Study 7 INDWELLING
GREAT WORDS OF THE GOSPEL
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portions: John 14: 16-18 and 26; 15:26; 16: 7-11 and 13-14)
It may be helpful to compare the following relationships which God is pleased to sustain towards His children:-
- He is ABOVE us Deuteronomy 4:39; Ephesians 1:20-21.
- He is BENEATH us Deuteronomy 33:27.
- He is BEFORE us Exodus 13:21-22; John 10:4.
- He is BEHIND us Exodus 14:19.
- He is AROUND us Psalm 34:7; 125:2.
- He is WITH us Isaiah 41:10; Hebrews 13:5-6.
- He is WITHIN us Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27.
Of all the associations short of Glory itself, the last (above) is the greatest – that the Lord Himself should come and live within the human personality. In Ezekiel 36:27, we find the fact of His indwelling anticipated, but it was our Lord Himself who spoke fully about this in John 14:16-18 and 26; 15:26; 16:7-11 and 13-14. Notice the following important truths in John 14:16-18:
1. The Holy Spirit is a Person
Notice the four persons referred to in John 14:16: “I” “He” “You” “He”. Read chapters 14, 15 and 16 and note all the pronouns used in reference to the Holy Spirit. Also notice, in the five references given above, the actions which are ascribed to Him which could only be ascribed to a person.
2. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person
In John 14:16, the three Persons of the Godhead are mentioned “I” “Father” “Comforter”. He is God, one with the Father and the Son.
3. The Holy Spirit Indwells Every Believer
Note the last two words in John 14:17. He indwells every Christian; there is no such thing as a believer who is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit – look up John 7:37-39; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 5:5 and 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Galatians 3:2 and 4:6.
4. The Holy Spirit Abides in Every Believer
That is, He has come in to stay – see John 14:16. In Old Testament times He came and – went – look up Judges 6:34 and 16:20; 1 Samuel 10:6 and 16:14 and compare Psalm 51:11; but now He comes in to abide with us for ever.
5. The Holy Spirit indwells to Supply Christ’s Presence
As to His bodily presence, the Lord Jesus is in Heaven (Hebrews 9:24); but by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit He is also within every believer (John 14:17-18). This is “the mystery” – see Colossians 1:27, and compare John 14:23.
In John chapters 14,15 and 16 we learn from the lips of our Lord Himself of the seven-fold ministry which the Holy Spirit exercises in the life of every believer. In other words, He indwells us to supply a seven-fold need in our lives:-
- “He will teach you all things… ” (14:26) He is the Divine Tutor within us, and He is there to teach us all He wants us to know and all we need to know concerning spiritual things. Please read 1 Corinthians 2: 9-14. The youngest and humblest believer has the Heavenly Instructor within. What a rebuke this is to our ignorance of spiritual things! Look up 1 John 2:27.
- “He will remind you of everything I have said… ” (14:26) This had a special reference to the Apostles who were to write the books of the New Testament; for this important task, the Holy Spirit was to be their sufficiency. They were not to rely upon their memory but upon Him. On John 14:26 rests the credibility and ultimate Divine Authority of the New Testament writings (2 Timothy 3:16). But what of ourselves? Well, He brings the word of comfort, of guidance, of wisdom or of rebuke to us, according to our need – compare Matthew 10:18-19.
- “He will testify about Me… ” (15:26 and verse 27!) The Holy Spirit is the power within us for effective testimony - look up Acts 1:8, and notice that He always testifies to the Lord Jesus, and not to ourselves, our work, our church or our denomination; “unto me… ” He is within us to convict us and to show us when we turn aside from His way.
- “He will convict the world… ” (16:7-11) He alone can convince unbelievers of their need of the Saviour, and He does it through us (“to you” Lit. verse 8). We cannot convince them of their need and of His love for them, but the Holy Spirit can. And, He is within us to convict us and to show us when we turn aside from His way.
- “He will guide you into all truth… ” (16:13) The Lord guided Israel – look up Exodus 13:21; but we have the Guide within, to go with us all the journey through – compare Romans 8:14. He indwells to guide us in the paths of truth.
- “He will tell you what is yet to come… ” (16:13) This reference is to the prophetic gift which the disciples would need in order to write the New Testament. You and I have Him that we may interpret and understand those prophecies.
- “He will bring glory to Me… ” (16:14) He is within us to make the Lord Jesus real and precious to us, and through us to others.
In conclusion: Because the Holy Spirit is dwelling within to exercise this seven-fold ministry, we must:
- RECOGNISE His Presence within us (1 Corinthians 6:19)
- RESPOND to His Presence within us (Ephesians 5:18)
- RELY upon His Presence within us (2 Corinthians 3:5-6).