Ministry of the Holy Spirit: Indwelling (part 1)

Still Pondering at the Ponderosa. Hope your family is hanging tough. Seven ministries of the Holy Spirit should be known by every believer. We have covered regeneration and Spirit baptism. Our next ministry is indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This subject will take a few days to explain. It all begins with these remarkable prophetic words of Christ found in John 14:20. “At that day you will know that I am in my father and you in Me and I in you.” Three spiritual transactions are covered. Let’s focus on the last part of the prophecy: “I in you.” Jesus meant that there would come a time when He would personally dwell in His disciples. This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. On that day, the church of Jesus Christ was born.

There are great family traditions in the South, and church is one of the greatest of all. Heard in thousands of homes every Sunday morning is the question “Hey, you goin’ to church today?” Church may be a huge brick or concrete structure in a large city or a simple wood-frame building in the country. It may be identified as Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or Pentecostal, to name a few that we are familiar with.

Church is where preaching and singing are heard and, at times, where one is inspired, convicted, and even converted. Church is where families watch children grow up, get baptized, and marry. It is where friends and family meet and eat and talk about life. It is a momentary reprieve from the stresses of the world.

The kind of church one attends or what religious denomination one is part of likely depends on one’s upbringing. Most seem to prefer a church with an air-conditioned and heated building, a steeple of course, organized meetings, Sunday school classes, great music, and dynamic age-appropriate programs.

This brings up an interesting question: is the true church of Jesus Christ a building? The fact according to the Bible, it is a building. However, it is not a building made of brick, wood, or steel. Nothing could be further from the truth. Catch this glimpse! The church is a building made of people.

The word church in the original language is formed from two Greek words. The little preposition ekmeans “from” or “out from.” The word kaleo means “to call.” When put together, the word ekklesia means “to call out from.” The church is made up of people whom God has called out from the world to be His very own possession. The church is God’s people who have received the ministry of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The God revealed in the Bible is infinite. This means that He goes far beyond our human ability to understand. We cannot begin to wrap our thoughts around Him. This entire universe with its countless billions of galaxies cannot contain Him. He exists outside of that which He created. That is an incredible thought!

Stephen made this point clear in his testimony before the Jews. He recalled the fact that Solomon built God a temple. But God does not dwell in temples made with human hands. Since heaven is God’s throne and earth is His footstool, what house could a human being build that could contain Him? He made everything that is made (Acts 7:48–50). Stay safe and stay tuned!