Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside—what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
- John 10:31-39
“But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!
- 1 Kings 8:27
Do you not know that your bodies are temples 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 bodies.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
- Romans 8:12-17
“Over the past several decades, l have been asked the ‘in’ question in a variety of different ways such as: What does it mean to say God is ‘in’ my life; Jesus is ‘in’ my heart; or the Holy Spirit is ‘in’ me? Does it mean that everyone simultaneously has a little piece of God in them? Or is the Bible communicating something far more precious?
“First, to say that the Holy Spirit is in you is not to point out where the Holy Spirit is physically located, but rather to acknowledge that you have come into an intimate, personal relationship with him through faith and repentance. As such, the preposition ‘in’ is not a locational but a relational term. Similarly, when Jesus says, ‘the Father is in me, and I in the Father’ (John 10:38), He is not speaking of physical location but intimacy of relationship.
“Furthermore, to deny that the Holy Spirit is spatially locatable within us is not to deny that he is actively locatable within us, working redemptively to conform us to the image of Christ. Far from detracting from our nearness to the Holy Spirit, the classical Christian view intensiﬁes the intimacy of our relationship to the Creator as well as the beneﬁts of our redemption.
“Finally, according to the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is not a physical being, thus to ask where the Holy Spirit is, is to confuse categories. Asking spatial questions about a Being who does not have extension in space makes about as much sense as asking what the color blue tastes like. King Solomon reveals the utter futility of believing that the inﬁnite Holy Spirit can be physically contained in any ﬁnite space, let alone the human body, when he exclaimed, ‘Will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27).”
- Hank Hanegraaff, My Utmost for His Highest (question 7)
It seems that the Bible Answer Man is enjoying some double-talk, talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, but there are indeed multiple answers to the question of where the Holy Spirit is within us.
Mark Lowry, in his routine about seeing open-heart surgery on the Discovery Channel, talks about Jesus being in our heart, but he doubted that Jesus literally sat in our heart watching the corpuscles whizz by. Lowry went on to state that the heart was the center of our emotions, and he built his “preaching” point on that, laced with tons of comedy.
But Hanegraaff is blending two concepts. The relational concept is that the Holy Spirit is in us as Jesus and the Father are One. We have a intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. But then considering the spatial concept, God is everywhere. The Holy Spirit is just as much in your big toe as He is in your ear. In the ear, the Holy Spirit can speak to us, guide us and warn us of temptations that lay ahead. When your big toe throbs with an ache and you did not stub your toe, could it be that the Holy Spirit is telling you that you are pointing that toe in the wrong direction? I have had odd pains that caused me to pause and then choose a more prudent course. Of course, once you get to a certain age when everything hurts all the time, those little signals can get lost in the forest of pain.
The whole concept of God within us reminds us that God wants a stronger relationship with us. We love our best friend. It is wonderful sitting across the table from that friend and enjoying a meal, but Jesus, once He is within us, is closer than that.
Let’s not get lost in confusion over the words “intimate” and “love.” The secular world wishes to make those two words the exclusive realm of sex. That is the lie that evil wishes to place upon the words. My wife’s and my most intimate moments lately have often not involved touching at all. Then when her hand touches my hand to express that intimacy, the feeling often lessens. It brings us out of the spiritual intimate moment and back into the physical world.
Our intimate love relationship with God is like that. The last Scripture above where Paul is telling the Romans to keep their bodies pure, he is warning them against sexual immorality. Why mix a body that has been dedicated to God and to serving God with acts that are immoral? Thus, there must be intimate love with Jesus beyond the physical realm, when the physical has nothing to do with it.
Is the Holy Spirit in us? Yes, for the Holy Spirit is everywhere. Is the Holy Spirit in a specific place? No, the Holy Spirit is spirit and cannot be defined as in any one place. King David may have said it best.
“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,’
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.”
- Psalm 139:7-12
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
Excellent post, Mark. Thank you. Blessings!
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Thank you for the compliment. Blessings to you too.
Good post on more than one ways the Spirit is at and also good continued discussions about intimacy
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You are welcome Hatrack4!
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