So let’s keep going on this new Father-child relationship and explore a thought that takes it up to an entirely new level. The dynamic of your new connection to the Father is so much more than just a new name on your “new birth” certificate, or the joy of a father-daughter dance, or working together as father and son on your Pinewood Derby car.
No, what is incredible, unusual, and powerful about this new life is that God is not just a father standing in line next to you at an amusement park, He is literally living inside of you. As great as our best earthly father connection can be, God living inside us brings us so much more.
That the God of the universe indwells His children is a prominent theme throughout the New Testament. We generally think of God’s indwelling in terms of His Spirit living inside. And He does. But throughout the New Testament, Christ and the Holy Spirit are often used interchangeably to describe God’s presence inside you and I. Let’s start with the Spirit.
In the last supper discourse of John chapters 13-17, Jesus promised the Spirit to His disciples. “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Gr. Paracletos – one called alongside to help), that He will be with you forever;” (Jn 14:16). What does Jesus mean by a Helper, coming alongside to help? And what is “be with you forever”?
Jesus continues in the next verse, “this is the Spirit of truth (i.e. the one who we now refer to as the Holy Spirit), who the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you” (Jn 14:17). Did you catch the subtle addition to the Spirit’s “helper” duties?
The Spirit is not just coming alongside to help – though He certainly does that – but look at the end of verse 17. He is coming to be in you. What in the world does “in you” mean? Is God in the form of the Holy Spirit actually coming to live in me? Can God become that personal; to live inside each of us who are His children?
Let’s continue. “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him … But since the Spirit of Him who raised Christ Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you” (Rom 8:9,11).
The Spirit who dwells in you is not just chilling out inside you. He is active. He is working. He is “giving life to your mortal body”. He is giving you life. He is giving you spiritual life. He is giving you righteous life. He is opening the flood gates that allow the righteous life of God to literally flow into your mortal body, into your earth-suit, into your physical being.
In short, the God who moved inside isn’t silent and still. He is active – and as we will see next time – active on your behalf.