Vol.XIII No.XI Pg.4
January 1977

The Indwelling Spirit - - -

Robert F. Turner

The personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit has long been a neglected study among brethren; treated lightly if at all, with the observation that good men differ on this matter. The personal indwelling school seems to be the more emotional and subjective group; while the through the word school tends to be so objective they may be on the cool side. I am little concerned with personality leanings, but the revival of Calvinistic doctrine among brethren gives reason to examine the relation between Calvinism and personal indwelling.

Classic TULIP Calvinism begins with Total Depravity. It denies the freewill of man and free agency or human implementation in redemption. The elect ones are taught inwardly by the Spirit, and the inspired word, apart from direct or immediate Spirit operation, is considered inadequate. Even faith becomes an experience of grace, revealed to our minds and sealed on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Orthodox Church-of-Christers have long denied such an operation of the Spirit in conversion of an alien. Paul said, Faith cometh by hearing—and that involves an objective approach to the word — to something outside of man. We are free to exercise choice — to accept or reject. Faith, and the obedience of faith, is a human response to a divine invitation. The atonement and its message are extended to all, and all who will accept can be saved. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35).

But some who believe in the personal indwelling of the Spirit in saints seem ready to say they are taught inwardly by the Spirit, to remain faithful to God. K. C. Moser, in Way of Salvation wrote, It then becomes the work of the indwelling Spirit to keep this old man under subjection so that the child of God can successfully serve Him (p.134). He specifically denies that this is done via the word of God (p.131). In fact, in his Gist of Romans (on Rom. 8:l4) he says, The Spirit of God may lead in two ways. He may lead us through the word of God, or he may lead us in the sense of inciting us to a holy life. The context argues for the latter leading. I cite Moser because his works have been revived and are having an influence on young preacher-students and others.

When we cold ones point out that the Father and the Son are said to dwell in saints, the usual reply is that this is done through the Spirit (Eph. 2:22). God (deity) is ONE; but Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct personalities, treated as plural. It is easy to see that wherever the Spirit dwells, deity is present; but this does not satisfy the scriptures. Jesus says He and the Father (two personalities) will dwell in the faithful (Jn. 14:23, Eph. 3:17). Further, through the Spirit (Eph. 2:22), is en heni pneumati, translated in the Spirit by the American Standard. Exactly the same expression is found in 1 Cor. 12:l3 by one Spirit are we all baptized... and in Phil. 1:27 stand fast in one spirit, with one mind

May I suggest you put a lower case s on all those passages, and then restudy them carefully. We may assume (Holy) Spirit when the scriptures refer to something very different. (continued next page)