When you think of home, what comes to mind? The types of homes available for people living in the United States today varies greatly from the “Leave it to Beaver” model seen on television so many years ago. Many of us grew up in neighborhoods where all the homes were similar in style and size. Move forward to today and homes are built in extremes—everything from massive homes with home theatre systems and gyms—to the tiny home craze where people are down-sizing to enjoy life more. Wherever we live, home has a special place in our heart and memory. But beyond where we call home, there is divine resident who goes and dwells with us a child of God. Here are seven ways that His presence changes us:
1. We are born of the Spirit. When Jesus explained to the Pharisee Nicodemus what it meant to be “born again” (John 3:3), He referred to the new birth as being “born of the Spirit (verse 6; also, Galatians 4:29). Before believing in Christ, we were “dead in [our] trespasses” (Colossians 2:13); but we have been given new life (been reborn) by the Holy Spirit taking up residence in us.
2. We are indwelt by the Spirit. Six times, in five different verses, the New Testament says the Spirit of God “dwells in you” (Romans 8:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:14; James 4:5). Simply stated, if you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit dwells in you. At this very moment, the Spirit of God is helping you understand and apply what you are reading—a permanent, live-in Counselor (or “Helper”; John 14:16).
3. We are baptized by the Spirit. Every Christian has been “baptized into one body”—the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). That means you are a hand, eye, foot, mouth, or some other part of Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:14-27). Everything you do affects every other member of the Body; no more “Lone Ranger” Christianity—we are part of each other.
4. We are filled by the Spirit. There are ten references in the New Testament to people being “filled with the Holy Spirit”—from John the Baptist (Luke 1:15) to Jesus (Luke 4:1) to the apostles (Acts 2:4; 4:8) to the Church (Acts 4:31) and others in between. And in every case, the reference accompanies some dynamic act, event, or word of power or consequence. Our responsibility is to remain filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) by not grieving (Ephesians 4:30) or quenching (1 Thessalonians 5:19) the Spirit.
5. We are illuminated by the Spirit. Paul says that in Christ, “the eyes of [our] understanding [have been] enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18). Things that seemed foolish to us before now make perfect spiritual sense. The Holy Spirit makes God’s truth clear to speakers (1 Corinthians 2:13) and hearers. If you have Christ, you have the Spirit—and the ability to discern spiritual truth.
6. We walk in the Spirit. Paul set up a logical progression for the Galatians: “If we live in the Spirit, [then] let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). Walking in the Spirit is an ongoing life of obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord after trusting Him as Savior and receiving the Spirit of Christ who lives within.
7. We exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. The evidence that we belong to Christ is the transformation wrought by the Spirit in the form of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—the fruit of the Spirit (John 13:35; Galatians 5:22-23). We have the privilege of being “ambassadors for Christ” on earth (2 Corinthians 5:20), revealing His character by means of the fruit of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit wants to be the sole, permanent resident in the dwelling of your life. He wants to take over all floors and fill all rooms, leaving no room for competing interests from the world, the flesh, and the devil (Ephesians 4:27). The question is: Have you given Him access and made Him welcome? Are you enjoying all the benefits of having Him in your life?
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of
Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
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