“…for [the Spirit] dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I Will not leave you comfortless: I will come unto you.” (John 14:17.b, 18)
Sometimes a preacher can be under the impression that his listeners know exactly what he is talking about. I have been guilty of this. We assume that others are as familiar with the Word as we are. This is a humble but insensitive mistake to make. By this assumption we intimate to God how little we understand the greatness of the gift He has so graciously given us and the highness of the office He has called us to fill. The knowledge and understanding He has placed in the preacher is an extraordinary gifting and we should serve Him with a sense of awe and thankfulness for counting us faithful and calling us to minister to Him and His chosen.
The preacher should try to keep in mind that his listeners need to know exactly what he is teaching. A servant of God speaks so often about salvation and assumes the listeners know what he is being saved from. A preacher can speak upon the cross so often (which he should) that he forgets to speak of the resurrection. These are not sleights or charges against any preacher; these things simply happen to a servant who is spending one’s life in service to God and His Word. The more one speaks the probability of saying something incorrect increases. The principle from Scripture would be …one that lives by the (s)word will die by the (s)word.
Another doctrine that a preacher or teacher may speak on and assume the listeners understands in Christ living in the believer or “Christ living in one’s heart.” The text quoted above makes it clear that Christ “will come to [the believer].” What exactly does He mean? Christ taught His disciples that He would soon leave them and return to the Father. Of course they were confused and heart broken. He sought to encourage them with His promise that He would not leave them comfortless but He would pray the Father to send Another Comforter. This Comforter would not speak His own independent Mind or Words but would speak the Words of Christ.
Christ called this Comforter the Spirit of Truth. This Spirit of Truth would teach them, guide them, and bring all that Christ taught them to their memories. This would aid them in their ministries, help them to become more and more Christ-like, and allow them to pen the inspired Gospel records.
The question of the listeners still remains, however. Where does the Spirit actually reside or is His dwelling in the believer simply a meta-4 4 some other spiritual truth? The indwelling Holy Spirit is not a metaphor but an actuality. The Holy Spirit resides with in the believer’s mind, with in the believer’s heart or emotions, with in the believer’s conscience, and with in the believer’s instincts.
The Indwelling Spirit of Christ brings a soundness to one’s thinking and He helps to banish illogical fears. He directs one’s understanding and gives wisdom. He will train the believer in the correct use of the emotions and teach him/her to use them appropriately. The Holy Spirit will enable and teach the cooperating believer to love as Christ loved and taught others to love. The conscience will be His tool to reprove, correct, and instruct the Christ-ian that is sensitive to this reproof, correction and instruction. In the times of decision the all-knowing, all-wise Spirit will act as a compass through His use of the indwelt’s instincts. While all the above is very beneficial to the Christ-ian, the Spirit’s main purpose is to make one Holy, for God is Holy.
When the Spirit takes up His residency with in the elect servant of God He imparts the “divine nature” of Christ (2 Peter 2), He brings with Him “all spiritual blessings” (Ephesians 1), and begins to sow the seeds of His fruit (Galatians 5). He also brings with Him a gift (1 Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians 4) or several as He wills. He turns on the light so the believer can let his light so shine. By this light He will show His living temple what sin is and how to walk with out stumbling (1 John 1, 2). Yes, the Holy Spirit has made a new creature in Christ’s likeness. (1 Corinthians 5:17)
The Spirit is not a meta-4 nor is He simply a force; The Spirit of Christ a living Entity, Who will “dwelleth with you and shall be in you” forever. Now that is Awesome.