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Does The Holy Spirit Dwell In You?

by Bob Russell

Written on June 16, 2019 

From www.bobrussell.org


“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” (Romans 8:11).

     That’s a spectacular promise! But how do you know if the Holy Spirit is living in you? On the Day of Pentecost when the disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit, they heard a sound like the blowing of a violent wind, mysterious flames that resembled fire rested on each of them, and they began to speak in other languages.

Some insist if the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we will have a similar miraculous experience and speak in an unknown tongue. But it appears Pentecost was a once-in-a-lifetime event to jump-start the church. In 1 Corinthians 12:30, the Apostle Paul made it clear that even in the early church, not everyone spoke in tongues just as not everyone had the gift of prophecy.

Here are five questions that help determine if the Holy Spirit is living in you.

  1. Have you put your trust in Christ and been baptized?
    “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” (Acts 2:38).

When you gave your life to Christ and were baptized into Him, you were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. That’s a promise from our God who does not lie. Maybe you felt ecstatic; maybe you didn’t feel much of anything. Emotions vary according to your background, age, temperament, and understanding.

But just as you are married when you walked back down the aisle after a wedding ceremony, whether you felt married or not, so you are granted the Holy Spirit whether you feel euphoric or not. The Bible promises that Christ is now in you, the hope of glory.

  1. Have you prayed for the filling of the Holy Spirit?
    “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13).

Dwight Moody was once asked why he frequently prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He said, “Because I leak!” Indeed. On occasion, we all quench the Holy Spirit in our lives. Acts 2 relates Simon Peter was baptized in the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Then two chapters later, we read, “Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit…” (Acts 4:8).

     We should pray every day, “Lord fill me anew with your Spirit today. Give me the power to overcome temptation, cope with suffering, witness with boldness, understand your word, and remain calm in the midst of turbulent times.” Jesus promised, “Ask, and you shall receive.”

  1. Is the fruit of the spirit growing in your life?
    Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Holy Spirit as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”Fruit enlarges and ripens over time. If you are growing more self-centered, sinful and cantankerous as you age then perhaps the Holy Spirit isn’t living in you and you need to be born again. Older Christians should show evidence of increased compassion, joy, patience, and kindness.
  2. Are you sensitive to Spiritual stimuli? 
    “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14).

A young preacher was exuberant because his church experienced a special outpouring of God’s Spirit one Sunday morning. There were over 40 baptisms, and the atmosphere was electric as God’s Word was taught to a near-record crowd. But the next day, he received a note scribbled on a roll call card that read, “Service too long today!” If the movement of God’s Spirit in a worship service doesn’t thrill you, maybe you’re not filled with the Holy Spirit, and you need to repent.

     But if you’re hungry to worship, eager to learn Scripture, edified by a helpful sermon, tearful when your child – or anyone for that matter – is baptized and overjoyed when someone testifies about how Christ has transformed his/her life, that’s an indication that you are alive to the things of God.

  1. Does your conscience hurt you when you sin?
    John 16:8 says when the Holy Spirit comes, “He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin.”

Years ago, the IRS set up a conscience fund in which people could pay back taxes anonymously just to relieve their guilt. One guy sent in two $100 dollar bills with a note that read, “I cheated on my taxes years ago, and I can’t get it off my mind. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send in the rest later!”

     The Bible warns against quenching the Spirit or putting out the Spirit’s fire (1 Thess. 5:19). When the conscience becomes seared because of repetitive rebellion, you can sin without wincing. But if you feel guilty when you cheat on your tax return, get drunk at the office party, get caught up in a pornographic website, lose your temper and swear, lie to your boss or snap at your mate that’s evidence that the Spirit is very much alive in your life. When your conscience troubles you that does not mean God has abandoned you. Guilt is an indication the Holy Spirit is active in your life, convicting you of sin, motivating you to repent and return to God’s will.

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 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 8:16-17).


       Bob Russell is retired senior minister of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY.


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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10