Sunday, March 30, 2008

Matt's Messages "The Holy Spirit Dwells Inside Of Us

“The Holy Spirit Dwells Inside Of Us”
The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit
March 30, 2008
John 14:16-17

We are returning today to our study of the Person and Ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the one of the most natural places to go is the Upper Room Discourse of John 14 through 16. It was in the Upper Room that Jesus gave His fullest teaching about Who the Holy Spirit is and what He would do when He came in His fullness.

While you’re turning there, let me get us back into gear with a reminder of what we’ve been learning.

The first message in this series was about Who the Spirit is. We learned 4 things that we’ve seen again and again and again:

The Holy Spirit is God, worthy to be worshiped.
The Holy Spirit is a Person, Someone we are able to relate to, to fellowship with.
The Holy Spirit is Mysterious, beyond our comprehension and out of our control.
And the Holy Spirit is Christ-Centered, focused on “spotlighting” the Lord Jesus Christ.

And then in the next three messages, we began to talk about what He does. What are the Holy Spirit’s precious ministries to us.

And the first was: The Holy Spirit Brings Us to Christ.

He draws, convicts us, regenerates, and converts us.

If it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit, we wouldn’t have a relationship with God in the first place.

And the second was that: The Holy Spirit Assures Us of Our Relationship With God.

He Assures Us Of Our Ownership, Of Our Inheritance, and Of Our Adoption.

The third thing was that: The Holy Spirit Guides Us Into All Truth.

He inspired the Bible, He illuminates the truth of the Bible to us, and He shows us how the truth of the Bible points to the Truth of Jesus Christ.

That’s what we’ve seen so far.

And we’re just getting started! We’re going to see again and again and again that the Holy Spirit has a full and vital panoply of ministries to and through us.

Now today, we’re going to meditate on a mind-blowing ministry of the Holy Spirit that is obvious when you think about it, but we don’t think about it enough!

And it’s this: “The Holy Spirit Dwells Inside of Us.”

And by “us,” I mean what I’ve meant all along in these titles. “Us” refers to Real Christians, faith-followers of Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit Dwells Inside of Us.

Let’s hear it from Jesus’ own words. John chapter 14. Jesus is in the middle of telling His followers that He is leaving. Verse 16.

“...I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

Hear it again in the King James Version:

“I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

Let’s pray.

Jesus was going away. But He wasn’t going to leave His followers alone.

He was going to give them (through asking the Father) a Great Companion.

Another (that is another just like Him) Paraclete, One Who is called alongside. A Comforter, an Advocate, a Counselor, a Companion to be WITH THEM.

And He gives Him a name: The Spirit of Truth. Like we saw last time, His ministry is one to guide us into all truth.

The world (most of human society) can’t receive Him, can’t accept Him, doesn’t believe in the Spirit because they can’t see Him nor know Him.

But Jesus’ followers (and you and me) do know Him, because He lives with us (in the disciples’ case I think that means that He dwelt among them by dwelling in Jesus) and (last phrase) “[He] will be in you.”

Pentecost hadn’t happened yet, but it was promised.
The Spirit hadn’t been given yet, but He was coming.

And He was going to take up residence in believers!

“[He] will be in you.”

The Holy Spirit Dwells Inside of Us. Within Us.

That is an amazing truth!

One that we don’t think about nearly enough!

The Holy Spirit Lives Inside of All Genuine Believers!

Now, yes, He lives everywhere!

The Holy Spirit is omnipresent because He is God.

The Old Testament said that we can’t go anywhere to get away from the Spirit.

But now, we learn in the New Testament, that the Holy Spirit lives in a special way within the bodies and hearts of the children of God.

The Holy Spirit Dwells Inside Of Us.

Now, this may be obvious to you, maybe you learned that long ago, but I don’t think that we operate our daily lives enough on this basic gospel truth. I know that I don’t!

What does it mean that the Holy Spirit of God has taken up residence within me?

Let me suggest four things this morning:

#1. This truth MAKES US HAPPY!

The truth of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit Should Make Us Happy.

I’m sure that it was reassuring to the disciples.

I know that they didn’t understand everything Jesus said in the Upper Room, but as they did come to understand it, this would be a precious truth.

Jesus was going away, but there was another Companion who wasn’t! V.16 again.

“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you [catch this word!] FOREVER–the Spirit of truth.”

How does that make you feel?

If you are a genuine believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have the Holy Spirit within you, and He’s never leaving!

Have people left you? Have you been disappointed and left behind? He’s never leaving.

That’s the reason why He’s a down-payment on all of God’s promises. Remember that from last month? He is earnest-money that won’t be taken back.

In fact, all of His ministries that we have looked at so far and all of the ministries we’re going to look at over the next few months–proceed from this fact–He lives within the believer–and He’s not going anywhere!


This truth makes us happy.

Listen to Romans 5:5 – “...God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

Do you know the love of God in your heart? That comes from the presence of the Holy Spirit within you!

He mediates all of God’s blessings to us in the New Covenant and He does it, not from outside of us, but from within!

Isn’t that precious? And it should make us a happy people.

As I thought about this truth this week, I found my heart leaping and my faith and joy growing because I know Who is here.

As we meditate on the truth of the Spirit’s indwelling, we should grow in our joy.

#2. This truth MAKES US HOLY.

The truth of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit Should Make Us Holy.

If the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, what does that make you?


Yes, it does. His presence is a purifying presence. Wherever He goes, He sanctifies.

Listen to Romans 8:5-14. Listen for “indwelling” words:

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires [that’s unholiness]; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. [Now listen! V.9] You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ [The Holy Spirit Dwells Inside Of All Real Christians]. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. [Now catch this Resurrection reference...] And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you [which He is!], he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you [there it is again!]. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

Now, I wish that I was preaching Romans 8 to unpack all of that deep theology.

But I think that the main point was clear. The Holy Spirit lives inside of His people and because of that, He makes them holy.

Now, it isn’t automatic. It involves a process of killing off sin within (what we sometimes call “mortification,” our cooperation with the Spirit in killing off indwelling sin), but it is a sure thing for all genuine believers.

And that’s because when we became believers, the Holy Spirit moved into the control room of our lives–our hearts! And now that He’s there (and never leaving!), He’s slowly but surely taking more and more control of our control-centers, and therefore, steering us into holiness.

Now, I want to talk more about that in the next few weeks, so I won’t go too far into it now.

But I want you to see it here and think of it as a natural and inescapable result of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence.

By living inside of us, He makes us holy.

Now, let’s apply that for a second.

What unholiness is there in your heart and life right now?

What sins are besetting you?
What habits are unrighteous?
What relationships are upside-down?
What, in your life, is not what it should be?

The Holy Spirit is on-site and wanting to clean house.

Are you going to let Him or are you going to fight Him?

Yesterday, we had a barn-raising at our house. Our Link Group came over and helped us start to put up “Heather’s Hen House”–the prettiest little chicken coop that you’ve ever seen (at least, that I’ve ever seen).

Every since this Fall, Heather has become “Feather-Brained” and gotten excited about the idea of keeping chickens for fun and for eggs.

And at Christmastime, my big gift for her was a promise that the “mighty builder” would build her a Hen House that she could fill up with a dozen “lay-ers.”

Now, I checked with her yesterday, there was a detail that we hadn’t cleared up yet.

She had made her order of peeps this week from the hatchery, and I wanted to make sure that she’d ordered the kind of chickens that don’t...well, you know...

Because I was making a very nice clean hen house out of rough-cut Hemlock with ship-lap siding, nesting boxes, and the whole nine-yards.

And I didn’t want to get Chicken-Do all the nice new floor, if you know what I mean.

And I especially don’t want it all over the kids’ Monkey Tower and tracked into the house!

Well, my wife informs me (and I suspected it all along), that there is no chicken breed that doesn’t do its business wherever it pleases.

And we’ll just have to clean and clean and clean our Hen House.

What kind of chicken-do is in your heart and life?

The Holy Spirit wants to clean it up. And He will do all of the hard work, but He wants you to cooperate in a clean-sweep.

Here’s why it’s so important.

#3. This truth MAKES US HOME.

The truth of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling makes us “a home” for Him.

Verse 17. “[He] will be in you.”

What do you call “a home for a god?”

“A temple.” Turn with me quickly to 1 Corinthians chapter 6, starting in verse 12.

Paul is answering problems that had cropped up in “super-spiritual Corinth.”

One of the problems was sexual immorality. They thought that because they were “spiritual” people that what they did with their bodies wasn’t important.

But Paul says: “‘Everything is permissible for me’–[probably one of their phrases] but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’–but I will not be mastered by anything. ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food’–but God will destroy them both. [Now, he gets to the point] The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body [There’s a connection between the Lord and our bodies]. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. [We’re going to come back to that–but the point here is that our bodies are important. V.15] Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ [There is a mysterious oneness that sex always creates!] But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. [v.18] Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. [And now here’s the kicker...] Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

Our bodies are not our own. They were bought by the precious blood of Christ.

And what we do with our bodies is important because they are temples.

Turn to the person next to you and say, “I am a temple.”

And that means that our bodies are not unimportant.

Sometimes, we Christians think that our hearts are all that matters. That our spirits are the whole show.

Well, our hearts are the control-centers. We do live out of our hearts. They are incredibly important in God’s thinking.

But our bodies are important, too.

It’s with our bodies that we either honor or dishonor God.

Our bodies carry out what our hearts choose.

And they give expression to what is in our hearts and show off WHO is in our hearts.

So when we use our bodies in unrighteous ways or misuse our bodies, we are dishonoring He who lives within us.

Listen to how shamefully Paul talks to the Corinthians:

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

He Makes Us Home! So we should honor Him with what we do with His Temple.

Now the application for sexual immorality is obvious and plain here in the text.

Keep sex within God’s good boundaries–a loving and lasting marriage covenant.

Everything else is dishonoring the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

Do you need to hear that this morning?

You are not your own. It’s not your body! It’s His home! He bought it with His blood!

But I think there are other applications that aren’t on the face of the text.

This reminds me that what I eat and (especially) how much I eat reflects upon the Holy Spirit’s dwelling place, as well.

What are we doing with the “temple?”

You know that this building here is not “God’s house,” right?

Sometimes, we make the mistake of calling this building, “God’s house.” “Don’t run in God’s house!”

This is not God’s house, as helpful a ministry-tool as it is.

This is not God’s house.

This is.

What are we doing with this?

Now, we’ll see in future weeks that this applies corporately, as well. That we together are a temple of the Holy Spirit, as the Church.

But this verse applies to my individual body. What am I doing with that?

Am I honoring or dishonoring its Holy Inhabitant?

Do you see what a great blessing it is to be indwelt by the Spirit and what a great responsibility it creates?

It Makes Us Happy
It Makes Us Holy
It Makes Us a Home for the Holy Spirit

And #4. This truth MAKES US HOPE.

I don’t know whether you caught it or not, but there is a note of RESURRECTION in each one of the passages that I’ve quoted today.

In the first one, it said that the Holy Spirit would be with us FOREVER.

In Romans 8 (v.11), it said that the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and is living in us.

And in this last one (1 Corinthians 6), it said, “By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.”

Because the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, we are guaranteed resurrection bodies.

Some day (and some day soon), we will be given new indestructible bodies to be permanent housing for the Holy Spirit.

Last week, we celebrated Resurrection Sunday. And this morning, we sang, “Because He Lives.”

And Then One Day I’ll Cross the River
And I’ll Fight Live’s Final War with Pain
And Then as Death Gives Way to Victory
I’ll See the Light of Glory and I’ll Know He Lives

That’s awesome!

But there’s even more!

We don’t just go to heaven when we die.

No, one day, we will get new bodies to live in a New Heavens and a New Earth.

New Bodies Like Jesus’ Body.

1 Corinthians 15 calls it a “spiritual body,” and that doesn’t mean immaterial, it means controlled by and enlivened by and eternally home to the Holy Spirit of God!

And that, friends, is our hope!

Because He Lives, We Too Shall Live!

And it’s worthy living for and (even) dying for.

Where is your hope right now?

What are you hoping in?

Is it the Resurrection?

This last week, one of our fervent prayers was answered.

It appears that my son, Peter David, has become what we call “a found sheep” that He has trusted Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior.

Heather had the privilege of asking Him about His trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection and leading Him in a prayer to receive Christ.

We are so excited for Peter. And for His new hope.

Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for the sins of all who will turn and trust in Him.

And when we do, the Holy Spirit Comes to Dwell Inside Of Us.

That truth makes us Happy. Or at least it should.
And that truth makes us Holy.
Because we have been made a Home, a Temple for the Holy Spirit.
And that truth makes us Hope in the Resurrection still to come.