Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Romans 8:9-11 – The Heavenly Resident

The Holy Spirit is a divine Person, one of the Trinity. This obviously means that a very important Person lives in every Christian. Imagine what it would be like if the Queen or the Prime Minister was to come and live permanently within your house. It would make a difference to how you would describe yourself. In fact, your home would no longer be defined by you, but by your important resident. No longer would people say that you stayed at that address. Instead they would say that you and a VIP stayed there. In a far higher manner, every Christian should be described as someone with whom or in whom the Holy Spirit lives.
If the Queen or Prime Minister came to dwell in our home, would we remain in charge of it? After all, they have authority wherever they go. They had been in charge when they were not living in the home, and they would remain in charge when they came to live with us. In a far higher way, the Holy Spirit was in charge before he came to live within us. Indeed, before he came to live within us he convicted us of the sins we had committed against God. And when he comes to live within us, we can say that he comes not only to be resident, he also comes to be president. He expects and requires us to obey his instructions recorded in the Bible.

What is it like to have the Holy Spirit living within us? We can answer this question by looking at how he is described here – he is called ‘the Spirit of Christ’. That description tells us that the Spirit comes to believers on the authority of Jesus. And it also tells us that he comes to believers as the agent of Jesus, which means he will do within us what Jesus would do. Unlike having the Queen or Prime Minister staying with us, there is a consequence of having the Spirit of Jesus in our heart. The Queen and the Prime Minister may turn out to have no influence at all on us, but that cannot be said of the Holy Spirit. His aim is to conform us to the likeness of Jesus.

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