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Whether the Holy Spirit literally enters into the body of each Christian is of no consequence if we insist as the Bible does that we must have him working in and with and for and through us if we’re to enter and remain in union with the living Lord Jesus and further the Holy Father’s cosmic purpose.
To ask if we can live without the Holy Spirit is to ask if we can live without God who has revealed himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Dismiss for the moment all talk about “the Trinity” and how we are to explain the relationship between “the three” who “make up” the one true God. Don’t worry about that for now.
Believe this, that the Holy Spirit [God’s Spirit, the Spirit of his Son] who speaks of himself as “I” and “me” in Acts 13:2 is the one who convicts people of their sin, of God’s righteousness that’s seen in and through Jesus—his life, death, resurrection and exaltation. In all this The Spirit announces the condemnation of Satan [John 16:8-11]. He sanctifies God’s people [1Peter 1:2], he draws them to salvation and mission [2 Thessalonians 2:13]; he brings comfort to the people of God in their troubles [Acts 9:31] and saves and renews them independent of their moral excellence [Titus 3:4-5 and note John 3:5].
He doesn’t speak of himself; he takes the truths about Jesus and reveals them to the Church and glorifies Jesus, taking Jesus’ things and declaring them to the Church by the apostles and prophets. John 16:13-14 and elsewhere.
It’s the Spirit of God who acted on blessed Mary’s womb in the incarnation of God and he who raised Jesus from the dead that will raise to glory all who are embraced in God’s saving work in the Lord Jesus [Romans 8:11].
Without the “indwelling” of the Spirit [however we are to construe that “indwelling”] there is no “body of Christ” for it is the indwelling of God’s Son that constitutes the body of Christ to be indeed the body “of Christ”!
[See Galatians 4:6 and Ephesians 2:21-22.] Enough—just look at a concordance and get the message!
Paul prays for a little church in Ephesus [assuming some things from Acts 19] and asks for them the empowering of the Spirit [Ephesians 3:14-21].
Precisely how the Spirit empowers the followers of Jesus doesn’t matter for now [that debate raged between Augustine and Pelagius and will continue]—that he does empower the Church is indisputable and we can debate about all the instruments and means he uses until the cows come home. He does it!
Those who reduce the Holy Spirit to the Bible will hardly be able to know the difference between a surgeon and his scalpel. I purpose to say something about the empowering work of the Spirit in future pieces.
[To be continued, God enabling.]