Church of Christ
Mission USA

Where Is The Bases For The Holy Spirit Personally Indwelling The Christian?

(Part 3, Holy Spirit series; will be intermittent)

by Perry Sexton

            In Augusts’ issue we looked at a few principles we need to keep in mind in proper Bible study.  Now let us see how they relate to the above title.  Please refer back to those points which correspond to the following points.

1)      We should search the Scriptures (Acts 17:11) to see if the references cited prove the writer’s point.  Often times Romans 8:9,11,16,26,27 are cited in proof of personal indwelling, but do these verses prove personal indwelling?  Not at all!  These verses simply affirm the indwelling, but absolutely nothing about personal indwelling.  To affirm these verses teach personal indwelling is to violate at least points 3,4,5,6,7,8 in part 2 of this series and no doubt other principles of Bible interpretation.

2)      We should have a strong desire for truth and not follow after schools, scholars, family, and friends.  The bases must be book, chapter, and verse (BCV)!  Love God (Matt. 22:37); love His Word (Psa. 119:97).

3)      A lot of times syllogisms are used to try and prove personal indwelling.  Nothing is wrong with formal logic, but where did the apostles or Jesus use formal logic?  They certainly used logic as we all do practically every day of our lives.  More importantly, the apostles used the Word of God for it is authoritative.  If we have to use formal logic to prove our doctrinal points, I believe something is wrong.  Let me illustrate: Must I have a syllogism to prove baptism is for the remission of sins?  No, I need only one verse: Acts 2:38.  Must I use a syllogism to prove the first day of the week is the day for Christian worship?  No, I need only one verse: Acts 20:7.  As you can see many illustrations could be used.  By the way, we are to preach the Word of God (2 Tim. 4:2). 

4)      Can anyone authoritatively say the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian literally and personally?  If so, where is that authority (BCV)?  How can one, without BCV?  Is one truly speaking as the oracles of God whenever he teaches personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit?  If so, where is BCV?  No wonder some of them rely heavily on syllogisms.  There is no BCV for the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  If you think you know of one, please let me know as I sincerely want the truth.

5)      I like to use both the ASV 1901and KJV when looking at 1 Corinthians 4:6.  It seems to me unless the brethren who hold to personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit can come up with BCV, they have gone beyond that which is written.  Proper Bible study dictates we learn of a doctrine from the Word of God, not from men (denominations, etc.) and then go to the Bible and try to prove it.  Is this not what the denominations constantly do?  Maybe the problem is that some brethren think of men above that which is written.  See “mentors” in second paragraph of part 2.  It amazes me how that some who came out of most denominational error during the Restoration Movement never came out of the personal indwelling, which has no Bible bases.  Even more amazing is the fact that many still hold to that doctrine which is beyond God’s Word, i.e. in addition to God’s Word.

6)      Surely, we must all know that there are zillions of things unknown to us and cannot be known, because they are not revealed to us (Duet. 29:29).  For example, we know God works providentially in our lives, but the how is not revealed to us.  If it is not revealed in God’s Word, then it is futile to try to find out (Rom. 11:33, do all of us believe this verse?  It seems some think they know the mind of God – see v.34).  Think of the great waste of time and money of those who have spent many years trying to prove personal indwelling, and how much good could have been accomplished in those same years of preaching BCV to the lost and to the church!  Why can some not be satisfied with what God has given us (2 Peter 1:3, do all of us believe this verse?).  Why do some keep going beyond that which is written (1 Cor. 4:6, KJV and ASV of 1901)?  It is high time we hold all brethren to BCV!  If they cannot produce BCV then they should stop teaching the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 4:11, etc.).  This doctrine has split congregations. 

7)      We may indeed believe a matter because that is what we have been taught since childhood by parents or the congregation we attend, and never dreamed that it may well be in addition to God’s Word.  Please, let us all hear and obey God: 2 Cor. 13:5 and believe 2 John 1:9.  To be sure, a doctrine is either of God or it is not!  A doctrine is either of the faith or it is not!  A doctrine is either an addition to God’s Word or it is not!  Is what we believe concerning the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God, or of man (cp. Matt. 15:9)?  If it is of God we will have book, chapter, and verse (BCV) and correctly used (2 Tim. 2:15).

8)      Have we forgotten Col. 3:17 and the great many lessons from the Old Testament concerning authority which are for our learning (Rom. 15:4)?  Where is BCV for personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

9)      In Bible study it is vital that we know who is speaking and to whom and how it applies to us.  I believe many passages that are used in support of personal indwelling do not apply to us directly.  We will look at some of these in a future article.  Please, let us never forget the context.

10)  Shall we use a passage dealing with the miraculous and apply it to us in proof of personal indwelling?  Many do and many have also embraced the miraculous for us today!  Wonder where they got their start: from a belief in personal indwelling, or what the Bible teaches?

11)  Shall we follow the restoration preachers?  Is our allegiance to them, or Christ?  Do we follow men, or God?  See point 5 also on this matter.  Shall we follow the multitude (cp. Exod. 23:2) or truth?  Does the multitude guarantee the truth?  And to what purpose does it serve to gather a registry of brethren who believed/believes in personal indwelling?  Is that proof???  Can you think of any faithful man of God in the Bible ever doing such?  Wonder how many quotes from bygone preachers have been taken out of context to “prove” or support personal indwelling? 

12)  As seen above the majority is not proof yet many, even in the church, will follow the majority.  Let us have a strong love for truth and seek it whole heartily knowing that truth is of God (cp. John 14:6).  And then have the courage and love of God to stand for truth even if it means standing against brethren and our “scholars.”    

            I am totally convinced that the literal personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit is from man and not from the Bible.  Please understand that I do not claim to know everything or understand all that is reveled on this subject.  Some who hold to the personal indwelling seem to have the idea that if one does not know it all, then he has no business in challenging another’s (their) doctrine and statements.  I wonder if they think deep down they know it all?  ♥
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2010, 8 SW    Holy Spirit: Study Guidelines And Scholars    (Part 2, Holy Spirit series; will be intermittent)

2010, 12 SW    The “Gift of the Holy Spirit” in Acts 2:38?       (Part 4, Holy Spirit series; will be intermittent)