop your unbelief and] believe! Thomas answered Him, My Lord and my God! Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe (trust, have faith)? Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me. John 20:27-29 AMP
[7]  Jesus apparently thought it very important that He ascend so that the Holy Spirit could take His place as an indwelling presence: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17 ESV
[8]  In this passage Paul speaks of our sanctification in the past tense as something already accomplished: And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV
[9]  Here Paul speaks of sanctification as a present tense process of being shown truth (by the Holy Spirit) and then believing the truth (also with the Spirit’s help): But we, brethren beloved by the Lord, ought and are obligated [as those who are in debt] to give thanks always to God for you, because God chose you from the beginning as His firstfruits (first converts) for salvation through the sanctifying work of the [Holy] Spirit and [your] belief in (adherence to, trust in, and reliance on) the Truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 AMP
[10]  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. John 16:13 ESV
[11]  And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. John 16:8-11 ESV
[12]  I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 AMP
[13]  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:21 KJV
[14]  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
[15]  See the Scripture section.

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Rescued from Hell

I'm Steve, a former hippie and carpenter, now a passionate follower of Jesus.

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