Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.


"Indwelling of the

Holy Spirit?"


The reason there is a question mark beside the title of this lesson instead of an exclamation point, is that in this lesson we are going to try to clear up some universal misapplications that surround the Biblical principle of the Spirit of God dwelling within us. There are as many diverse teachings concerning this subject as there are for the methods of entering a relationship with God through Christ for salvation. We have folks running around claiming that the Spirit of God reveals to them things apart from the word of God; from what to eat for breakfast, to engaging in works apart from scriptural authority.

First, we should not be ashamed to say that the Spirit of God dwells in us just because of what the world does with the true Biblical application. In fact, it should be the desire of every Christian to be guided by the Spirit of God.



Now, before we get into this lesson, it is important to understand that there is a difference between the subject of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts that existed in the early church. The spiritual gifts that existed within the early church existed because the church came into existence before the written word of God. These gifts were never intended to be an ends to a means, but a means to an end. Paul would define this fact for us, note;

1 Corinthians 13:9-10 “For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”

The nine spiritual gifts that are the subject of chapters 12-14 of 1 Corinthians are the things that Paul says was only able to allow them to know in part. Although the purpose of spiritual gifts was to edify, exhort, and comfort Christians (14:3), it was only a temporary measure, until something greater would come that would allow us to put away childish things (13:11). There was only one thing delivered to Christians by which we are edified, exhorted, comforted to a complete man or woman of God; scripture! – II Timothy 3:16-17



As we begin to engage in the understanding of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we need to recognize that this is going to be a lengthy lesson, as it is important to appreciate and digest everything that the scriptures have to say concerning this issue and maintain scriptural context. So, as you read this and verify scripture, take it in digestible strides.

In order to understand how God intended for His Spirit to dwell in us, we are going to take a scriptural journey. In studying scripture for the purpose of understanding, it is important to remember that no one passage of scripture was ever meant to stand on its own apart from the rest! The Bible is its own best commentary and everything must be taken in, to completely comprehend a subject. This will be our goal in this lesson.



Text #1:

2 Peter 1:19-21 “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”


Peter had been in the kingdom of God from the very beginning and with the Lord before that. He had been eye witness to the great events surrounding the coming, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and coronation of the Messiah. He had been actively engaged in the work of the Great Commission and the continued education of Christians through the doctrine of Christ.

In this second letter to Christians scattered to Northern Asia Minor from and around the area of Judea , he has described to them a theme of true knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. They were going to be plagued with false teachers and scoffers and if that were not bad enough, he would describe his own departure from them in death.

He told them that he was not going to be negligent to remind them always of all the things that pertain to life and godliness (Vs.12). To this point, he tells them that he is going to leave them a reminder of the established truths they knew. What was this reminder; a supernatural indwelling of the Spirit, a future revelation? No! The prophetic word! This word was delivered by holy men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Since this prophetic word came from a Divine source, it is not for my interpretation, or your interpretation; but to be realized as the word of God come down from heaven and simply, “we do well to heed it!” The Spirit of God was the vehicle that moved these earthen vessels to complete this great and perfect work.


Summary: Scripture came from holy men who spoke (by the way, this is past tense, and gives no reference to an on going process) as the Spirit directed them! This became the prophetic word that we would do well to heed!


Text #2:

1 Peter 1:10-12 “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.”


I know this is a little backwards. Just remember that we are developing and understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit. Here in this first letter of Peter to the Christians in Northern Asia Minor , he would establish a theme of hope. As they begin their lives as pilgrims and sojourners in an unfamiliar land, he wanted to comfort them in the foundation of their hope, abundant mercy, and their salvation; if they were firmly planted in their hope.

It was this salvation that the prophets of old wanted to know about; even angels wanted a glimpse of. How had their hope, mercy, and salvation been made known to them? Was it a supernatural indwelling of the Spirit in each individual? Was it a future revelation? No! It came through the preaching of the Gospel that the Holy Spirit delivered from heaven. How did He deliver it? Through holy men who were moved by the Spirit to preach it!


Summary: The Spirit moved holy men to speak the prophetic word. It contained within it all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3), and was preached to Christians through the Gospel.


Text #3:

Acts 10:34 “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.”


This was hard for Peter to acknowledge as he began to preach to Cornelius and his household; who would make up the first un-circumcised Gentile converts to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, through some unique training by God, Peter was shown that God does not show partiality when it comes to the salvation that is offered through Jesus the Christ. This would be a theme that would resonate throughout the teaching of the New Testament (see: Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25).


Summary: Since the Holy Spirit moved holy men to speak the prophetic word that included all things that pertain to life and godliness and it was in the form of the Gospel, and God is not a respecter of persons, there has to be one unified method of delivery for all men! God is a God of order, not chaos, and not a respecter of persons. This means a unified method to bring the salvation offered in Jesus Christ was necessary.


Text #4:

1 Corinthians 1:21 “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”


Here the Apostle Paul would cast aside the wisdom of men as being able to conceive a method by which they could be saved. Paul preached the cross and to those who are being saved, it is the power of God. The Christians in Corinth had been begotten to Christ through the preaching of the Gospel (4:15). Here Paul establishes that God chose the preaching of the Gospel as the universal means by which all men could know the salvation of God.

This was the very nature of the Great Commission! Go into the world and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15-16). Who delivered the Gospel to be preached? The Holy Spirit! How did He reveal it? Through holy men chosen to preach it!

We like to quote the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever-lasting life”

Since Jesus said this as a matter of fact, prior to His being given to men, how was this love to be made manifest to the world that God so loved?

Mark 16:15-16 “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”

Again, we see the universal, unbiased, and orderly method by which God through the word would reveal His plan of salvation to man.


Summary: Holy men moved as the Spirit directed them to preach the Gospel. This Gospel then became the universal template that would allow all men to come to God on the same ground (rich, poor, Jew, Gentile, slave or free – Galatians 3:28).