Disciple's Guide to the Holy Spirit
Beginning the Journey (for new Christians).
1, 2, and 3 John
1 & 2 Thessalonians
1 & 2 Timothy
2 Peter, Jude
7 Last Words of Christ
Christ Powered Life (Rom 5-8)
David, Life of
Glorious Kingdom, The
Jesus and the Kingdom
Lamb of God
Listening for God's Voice
Names of God
Names of Jesus
Rebuild & Renew: Post-Exilic Books
Sermon on the Mount
'Pentecost,' stained glass window, St Aloysius' Catholic Church, Somers Town, London. Photo: Fr. Francis Lew, O.P. Used by permission.
We've studied what Jesus taught about the Spirit, both in the Paraclete passages (Lesson 3) and passages which talk about spiritual birth (Lesson 4). Now we'll turn to insights of the Apostle Paul concerning this indwelling Spirit. Paul writes a great deal about the Spirit. The word "Spirit" occurs 139 times in his letters -- so many times that trying to comprehensively study them all would be overwhelming.
So what I've tried to do is to consider Paul's key insights by looking at major passages where he reveals important truths as well as useful metaphors to understand who the Holy Spirit is and how he works in us. Later, in Lesson 7, we'll learn from Paul how the Spirit helps us in our struggle with the flesh. And in Lesson 8 and Lesson 9, Paul helps us learn about some of the spiritual gifts that the Spirit bestows for ministry. But for now, let's learn from Paul about the nature of the Spirit who dwells within us. We'll consider four significant passages:
- The Temple Analogy (1 Corinthians 6:19)
- Paul's Holy Spirit chapter (Romans 8:1-15)
- The Spirit's Connection to the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:10-16)
- The Spirit as an Anointing, a Seal and a Down Payment (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
It's a lot to cover, but let's begin.
We begin with a simple insight that gives us another metaphor for the Spirit of God "dwelling within" a person. You'll remember that Jesus used this kind of terminology (John 7:37-38; 14:17). Paul makes this concept concrete in what I call the "temple analogy."
"19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
In ancient times, the deity was seen to dwell in a temple built in the deity's honor. The Jewish Tabernacle and later temple had a holy of holies that contained the ark, seen to represent the very throne of God, the dwelling place of God in the midst of his people. It is not a temple to us, but to God. Thus the temple is his, not ours. God lives within our bodies by his Spirit, in a similar way as God is understood to dwell in a temple.
One of the key passages in the Bible on the Spirit is found in Romans 8:1-17. We'll examine Paul's teaching on the battle between the Spirit and the flesh (Romans 8:1-8) in Lesson 7 on the transforming Spirit. But for now, let's skip down to verses 9-17 to see what Paul says about the Spirit within you and its implications.
Paul refers to the indwelling Spirit in verses 9-10
"9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness." (Romans 8:9-10)
The phrase "lives in you" (NIV) or "dwells in you" (NRSV, ESV, KJV) uses the preposition en plus the verb oikeō, "to reside in a place, live, dwell." The noun-form oikos means "house" or "household."
"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living (oikeō) in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in (enoikeō) you. (Romans 8:11)
The verb enoikeō with the preposition en means "live, dwell (in)." Paul uses the word again in his second letter to Timothy, when he refers to "the Holy Spirit who lives in (enoikeō) us." (2 Timothy 1:14). Jesus said something similar:
"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." (John 14:23)
What an immense blessing we have to have God's Spirit living within us! Oh, how we ignore Him! God forgive us!
Look again at verse 9b where Paul makes a strong, unqualified statement:
"And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." (Romans 8:9b)
Paul is saying that possessing the Spirit is absolutely essential to belonging to Christ. Having the Spirit in you is not an optional blessing for a believer. It is not a "Second Blessing." It is ground zero for being a Christian! Every authentic Christian has the Spirit dwelling in him or her. Sadly, many don't recognize Him, nor have they become aware of his power to both live life and change the world for the Kingdom of God.
Either you have the Spirit or you don't. It is either/or. There is no in-between ground. It is also a sad declaration. What a tragedy for a person to go through life without belonging to Christ! The Holy Spirit is Christ's quintessential gift (Acts 2:38; 10:45), called "the heavenly gift" (Hebrews 6:4). With the Spirit we can plumb the depths of God and know the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). Without the Holy Spirit we are "without hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:13).
I want us to be aware, however, that sometimes Christians might say about another believer, "Jim hasn't received the Spirit." Or "Mary isn't Spirit-filled." This is careless, sloppy, and dangerous terminology if intended to describe genuine Christians. The Scripture is very clear in our passage that all genuine Christians have received the Spirit. Rather than use the term "receive the Spirit" or "Spirit-filled" without qualification, it might be better, more accurate, and less judgmental for a person to say, "Jim hasn't yet received the gift of tongues" or "Mary hasn't had an experience of the overflowing of the Spirit."
Q1. (Romans 8:9-11; John 14:23) Do people who aren't
Christians have Christ living within them? In what Person do Christ and the
Father make their home in us? What should you do to make them feel "at home" in
you? How is the Home Analogy like the Temple Analogy. How might it differ? How
does the Spirit living within you affect your holiness of life? Your witness to
others? Your spiritual power?
Paul isn't finished with the Spirit. He has lots more to say. He continues.
"You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship." (Romans 8:15b)
This is a new analogy, that the Spirit bestows on us the gift of adoption. The word "sonship" (NIV) or "adoption" (NRSV, ESV, KJV) is huiothesia, "adoption," a legal technical term of 'adoption' of children. Paul is saying that we have been adopted as full sons and daughters of the Living God, brothers and sisters of Jesus himself, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto (Romans 8:29; Hebrews 2:11). As sons and daughters, we are heirs of God, and co-heirs with Christ of all that God has (Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:29; Ephesians 3:6). Hallelujah!
This adoption into God's family is accomplished by the Holy Spirit who indwells us and connects us directly to our Father!
Let's look at verses 15 and 16 again to see how the Spirit enables us to know God as our Father.
"15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Romans 8:15-16)
Paul says something similar in Galatians 4:6. "Abba" isn't the formal Greek word for "father," but an Aramaic word, "Abba," used in the intimate family setting to speak to one's dad. It is this love for God and trust in him that the Spirit prompts in us. The Spirit can be felt in us as we call out to God.
This verse provides the basis for the Christian Doctrine of the Witness of the Spirit or the Internal Testimony of the Spirit, that God witnesses directly to the heart of the believer by giving an assurance that the believer is, in fact, saved, regenerate, and a child of God.
Calvin sees this assurance as part of the essence of faith and one of the essentials of salvation, "a conviction which asks not for reasons ... the conviction which revelation from heaven alone can produce." John Wesley, whose "heart was strangely warmed" at his conversion, defined it this way:
"By the testimony of the Spirit, I mean, an inward impression on the soul, whereby the Spirit of God immediately and directly witnesses to my spirit, that I am a child of God; that Jesus Christ hath loved me, and given himself for me; that all my sins are blotted out, and I, even I, am reconciled to God."
Fanny Crosby's hymn "Blessed Assurance" is based on Romans 8:15-16:
"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood."
The Apostle John assumes that the presence of the Spirit is obvious to a believer when he says:
"This is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." (1 John 3:24)
Paul also teaches in this passage about the relation of the Holy Spirit to the human spirit.
"But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness." (Romans 8:10)
KJV, NRSV, and ESV capitalize "Spirit," in Romans 8:10, but this is an arbitrary decision of the translators. There is no capitalization in the original language to guide us. I follow the NIV in showing "spirit" in lower case to refer to the human spirit. No matter how you take verse 10, verse 16 clearly contrasts God's Spirit with the human spirit (as does 1 Corinthians 2:10-11).
"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Romans 8:16)
Every human being has a human spirit, that which is the essence of that person's physical life (James 2:26) and the root of their personhood. Thus, when Jesus died, he said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (pneuma)," and breathed his last (ekpneō), literally "ex-pired."
But in many humans, this human spirit isn't connected to its Creator. It sustains physical life, but is essentially dead to God and spiritual things. But when the Holy Spirit comes, the spirit becomes alive to God. Our bodies are mortal, though they will be raised on the Last Day. But our human spirits become alive to God the moment they are touched by God's Spirit (Romans 8:10).
The KJV uses the word "quicken" where newer translations are "make alive." I believe our spirits are "quickened" or made alive when touched by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13; John 5:21; 6:63).
We'll leave Paul's Holy Spirit Chapter now, but we'll return to Romans 8:1-8 in Lesson 7 when we examine how the Holy Spirit actually transforms us.
In Romans 8:10, 16 Paul notes the connection between the human spirit and the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 he develops this idea further. Paul begins this passage by talking about how God's long-hidden wisdom is being revealed in this new era of the Spirit. Now he continues....
"10 God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.... 16 'For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?' [quoting Isaiah 40:3] But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:10-12, 16)
Paul offers an image of the Holy Spirit going where no physical being could go -- probing, searching out, and knowing both God's mind and man's spirit. Nothing is hidden from the Holy Spirit. He knows God thoughts and yours too. But this isn't just about knowledge, it is about relationship. The Holy Spirit connects the human spirit to God to enable a mere human to have a deep relationship with God himself!
The Spirit deeply searches us and God, "even the deep things of God," and allows us to connect. Like Jesus said,
"13b He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears.... All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you." (John 16:13b, 15)
God knows my thoughts and I can know his thoughts -- by means of the Spirit.
It's difficult to visualize what Paul is saying. I'm kind of a computer techie, so the following example helps me understand what Paul is saying. With my own personal computer I can search what's in my own computer's files -- and that's it. But when I connect to the Internet, suddenly I can search billions of files anywhere in the world. In the same way the Spirit connects my puny, limited mind, with the unlimited, all surpassing, mind and thoughts of God. Paul tells the Ephesian church:
"Through [Christ] we have access in one Spirit to the Father." (Ephesians 2:18)
The Spirit thus enables a real-time relationship between a mere human with the God of the universe. Amazing, when you think about it!
Q2. (1 Corinthians 2:10-16) What are the implications of
having access through the Spirit to the "mind of Christ"? How does this Holy
Spirit connection explain spiritual gifts such as prophecy, teaching, healing,
We've been studying passages describing the Holy Spirit within us. Now let's explore the Holy Spirit in our hearts with three further metaphors -- (1) an anointing, (2) a seal of ownership, and (3) a deposit guaranteeing later full payment. (Paul uses similar imagery three times in his letters -- here, as well as 2 Corinthians 5:5 and Ephesians 1:13-14.)
"21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
First, Paul sees the Spirit as a seal upon us. In ancient times a seal marked a document, or item, or shipment as authentic and the property of the owner of the seal. The Holy Spirit is the identifier -- the essential identifier -- that we belong to God. As we observed earlier in this lesson: "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ" (Romans 8:9). We something similar in Revelation:
"3 'Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.' 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel." (Revelation 7:3-4)
Let's not try to figure out the 144,000 just now, only realize that the seal you and I bear in the spiritual world in which Satan is our enemy is the Holy Spirit of God, who identifies us as God's and protects us from evil. We are marked with God's mark, the Spirit, not the enemy's mark, "666" (Revelation 13:16-18). Is this figurative language? Of course!
Second, Paul sees the Spirit as a down payment. The phrase, "a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" (NIV), "a first installment" (NRSV), "as a guarantee" (ESV), "earnest" (KJV) are all attempts to get at the meaning of a single Greek word: arrabōn, "payment of part of a purchase price in advance, first installment, deposit, down payment, pledge." This either secures a legal claim to the article in question, or makes a contract valid; in any case, arrabōn is a payment that obligates the contracting party to make further payments.
Thus, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we slog through this world is not as good as it gets. Yes, the presence of the Spirit is wonderful and indispensable and allows us to get acquainted with God personally, but his presence points to a future time when Christ will come and we will encounter God face-to-face (Revelation 22:4), where sin and death and temptation no longer struggle for our attention. Thank you for your Spirit, Lord. Come soon, Lord Jesus!
Paul also introduces the analogy of the Spirit's presence as an anointing. As you recall from Lesson 1, Samuel anointed both Saul and David as king, and subsequently the Holy Spirit came upon them (1 Samuel 10:1, 6; 16:12-13). From then on we see an association between the Holy Spirit and anointing. We saw this in relation to the Spirit on Jesus:
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me to...."
(Isaiah 61:1a, quoted by Jesus in Luke 4:18).
"... How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power...." (Acts 10:38a)
In the New Testament, the term "anointing," that is, putting oil on a person, is sometimes nearly synonymous with the Holy Spirit's presence in a Christian's life.
"You have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth." (1 John 2:20)
"As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit -- just as it has taught you, remain in him." (1 John 2:27)
Here, the anointing of the Holy Spirit sets us apart for his service. (The idea of the "pouring out" of the Spirit is a different metaphor that involves pouring out of a liquid like water or wine. We'll discuss that further in Lesson 6.)
Q3. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) What does the Holy Spirit as
a "seal of ownership" teach us? What does the Spirit as a "down payment" teach
us? When is the full payment made in this analogy? What does the Spirit as an "anointing" teach us?
When we began this study, I mentioned that the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of Christ" and "the Spirit of God." But it's important to state this truth again. I once heard a very confused but earnest brother try to explain all these as different from each other. You can't dissect them. The "Spirit of Christ," "the Spirit of the Father," and the "Holy Spirit" are one and the same Spirit.
It is also obvious that the means by which Christ dwells within us is by the Holy Spirit. After all, the Holy Spirit is divine, God, the Third Person of the Trinity. For example, we read:
"9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you...." (Romans 8:9-10)
"16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith...." (Ephesians 3:16-17)
"To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27)
"If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." (John 14:23)
One implication of this, of course, is that people in whom the Holy Spirit dwells possess potentially tremendous power in the spiritual realm. We may not know how to exercise that power, and thus feel weak. But our lack of knowledge doesn't diminish the actual unleashed power available in us. Paul talks about "his incomparably great power for us who believe..." (Ephesians 1:19a).
Hear the words of John the Apostle:
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
As you meditate on this passage you realize that the full power of God dwells in you because the Holy Spirit lives within you. Thus you have power over Satan, demons, principalities, and powers in the spiritual realms (Ephesians 6:10-18). Exercising the power of the Spirit against the powers of the enemy is called "spiritual warfare." As you grow in Christ you'll need to study this and learn how to exercise the spiritual power that Christ has bestowed on you by his Spirit.
Q4. (1 John 4:4) Why does John need to remind us that we
have "overcome" the world? Is the potential power of the Holy Spirit within you
less than the power in the Apostle Paul. What might be the factors that seem to
limit our sense of power?
We've covered a lot of ground in this lesson, so let's pause now and review. Here are the main lessons we've learned about the indwelling Spirit:
- Temple Analogy. The Spirit lives within our bodies as God does within his temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
- House Analogy. The Spirit lives in us as a person dwells or resides in a house (Romans 8:9-11; John 14:23)
- The Holy Spirit is the key identifier, the essential possession of a true Christian (Romans 8:9b).
- Thus, to be used correctly, the phrase "Spirit-filled" refers to each and every true Christian, not just those who have had a particular experience like speaking in tongues.
- Adoption Metaphor. The Holy Spirit has made the connection between us and God so that we are truly his adopted children, and thus heirs of all that is his (Romans 8:15, 17; Galatians 3:29; Ephesians 3:6).
- The Holy Spirit provides the inner testimony or prompting that calls out to God in an intimate way, "Abba, Father," and provides blessed assurance that we are his children (Romans 8:15-16; Galatians 4:6).
- The Holy Spirit makes alive our spiritually-dead human spirits and connects us to God (Romans 8:10, 16), he "quickens" our spirit, in the words of the KJV.
- The Spirit connects our human spirits to God himself, enabling us to know and experience "the mind of Christ," and thus know God (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).
- The Spirit is upon us is like a seal of ownership (2 Corinthians 1:22a).
- The Spirit is given to us is like a down payment, which guarantees full payment in the future (2 Corinthians 1:22b).
- The Spirit upon us is an anointing, appointing and empowering us for service (2 Corinthians 1:21b; Isaiah 61:1a; Acts 10:38a; 1 John 20, 27).
- The Holy Spirit is the same as Christ's Spirit and God's Spirit. They are one and the same (Romans 8:9-10; Ephesians 3:16-17; Colossians 1:27).
- The Holy Spirit in us is immensely powerful, greater than the devil's spirits with which we contend (1 John 4:4).
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Probably the most difficult hurdle for us to overcome is actually believing that the Spirit and all his power live within us, ready to move forward the Kingdom of God -- any place, any way, any time.
Your assignment this week is to memorize one of the following verses from whatever translation you select: 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 or 1 John 4:4. If you already know one of the verses, pick one you don't already know. As you memorize, meditate on the rich meaning of the verse. Write down in your journal any insights that come to you while you're memorizing the verse.
Father, we are so richly endowed with your gift of the Spirit. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, but you saved us by the blood of Christ, and placed your Spirit in contact with our human spirit so we are now spiritually alive to you. Thank you! Thank you for living in us, for making us sons and daughters, for enabling us to have a personal relationship with You, for sealing us, guaranteeing our salvation, anointing us, and giving us power in the spirit-world. Help us never to take you for granted. Thank you for your Holy Spirit! In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
"19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV)
9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.... 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17 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 8:9-11, 15-17, NIV)
"10 God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.... 16 'For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?' [quoting Isaiah 40:3] But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:10-12, 16, NIV)
"21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Corinthians 1:21-22, NIV)
"You have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth." (1 John 2:20, NIV)
"As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit -- just as it has taught you, remain in him." (1 John 2:27, NIV)
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
 New Testament scholar Gordon D. Fee has studied the Pauline passages on the Holy Spirit extensively in his 967-page book, God's Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul (Baker Academic, 1994).
 The Pauline phrase, "in Christ" uses a different metaphor than being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This metaphor involves being part of a body, being in union with Christ. This concept is difficult for Americans to understand, since we tend to be very individualistic in our thinking. In this worldview, one person acts for the entire group, and the entire group shares in the blessings upon the "Head" who represents the "body." This concept uses terminology such as "representative," "solidarity," "head," "federal headship," and "corporate personality," and is well beyond the scope of our study. Is this the same as the Holy Spirit indwelling us? I'm sure they're related, though it's a different metaphor. But certainly the Holy Spirit is involved: "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free -- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink" (1 Corinthians 12:13).
 Upon the dedication of the temple, Solomon realized that the idea of God living within the temple was only figurative: "The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!" (1 Kings 8:27).
 Paul uses this concept of the Spirit living within the church as a temple (1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21-22) to illustrate the Spirit living within the church, as does Peter (1 Peter 2:5).
 En, "in," marker of a position defined as being in a location, in, among" (BDAG 326, 1).
 Oikeō, BDAG 694, 1.
 Enoikeō, BDAG 338.
 "Make our home" (NIV, NRSV, ESV), "make our abode" (KJV) is two words in Greek, the verb poieō, "do make," and the noun monē, "a place in which one stays, dwelling(-place), room, abode" (BDAG, 568, 2). The phrase "make our home" uses the same root words as Jesus' statement, "Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, ESV). "Abide" (ESV, RSV, KJV), "remain" (NIV) is the verb-form menō, from which derives the noun-form monē in John 14:23, "dwelling place, abode."
 "Have" is the extremely common verb echo, that has the main idea "to possess or contain, have, own." By extension, it can also denote, "to stand in a close relationship to someone, have, have as," and "to experience something, have" (BDAG 420-422, 1, 2, 7).
 I am quite aware of Paul's question at Ephesus, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed" (Acts 19:2). But here Paul was dealing not with baptized Christians, but rather with followers of John the Baptist.
 Huiothesia, BDAG 1024. Paul uses the word here "in a transferred sense of a transcendent filial relationship between God and humans (with the legal aspect, not gender specificity, as major semantic component)." Paul also uses the word in Galatians 4:5 and Ephesians 1:5 with the same idea. According to Romans 8:23, however, this adoption becomes complete only at the resurrection at Christ's return, "the redemption of our bodies." Adoption in the Roman and Greek world bestowed full status of son on a person. Sometimes a slave would be manumitted (that is, released from slavery) and adopted at the same time, conferring instant and simultaneous freedom and status as son. Adoption was primarily employed when a person had no children to be his heirs. The adopted son would become a full heir to all that his adoptive parents possessed. At the death of the parents their estate would pass to him, to his children, and to his children's children. Though the word is formed from huios, "son" (found in Romans 8:14), Paul isn't pushing the idea of gender here.
 Gerhard Kittel, abba, TDNT 1:5-6.
 1 Corinthians 2:1-6; John 16:13-15; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 John 2:20, 27; 4:13.
 John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1.7.5.
 John Wesley, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, quoted by M. James Sawyer, "The Witness of the Spirit in the Protestant Tradition," Bible.org.
 "Blessed Assurance," words: Fanny Crosby (1873), music: "Assurance" by Phoebe P. Knapp.
 The verb is symmartureō, "to bear witness with," then "to provide supporting evidence by testifying, confirm, support by testimony" (BDAG 95), as a legal witness to the facts. Paul uses the word twice elsewhere in Romans with regard to the confirmatory witness of the conscience (Romans 2:15; 9:1).
 Here and there, the New Testament differentiates between soul and spirit, such as in Hebrews 4:12 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23, but not consistently. Sometimes I have heard Christians get hung up on Paul's tripartite description of the totality of the person as "spirit, soul, and body" (1 Thessalonians 5:23), as if that were all there is. That the only proper Biblical way to describe the human being as spiritual, mental, and physical. People build whole doctrines around this phrase! The problem is that people are described in different ways in other passages of Scripture. Psalm 16:19 -- heart, soul, body. Psalm 31:9 -- soul and body. Proverbs 16:24 -- soul and body. Isaiah 10:18 -- soul and body. Matthew 10:28 -- soul and body. Hebrews 4:12 -- soul and spirit, heart. Revelation 18:13 -- bodies and souls. Other times we see body (sōma) and spirit: Romans 8:10; 1 Corinthians 7:34; 2 Corinthians 7:1; James 2:26; 1 Peter 4:6. While the phrase, "spirit, soul, and body," gives us insights, let's not get too dogmatic about it.
 Ekpneō, "breathe out one's life/soul, expire, a euphemism for "to die" (BDAG 308).
 Pentecostals use the word "quickening," as it is used to describe a baby moving in the womb (once thought as the initial sign that the baby was alive). This describes how the Holy Spirit sometimes alerts us suddenly and gets our attention (like a baby moving in the womb). Quickening describes the experience of many as we begin to hear God's voice and nudges, as we discuss in Lesson 10. Quickening is a fine descriptive word of a real spiritual experience. Just don't confuse it with conversion, which is the way the Scripture usually uses the term in the KJV
 The word "mind" is nous. It doesn't mean "brain," since the ancients didn't understand what that organ does in the way we do. Rather it refers to "the faculty of intellectual perception, mind, understanding." Here, our verse may have the nuance, "result of thinking, mind, thought, opinion" (BDAG 680, 3).
 "Searches" is the verb eraunaō, "to make a careful or thorough effort to learn something, search, examine, investigate" (BDAG 389).
 "Set his seal of ownership" (NIV), "put his seal" (NRSV), "sealed" (KJV) is sphragizō, "to mark with a seal as a means of identification, mark, seal," so that the mark denoting ownership also carries with it the protection of the owner (BDAG 980, 3). Also in Revelation 7:3; Ezekiel 9:4; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; John 6:27.
 For a greater explanation, see my book, The Book of Revelation: Discipleship Lessons (JesusWalk Publications, 2004-2011).
 Arrabōn, BDAG 134.
 "Anointed" is chriō, "anoint," in our literature only in a figurative sense of an anointing by God setting a person apart for special service under divine direction (BDAG 1091, d).
 Katoikeō, "to live in a locality for any length of time, live, dwell, reside, settle (down)" (BDAG 534, 1a).
 The phrase "make our home/abode" consists of the verb poieō, "make" and the noun monē, "state of remaining in an area, staying, tarrying," then, "dwelling(-place), room, abode," from the verb menō, "remain, stay, abide." Jesus' teaching on the vine and the branches uses this verb menō, where it usually translated, "abide."
 "Overcome" (NIV, ESV, KJV), "conquered" (NRSV) is nikaō. As an intransitive verb it means, "to win in the face of obstacles, be victor, conquer, overcome, prevail." As a transitive verb, as here, it means, "to overcome someone, vanquish, overcome" (BDAG 673, 2a). We get the brand name Nike® from the related Greek verb nikē, "victory."
In-depth Bible study books
You can purchase one of Dr. Wilson's complete Bible studies in PDF, Kindle, or paperback format.
- Disciple's Guide to the Holy Spirit
- 1, 2, and 3 John
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter & Jude
- 1 & 2 Thessalonians
- 1 & 2 Timothy
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- Abraham, Faith of
- Christ Powered Life (Romans 5-8)
- Christmas Incarnation
- Colossians and Philemon
- David, Life of
- Glorious Kingdom, The
- Great Prayers of the Bible
- Jacob, Life of
- Jesus and the Kingdom of God
- JesusWalk: Beginning the Journey
- John's Gospel
- Lamb of God
- Listening for God's Voice
- Lord's Supper
- Luke's Gospel
- Moses the Reluctant Leader
- Names and Titles of God
- Names and Titles of Jesus
- Rebuild & Renew: Post-Exilic Books
- Resurrection and Easter Faith
- Sermon on the Mount
- Seven Last Words of Christ