"To Dwell Within Us"
Before the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit could not permanently indwell human hearts.
"He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:38-39).
Atonement had to be made for our sins and the Lord Jesus had to be exalted before human hearts could become suitable dwelling places for the Divine presence. Certainly, the Holy Spirit came to Old Testament saints and involved Himself in their hearts and lives. "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit… Thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good" affirmed the Psalmist (Psalm 139:7; 143:10). However, the Psalmist also prayed, "Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me," a possibility for those who walked with God before the redeeming work of Christ (Psalm 51:11). Involved, but not indwelling - this seems to have been the way of the Spirit in days of old.
Conversely, since the death, resurrection, ascension, and sending of the Holy Spirit by the Lord Jesus to trusting hearts, God the Holy Spirit comes to forever dwell not only with, but within us. He births a "new creature… new man… newness of life" in all who believe (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; Romans 6:4). We are not who we were before we believed in the innermost temple of our spiritual being. How could we be? Indeed, could it be possible for the living God to take up direct and permanent residence anywhere and have that anywhere remain the same? Hardly.
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).
"Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9).
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).
In the part of us that serves as the very heart of us, the Spirit of God moves upon the face of the waters even more vitally than in the original physical creation (Genesis 1:2). Of course, we were not there to see His primordial activities. We also presently "walk by faith, not by sight," and thus cannot see much of what He does within our hearts (II Corinthians 5:7). But we can be sure it is a moving, active, and engaged Holy Spirit who dwells within the depths of our being. "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16). Again, how could it be otherwise? How could the living God come to abide within our hearts, bearing promises of His working within us, and it not be that case that our spirits teem with His dynamic activity?
To the degree we know this truth and believe it will be the degree to which we more consistently experience the Holy Spirit's working within and through us for the glory of God. We "see" the truth by faith. We affirm that we are are not merely ourselves. We are rather ourselves as inhabited by the living God. The Holy Spirit came to dwell within us when we believed in the Lord Jesus. He will not leave. Nor will He cease His ongoing work to conform us to the spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).
This we must believe because it is true, and because our particular sphere of influence needs to see the Lord Jesus as He walks in us through the leading and power of the Holy Spirit. We must also believe because the price paid for God's presence within us came by way of His forsaking the Lord Jesus as He suffered and died for us on the cross of Calvary. Yes, the blessed assurance of "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" graces us by way of our Lord's anguished cry, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? "(Hebrews 13:8; Matthew 27:46). Yet again, how can we not believe in so great a gift, made possible by so great a price paid to secure it?
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
(I Corinthians 3:16)
"Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit."
(I John 4:13)
Weekly Memory Verse
He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit."