What Kind Of Spirit Do You Have?
How many of you know exactly what it means to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you? From my experience talking to people, most people are rather unsure of how the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and what does the Spirit do. Most people think that there’s a lot of mystery surrounding it. But there’s not. The bible tells us exactly how the Spirit dwells in us.
How many of you have ever belonged to a team? Certainly everyone has belonged to some kind of team at some time in their lives. And so you know what “team effort” is. And you know what “team spirit” is. Here’s what one dictionary says about “team spirit”.. noun: team spirit is;
“A feeling of camaraderie among the members of a group, enabling them to cooperate and work well together.”
Here’s another definition.. “a way of thinking and acting that shows loyalty to your team and its members.”
What are some characteristics of “team spirit”? Those definitions give us three characteristics.. Camaraderie, cooperation, and loyalty in thought and action. But we might add to that, things like sacrificing for team member, or helping to bear the load for a team member.
Have you ever heard of “The Spirit of 76”? The Spirit of 76, refers back to the Revolutionary War. It refers specifically to the attitude and a purpose that motivated people. It’s an attitude of of self-determination, and individual liberty, that is exemplified in the Declaration of Independence.
So we understand what it means to possess a particular type of spirit. Whether it’s the spirit of individual freedom, or team spirit, it’s a matter of possessing certain characteristics, and acting in accordance to them.
But now let’s talk about what it means to have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
In last Sunday night’s, lesson on the “Gift of the Holy Spirit”, I mentioned that sometimes the bible says that the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and sometimes it says that the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, and sometimes it says that the Spirit of God dwells in us.
For example; The bible says in Romans 8:9; “However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” So there we have the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ, used interchangeably, in one verse. Verse 11 ends with these words; “..through His Spirit who indwells you.”
Galatians 4:6 says; “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son, into our hearts, crying Abba! Father!” Romans 5:5 says; “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts, through the Holy Spirit, the one given to us.” So there’s the “Holy Spirit”, being used interchangeably with the “Spirit of His Son”, which of course is the “Spirit of Christ”, which also is the “Spirit of God”.
The point is, that when it comes to God and Christ and the Holy Spirit, one doesn’t dwell in us without the others! The Holy Spirit is not a “separate entity” that dwells in us. When I say that the Holy Spirit is not a “separate entity”, that dwells in us, I’m not drawing my own conclusion, and I’m not speaking my own opinion, I am simply re-stating, and believing, what the bible has already said. If I were to say that the Holy Spirit IS a separate entity, I would be contradicting the scripture that I just shared with you.
It’s the Spirit of GOD that must dwell in us. And that Spirit of GOD, is God’s “holy” Spirit, which is also the Spirit of Christ. The “Spirit of God”, Romans 8:9, the “Spirit of Christ”, Romans 8:9, “His Spirit”, verse 11, the “Spirit of His Son”, Galatians 4:6, and the “Holy Spirit”, Romans 5:5. That is what must dwells in us, if we are living as Christians should live.
There’s something that we should be aware of, when considering the Holy Spirit. The word “holy” isn’t a proper name for the Spirit of God. But rather, it’s a description of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God, is a “holy” Spirit. To be “holy” means to be different from the world. Not only is the Spirit of God “holy”, but GOD is “holy”. Here’s the word of God, from 1 Peter 1:16; “..You shall be holy, for I am holy.” So God is “holy”, and His Spirit is “holy”, and He wants us to be “holy”. Be different from the world; “And be not conformed this world, but be transformed, by the renewing of your mind, that you might prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2. In short.. Be holy as He is holy.
Verses 14 & 15, of 1 Peter 1, tell us HOW to be “holy”. It says; “As obedient children, (that’s how we do it, “as obedient children”) do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance. But like the holy ONE who called you, be holy yourselves also, in all your behavior.” In order for us to be “holy”, as God is “holy”, we need to be obedient children, in all our behavior. And we need to NOT be conformed to our former lusts. That’s how you live when you’re ignorant of God’s word. So, be obedient, and do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours, in your ignorance.
So then once again, Romans 12, verse 2; “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is. That which is good, and acceptable, and perfect.”
This should be obvious, but, if we are to NOT be conformed to this world, what are we to be conformed to? We are to be conformed to God’s will. Romans 12:2 told us to “prove what the will of God is.” The word “prove” in this verse, means.. “to examine, and scrutinize, and to test by trying”. So then we need to closely examine God’s word, and we put it to the test by LIVING according to the word. We become “holy” as He is “holy”, when we live according to the word of God, and conform to His will.
Are you seeing yet how the Spirit of God dwells in us? The Spirit of God is “holy”. And if we would have the Spirit of God dwell in US, then WE must be “holy”. And if we would be “holy”, we must be “like the holy One who called us”, by obeying everything that He tells us to do. I’ve repeated it several times already, but It’s really as simple as that.
Jesus said in John 6:63; “The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life.” The very words of Jesus, and of God, are Spirit. But of course, just knowing the words, doesn’t mean that the Spirit dwells in us. But “living” the words of God, DOES mean that the Spirit is dwelling in us.
If the spirit of God dwells in someone, there is evidence of that indwelling of the spirit. And the bible calls that evidence, “the fruit of the Spirit”. According to Galatians 5:22 & 23, when the spirit dwells in you, you will exhibit “Love, and joy, and peace, and patience, and kindness, and goodness, and gentleness, and self-control”.
The indwelling of the spirit of God in us, is what makes us “holy”. It makes us different from the world. And that indwelling of the spirit, is what produces the “fruit of the Spirit”. Can you see why it is NOT God, who actually puts Himself in our hearts? The holy Spirit of God Himself doe not come and enter our bodies somehow, and dwell in us. It’s up to US to put that same spirit that characterizes God, within our own hearts. It’s US that has to make the choice to live according to the way God has told us to live. God has revealed His Spirit to us, through His word. But it’s up to us to make the decision to live according to what’s been revealed to us.
Let me phrase it another way. God’s word has been revealed to us, and so have the traits, that make up God’s Spirit. Those traits, that make up the Spirit of God, are the very things that make His Spirit “holy”. God’s Spirit is “different” from the spirit of the world, it’s a “holy” Spirit. And although God doesn’t actually PUT Himself, in the form of His very Spirit inside of us, He does give us the knowledge of His Spirit, through His word, so that WE have the opportunity to put His Spirit within ourselves. We must allow ourselves to be “led” by His Spirit. It says in Romans 8:13; “If by the Spirit, you are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, you will live.” Verse 14 says; “For all who are LED by the Spirit of God, are sons of God.”
God “gives us” His Spirit by revealing it to us, through His word. And when we OBEY the words of God, THEN we have God’s holy Spirit dwelling in us. The Spirit that we put in our hearts comes from God. God gives it to us. That’s why it says, in 2 Corinthians 1:21 & 22; “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ, and anoints us, is God, who also sealed us, and GAVE us the Spirit, within our hearts, as a pledge.” Another word for “pledge” is a “down payment”.
The Spirit that is within our hearts, came from God. And that Spirit within us, serves as a “down payment” towards the promise of eternal life, which is made to us, when we are baptized for the forgiveness of our sins.
2 Corinthians 5:5 talks about the down payment like this; “Now He who prepared us for this purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit, as a pledge.” We don’t possess eternal life yet, while we live in this life, but we have the promise of eternal life IN HEAVEN, when this life is over, and when the resurrection day comes. And the “pledge”, or in other words, “the down payment” towards that eternal life, is the Spirit of God, which dwells in our hearts.
2 Corinthians 1:22 said that God “sealed us, and gave us the Spirit..” The meaning of the word “sealed” is.. “to set your seal upon something, to denote ownership”. Ephesians 1:14 says; “..having believed, you were sealed with the promise of the holy Spirit, which is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of His possession, to the praise of His glory.” To be “sealed” does not mean that there is some kind of protective bubble put around you, so that evil cannot get to you. But rather, to be “sealed” means that you have been marked by God, for his own possession.
Let me say one more thing about Ephesians 1:14, and the phrase.. “the promise of the holy Spirit”. Some versions mis-translated that verse, and have changed the wording, to give it a different meaning. Those versions say.. “the holy Spirit of promise, WHO is given as a pledge..” . This gives the impression that God has promised to give us the holy Spirit (Who is God Himself) to dwell within us. But that’s not what the scriptures are saying. The scriptures are not talking about “the holy Spirit of promise” but rather, they are talking about “the PROMISE of the holy Spirit.” The PROMISE of the holy Spirit, is defined in 2 John 2:25. Here’s what it says; “And this is the promise that He Himself has promised to us, even eternal life.”
That’s the very same “promise” that was made in Acts 2:38 & 39, which says; “Repent and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, unto the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the GIFT of the holy Spirit.” That was verse 38; Now listen to what verse 39 says; “For the PROMISE, is for you and your children, and all who far off, as many as the Lord shall call to Himself.”
The “GIFT” of the holy Spirit, (verse 38) is called the “PROMISE”, (verse 39) And the “PROMISE” is eternal life! (2 John 2:25) And it’s called the “PLEDGE” in Ephesians 1:14. To say it one more time, upon our repentance and baptism, God, through His holy Spirit, give us the “gift” of the “promise”, which serves as a “pledge” of the inheritance of eternal life at the judgment day. 2 Corinthians 1:22 refers to this “pledge” as “the earnest” of the holy Spirit. The “gift” which is a “promise”, serves as the “down-payment” of our inheritance of heaven. It is God’s “pledge” to us, and it is God’s “earnest” of what awaits the faithful.
Having the Spirit within us, really serves a dual purpose. The Spirit serves as “the down payment” made towards our eternal inheritance, but it also serves as “a seal” or in other words, as a “mark of ownership” by God. 1 Peter 2:9 says that we are “a people for God’s own possession”.
And you remember Romans 8:9.. “If anyone does NOT have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” So if we DON’T have His Spirit within us, then we DON’T belong to Him. But if we DO have His Spirit within us, then we DO belong to Christ, and the spirit that we exhibit shows to everyone, that “seal of ownership”. And of course Galatians 3:29 says; “And if you belong to Christ, THEN you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
But it all hinges on whether or not WE, will PUT, the Spirit of God, within our hearts, by OBEYING His word, as it is revealed in the bible.
1 Peter 1:14, 15, & 16 says; “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts, which were yours in your ignorance. But like the Holy One, who called you, be holy yourselves also, in all your behavior. Because it is written; You shall be holy, for I am holy!”
Would you be “holy” like God is “holy”? Would you have the Spirit of God dwell within you, so that you can be marked as His very own possession, and have the promise of eternal life in heaven? Then as an obedient child, you must hear His word, and have faith in it, Romans 10:17. You must repent of your sins. God is now declaring that all men everywhere should repent. Acts 17:30. You must confess your faith in the name of Christ, just like we’re told in Mathew 10:32. And you must be buried with Him in baptism for the forgiveness of your sins, just like we’re told in Acts 2:38, and Romans 6:4.
Then you can live a “holy” life, with you in Christ, and the Spirit of Christ in you.
To sum it up, in one very short statement, the Spirit of God dwells in you, to the extent that you are obedient to His word. That’s it in a nutshell. The degree to which the Spirit of God dwells in you, is directly related to the degree of obedience that you are willing to give to God.
If you are a little bit obedient to God’s word, then His Spirit will dwell in you a little bit. And if you were to give total obedience to God, then His spirit would totally and fully dwell in you. It’s up to you, just how much you want God’s Spirit to be inside of you.
God does not put Himself inside of us. But God has given us the opportunity to put His Spirit inside of us, exactly to the degree that we choose. Thanks be to God!