Vol.VI No.III Pg.7
May 1969

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Please elaborate on truth about the Holy Spirit and "indwelling".


There are some basic principles or fundamentals that must be laid as a foundation for any study of the Holy Spirit. For want of space, I can only state them here: (1) God is one; (2) The Holy Spirit is God (Deity); (3) Despite distinctive functions of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one can never be completely separated from the other. This means we must neither limit the Holy Spirit to "influence" nor presumptuously "take Him to us", ignoring His divine nature.

To speak of the Holy Spirit dwelling in man, is to speak of God dwelling in man — and in neither case can we substantiate the presence of "naked omnipotence". There could be no rejection of such power; but man is made a free agent, and can accept or reject the manifestations of Deity.

Deity was manifested in Jesus of Nazareth, God incarnate, (PHI.2:5-f; COL.2:8-9; JOH.14:7-9) and man could accept or reject God as he accepted or rejected Jesus Christ. Ach i the ascension of Christ the Holy Spirit came to "fill" the Apostles and Prophets of the NT (EPH.3:2-6; JOH. 14:25-f.). They gave us the words of God, the means of faith and fellowship with God (JOH.20:31; 1JO.1:1-f). The word thus became the agency and manifestation of the Holy Spirit, which man may accept or reject. Deity is available to all, yet forced upon none. JOH.7:37-39 and like passages refer to the coming of power, with the H.S., upon chosen messengers of Christ, by which they were equipped to send forth "rivers of living water" (full and complete truth) to everyone. There is a sense in which the Holy Spirit did "dwell" in certain ones miraculously. These had the Holy Spirit as a "gift" and in them, representatively, the whole church partakes of the blessings of this "gift". But one may as well claim inspiration today as to claim such "indwelling" as theirs. Today's claims for "direct indwelling" rest upon subjective proof (?) and drift rapidly into the Calvinistic idea of the need for "spirit" glasses in order to "see" the truth of God. The Father "dwells" in the obedient; JOH.14:23; 1JO.4:12-16. Truth "dwells" in us; 2JO.2; EPH.5:18-19; COL.3:16. Christ "dwells" in us — study ROM.8:9-10. He dwells in us by faith; EPH.3:14-19. If we can grasp these things without swinging to some mystical concept, it seems we should be able to understand how the Holy Spirit "dwells" in us (1CO.4:16-17; EPH.2:20-22; 2CO.6:16). I see no difference in the "indwelling" of Father, Son, or Holy Spirit today.

Nothing is changed by slighting remarks about an "inactive" Spirit. I can believe God is "active" in the affairs of nations without thinking He personally "indwells". It is pure assumption to assign "providence" as the special function of the Spirit. The plural Creator can rule in His creation, animate and inanimate, without my knowing His mode of operation. I am content with His revelation.