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.
For more information on Turning Point, go to
During the past few months our nation has witnessed devastating natural disasters that demolished entire communities and took the lives and livelihoods of many Americans. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have negatively impacted millions[i] of people and left behind billions of dollars in damages. As difficult and challenging as these events have been, and will continue to be for multitudes of people, these catastrophic events have allowed our nation to come together to help those affected. In response to Hurricane Harvey alone, companies have promised to donate more than $65 million to help with relief efforts—and that number is still rising. This is not including all private donations and time spent volunteering by people across the United States.[ii] It has encouraged the nation as we have observed neighbor helping neighbor—but we need to remember that we shouldn’t simply be observers when it comes to encouragement.
Practical and purposeful encouragement is something each of us can do, but too often we miss the opportunity in the busyness of our lives. I’ll confess I’m not a natural-born encourager. Often I’m so focused on my day that I don’t notice when others have a need. But I’m learning to be deliberate about it—even when it’s not convenient.Mentored by the Book
I’ve had many mentors in life, but most of them had departed this life when they taught me their greatest lessons. They’ve lined the walls of my study and filled my bookcases with their words of wisdom. I enjoy good books and have profited immeasurably from reading biographies. As you may have noticed, lots of these timeless antidotes show up in my sermons and writings.
To me, reading a good biography is like entertaining a great soul in my home. He or she may live in a different age, speak a different language, and face a different set of challenges; but when I open their stories, I’m sitting down with them for a pleasant visit. In the process, I learn about a world not my own, and I live in times that expand my experiences.
A truly well-written biography is a rare treat; but the best biographies are found in God’s Book. The Bible is filled with great and unvarnished stories of individual history. Think of the men and women we encounter between Genesis and Revelation. When we get to heaven, we’ll already know Abraham, David, Peter, and Paul. Some of us have studied their lives for years, and meeting them will be like greeting an old friend. Think of the Heroes of the Faith described in Hebrews 11—men and women “of whom the world was not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38). Their lives should inspire us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and … run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2).Rejoice Always
If you have seen the inspiring film Chariots of Fire, based on the life of Scottish missionary and Olympic runner Eric Liddell, you will probably remember these wonderful words that he spoke: “I believe that God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” He spoke those words as a response to being criticized for pursuing his interests in track and field before going to the mission field.
I believe we could easily substitute the word “joy” for “pleasure” in Liddell’s statement without changing the meaning at all, for God takes joy and pleasure when His creation manifests its God-given purpose. And if God finds pleasure and joy when we excel in desires that honor Him, shouldn’t we feel the same pleasure and joy? Of course, we should.
In today’s culture of isolation and entitlement, the concept of people joining together to express gratitude to God is almost unheard of. Dr. David Jeremiah explains why such an outpouring was so important in helping the nation of Israel restore fellowship with God—and why it can do the same for us.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah