God’s Indwelling Spirit

KEY VERSE: “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” —Romans 8:9

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: John 14:25,26; Romans 8:9-17,26-28

ON THE night before Jesus died on Calvary’s cross, he had gathered his disciples together in the upper room where they celebrated the fulfillment of the Passover type; for Jesus was to be slain as the antitypical Passover Lamb on the following afternoon. The end of the type marked the beginning of a new arrangement. It meant that Jesus would no longer be with the disciples in person to comfort, encourage, and instruct, because he was going to die and be resurrected to the divine nature, to sit on the right hand of the throne of the Father. (Heb. 10:12) But Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18) And in the previous verses (16,17, Diaglott), he had described what it was that would comfort them in his stead. “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper, that he [it] may be with you to the age, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot receive, because it beholds it not, nor knows it; because it abides with you, and will be in you.”

The essence of what Jesus said is that when he appears “in the presence of God for us”—that is, the disciples and all the footstep followers of Jesus down through the Gospel Age (Heb. 9:24)—he would ask of the Father who would exert his power through the Holy Spirit, to give comfort, encouragement, and teach the true servants of the Lord. Jesus referred to this power as the Spirit of the Truth.

In Acts 1:4,5 we read, “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” The account tells us that on the fiftieth day after his resurrection, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit did descend upon the waiting disciples. (Acts 2:1-4) The obvious and immediate effect upon them was twofold: first it gave them the gift of being able to speak in different languages. This had a practical function in the Lord’s arrangements, as it permitted the disciples to witness to the nations. Secondly, it enlightened their minds so that for the first time they were able to understand the Lord’s plans and purposes that had been hidden in the Old Testament writings. Then the lessons that Jesus had given them came to their remembrance and became discernible.—John 14:26

The Lord’s Spirit is found in his Word. And when, because of the Holy Spirit, we are able to discern God’s thoughts, and thereby behold the beauty of his character, it is a motivating force in our lives which makes us want to change our own fallen characters to conform to his image. The Apostle Paul, in II Corinthians 3:18, said, “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” This is the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, the indwelling Spirit of God that operates in the lives of the consecrated footstep followers of the Lord.

The Apostle Paul, in describing the effect of the indwelling Spirit upon the consecrated, stated, “Henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:16,17) The apostle is telling us that before they received the Holy Spirit, the disciples did not really understand Jesus and the change that had come upon him since he had been baptized with the Holy Spirit at Jordan. But now that they too had been baptized with the Holy Spirit they had insight into our Lord’s spirituality as a new creature. They were able to appreciate how he was motivated by the indwelling Spirit of God to faithfully fulfill his mission here on the earth. More than this, he states that the Spirit of truth should cause us to change our own lives. The high thoughts of God, which have now become ours, should give us a new outlook on life with old things being cast aside, and the new aims, ambitions, and desires dominating our lives.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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