Dr. Jack L. Arnold                                                                        Equipping Pastors International                                                                               Lesson 7


The Doctrine of the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit



I.           Indwelling of the Holy Spirit


A.       Introduction

1.         The New Testament teaches that every Christian is permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  At the moment of conversion the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the believer (John 14:16-17; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 12:13).

2.         Since the Holy Spirit indwells the Christian, He can never be taken away under any circumstances.

3.         The act of the indwelling Spirit is not experienced, but the effects or results of the indwelling are experiential. POINT:  The Holy Spirit, while in the Christian, is not laying dormant.

4.         The fact of the indwelling Spirit is important, for it is the foundation of the many ministries of the Spirit to the saved in this age.

B.        Indwelling in the Old Testament (cf. Section on Holy Spirit in the Old Testament)

C.        Indwelling in the New Testament

1.         Jesus Christ promised to His disciples that the Holy Spirit would come and would abide with them forever (John 14:16-17).  This was unique to this new age for the Lord made it clear that the Holy Spirit “lives (dwells) with you” (in the Old Testament sense) “but shall be in you” (permanent indwelling in the New Testament).

2.         This unconditional, permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit apparently began on the Day of Pentecost when God first began to form the Body of Christ, the Church.  NOTE:  Some think that the permanent indwelling began in John 20:22.

3.         The indwelling of the Spirit is a gift and received at the moment of salvation (1 Cor. 2:12; 2 Cor. 5:5).

4.         Sinning and immature Christians still retain the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit as seen in the Corinthian local church (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  NOTE:  While yieldedness remains a condition for the filling of the Spirit, the indwelling of the Spirit is unconditional for genuine Christians.

5.         The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a definite proof of salvation.  Without evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in a person there is reason to believe the “new birth” has not taken place (Rom. 8:9).

D.       The Purpose of the Permanent Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

1.         Introduction:  The primary purpose for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is that the Christian might glorify God (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  God’s glory cannot be continued and must be manifested.  All of God’s original creation was designed to reveal, manifest and return glory to God.  Thus all of God’s program in creation and new creation was originally planned as a self-revelation and self-manifestation of God.

2.         The Original Creation:  God made the world (Psa. 19:1; Col. 1:16; Rom. 1:19-23; Gen. 1:1) and man (Gen. 1:26-27) to glorify Himself.  They were to be recipients and channels of God’s glory.  When man fell in Eden, he was plunged into sin and not a capable vessel to manifest the glory of God.  Also the creation was cursed because of the Fall.

3.         The Tabernacle and Temple:  The Tabernacle was a place where God revealed Himself to men.  The whole Jewish ritual system was designed to reveal God to Israel.  When the Tabernacle was completed the glory of God filled the temple (Ex. 40:34-35).  God dwelt in the Tabernacle in the cloud.  The Tabernacle was a tent and was designed for the needs of a Nomadic people on their way to the Promised Land, but the people apostasied.  Once there, the Lord instructed them to build a temple of “great magnificence” (1 Chron. 22:5) and the glory of the Lord was in this temple (1 Kings 8:10-11).  POINT:  God gave the Tabernacle and Temple as revelation to Israel of His glory and Israel was to reflect this glory.  But Israel apostatized and failed to respond to God’s revelation by reflecting His glory.  Israel is no longer a fit channel to glorify God, so God removed the glory from them.

4.         Jesus Christ:  With Israel in apostasy, there was a period of about 600 years where God’s glory was dimly manifested to the world through a small remnant.  But then Jesus Christ, the son of God, appeared on the scene of history.  Thus the next vehicle for God’s glorification is the person of Christ in His incarnation (John 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:17; Heb. 1:3).  Jesus Christ was resurrected and then ascended to the Father; thus God’s dwelling in Christ, which reflected His glory, was removed from the earth.

5.         Christians:  With the ascension of Christ, God planned that Christians should be those who reflect His glory to the world.  Christians have become the spiritual temple of God (Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:5) and God dwells in this temple (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  POINT:  Believers are brought together into a temple to fulfill the same purposes as the temple and tabernacle in the Old Testament and Christ in the New Testament:  to manifest God’s glory.  NOTE:  God indwells every believer and every Christian is the receiver of God’s glory in Christ, and a reflector of God’s glory to the world.

E.        Theological Problems

1.         Acts 5:32:  Some have taken this to mean that the Holy Spirit comes to a person after they are saved and when they obey Him.  Answer:  The context makes it clear that Peter is speaking to unsaved and the word “obey” refers to initial salvation when a person obeys the command to believe in Christ (cf. Acts 6:7; 1 Pet. 4:17; 2 Thess. 1:8).

2.         Acts 8:14-17:  Some say that because there was a delay in the giving of the Spirit to the Samaritans that this proves that the receiving of the Spirit comes after salvation.  Answer:  There are a number of explanations for this situation.  First, some say that this was a filling of the Spirit but context does not allow for this.  Second, some say that this was different because the Samaritans were the first non-Jewish group to be taken into the church.  This is a half-truth but the Samaritans were also partly Jewish.  However, when the Spirit was given to Gentiles, it happened at the moment of believing (Acts 10:44), making that, if anything, the norm for non-Jewish believers.  Third, some take this to refer to the schismatic nature of the Samaritan religion.  This is probably the best explanation.  Ryrie says,


                                                                                      “Because the Samaritans had their own worship, which was a rival to the Jewish worship in Jerusalem, it was necessary to prove to them that their new faith was not to be set up as a rival to the new faith that had taken root in Jerusalem.  And the best way for God to show the Samaritan believers that they belonged to the same faith and group as Jerusalem believers (and contrariwise, the best way to show the Jersualem leaders that the Samaritans were genuinely saved) was to delay the giving of the Spirit until Peter and John came from Jerusalem to Samaria.  There could be no doubt then that this was one and the same faith and that they all belonged together in the body of Christ.  This delay in the giving of the Spirit saved the early church from having two mother churches—one in Jerusalem and one in Samaria—early in her history.  It preserved the unity of the church in this early state.” (Ryrie, The Holy Spirit, p. 71)


3.         Acts 19:1-6:  Some hold that these disciples received the Holy Spirit after salvation.  Answer:  A proper translation of Acts 19:2 is, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  These disciples were followers of John the Baptist and apparently knew nothing about the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  These disciples apparently did not become believers in Christ until Paul preached to them and then they received the Spirit.

4.         What is the Relation of the Anointing of the Spirit to Indwelling?  This indwelling brings the presence of God into the life of the believer.  The anointing, as far as the believer is concerned, is that he might be taught (1 John 2:20, 27).  Anointing is one phase of the indwelling (2 Cor. 1:21).



II.       The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit


A.       Definition:  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is that act of God whereby the sinner who trusts in Christ is put into eternal union with Jesus Christ.

B.        Confusion Over The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit 

1.         Some fail to see that the baptism of the Spirit is distinctive for this age.  Thus many do not see the Church, the body of Christ, as distinct from Israel in the Old Testament.

2.         Some place such emphasis upon water baptism that Spirit baptism is either denied or pushed into the background.

3.         Some are dogmatic on the association of the baptism of the Spirit with the gift of tongues.

4.         Some relate the baptism of the Spirit with a second work of grace or the filling of the Spirit.

C.        Meaning Of Baptism In The New Testament

1.         All scholars agree that the meaning of “baptize” is to dip.  This is the primary meaning but there are also secondary meanings to the word.  The secondary meaning of “baptize” is to identify and by New Testament times the secondary meaning of this word was in the ascendancy.

2.         There are many places in the New Testament where baptize cannot mean to dip (cf. Mark. 10:37,38; Matt. 3:11; Luke. 11:50; Eph. 4:5; 1 Cor. 15:29; 10:2; Rom. 6:2).  NOTE:  Even in Romans 6:2 the reference is to Spirit baptism, not water baptism, where the Christian is identified with or put into union with Christ.

D.       General Facts About Spirit Baptism

1.         It is Universal Among All Christians:  (1) 1 Cor. 12:13 says that all in the local church at Corinth were baptized into the body of Christ; the all included the spiritual and non-spiritual (1 Cor. 3:1-3);  (2) Eph. 4:5 says there is one baptism that unites all true believers; this could not be water baptism but Spirit baptism;  (3) No commands or exhortations are given to Christians to be baptized by the Spirit; thus it must be universal.

2.         It is Repeated Each Time A Person Is Converted But Is Experienced Only Once By Each Believer:  From the aorist tense in 1 Cor. 12:13, it may be shown that Spirit baptism occurs only once for every Christian and that at the time of initial salvation, but Acts 10:46 would indicate that the baptizing work of the Spirit is repeated every time a sinner repents and trusts in Christ.

3.         It is a Non-Experiential Work Of The Spirit:  This act happens to every person at the moment of conversion because it is an act of God, and it is not based on or derived from experience.

4.         Conclusion:  Spirit baptism happened to all Christians the moment they believed; at that time they were put into spiritual union with Christ.  Spirit baptism is a fact, actual and positional for all Christians but results in experience through union with Christ.  Union with Christ is mystical in that it results in experience for every true child of God.

E.        When Did Spirit Baptism Begin?

1.         Our Lord told His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they were baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5).  NOTE:  They had not been baptized by or in the Spirit as yet and the baptism would come to them at a definite time “in a few days.”

2.         The waiting disciples knew of Christ’s words to be witnesses to all the world in the power of the Spirit (Acts 1:8) and in Acts 2:4 we read that the disciples were filled with the Spirit and preached boldly on the Day of Pentecost.  It would seem logical the Spirit baptism, unique to this age, began on the Day of Pentecost.

3.         Acts 11:15-17 confirms the testimony of Acts 1:5.  In reciting the incident of the conversion of Cornelius, Peter said, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as He had come on us at the beginning.  Then I remembered what the Lord had said:  ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  So if God gave them the same gift as He gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?”  In making this statement, Peter is clearly stating that Acts 1:5 had already been fulfilled “at the beginning,” no doubt a reference to Pentecost.

4.         Conclusion:  The baptism of the Spirit began on the Day of Pentecost.  This ministry is unique to this age.

F.         The Results Of The Baptism Of The Spirit

1.         The Christian is placed into union with Christ (Gal. 3:27).  Thus he becomes one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17) and a joint-heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17), and he shares Christ’s death to sin and resurrected life (Rom. 6:1-10).

2.         The Christian is placed into the Body of Christ, the Church (1 Cor. 12:13):  Every person in union with Christ becomes a member of Christ’s body.  NOTE:  The Body of Christ, the Church, is unique to this age because the baptism of the Spirit is unique to this age.

G.       Theological Problems

1.         The Baptism of the Spirit and Tongues:  The Pentecostals want to translate Acts 1:5 “baptized with (in) the Spirit” so as to speak of receiving special power in baptism to speak in tongues, and 1 Cor. 12:12 “by one Spirit,” indicating baptism into the Body of Christ.  Answer:  This is the problem of having only the King James, for both Acts 1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13 say “in the Spirit” (literal) and this may be locative “in” or instrumental “by” and it is probably the later because the Christian is not baptized into the sphere of Christ (Gal. 3:27).  Also the Pentecostals actually have two baptisms of the Spirit which doesn’t match up with Scriptural teaching.


“On the Day of Pentecost a number of ministries of the Holy Spirit began simultaneously.  No doubt the new converts in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10), like the converts on the Day of Pentecost, including the apostles, were regenerated, indwelt, sealed, and filled with the Spirit at the same moment they were baptized with the Spirit.  The evidence that any part of the work of salvation had been accomplished in an individual can be taken as evidence that the other universal ministries of the Spirit are also present.”  (Walvoord, The Holy Spirit, p. 144)

2.         The Baptism of the Spirit and Special Power:  There are those who say one must be baptized with the Spirit after salvation if one is to have power in Christian living.  ANSWER:  The Corinthians were all baptized by the Spirit but fell short in their Christian lives (1 Cor. 12:13 cf. 1 Cor. 3:1-3).  The Galatians had been baptized and put into Christ (Gal. 3:27) but they were actually turning away from the true gospel (1:6) and returning to weak and beggarly elements (4:9).  As far as the occurrences of the baptism with the Spirit in Acts are concerned, the power connected with them is that of bringing men to Christ (Acts. 2:41; 10:47; 19:5).  But even this could not be absolutely guaranteed, for baptism alone apparently is not an assured demonstration of power.  To experience what the baptism does accomplish requires the filling of the Spirit.



III.              The Sealing Of The Spirit


A.       Definition:  That act of God whereby the Christian is sealed in or by the Spirit until the day of his final redemption of the body in eternity.

B.        The Spirit Is The Seal:  According to Eph. 4:30 the Christian is sealed in the Spirit.  This is also supported by the locative of sphere in Eph. 1:13, “ye were sealed in (with) the holy Spirit of promise.”  NOTE:  God is the sealer who seals the Christian with the Holy Spirit Himself.  It would take God Himself to break the seal of salvation on the Christian and God will not break the seal.

C.        Sealing Is Universal Among Christians:  (1) The Corinthians were sealed but many were in a carnal state (2 Cor. 1:22);  (2) Nowhere in Scripture is a Christian exhorted to be sealed, so it is non-experiential and universal and (3) In Eph. 4:30 the fact that these believers were sealed is made the basis for the exhortation not to grieve the Spirit.  Therefore, it is natural to assume that the sealing is universal, otherwise the exhortation not to grieve would lose much of its force.

D.       Sealing Occurs At The Moment Of Salvation (Eph. 1:13)

E.        Meaning Of Sealing:  The three thoughts in “sealing” are ownership, authority and security.  The primary thought in sealing is security and therefore the purpose of sealing the Christian is to guarantee to him the security of his salvation.


“As St. Paul wrote these words about being “sealed,” it is more than possible that he had in mind as his simile the four different kinds of seals which were at that time in use in the Roman Empire, of which we was a free-born citizen (Acts 22:28).  There was:  (1) the seal of purchase - a seal placed on all purchased articles to show that the articles in question had been purchased by someone;  (2) the seal of ownership - placed upon the article purchased by the particular purchaser to show that it belonged to him;  (3) the seal of consistency - placed upon articles such as boxes or sacks as a guarantee that the contents of the article were as stated and checked at the time of purchase;  (4) the seal of the Imperial service - placed upon articles set aside as the possession of the Emperor.

If St. Paul had in mind these four seals, then the thought he would seem to convey is that upon a person’s acceptance of Jesus as Saviour, he receives into his life the Holy Spirit as a seal to denote purchase - “ye are not your own; ye are bought” (1 Cor. 6:19,20); to denote ownership - sealed with the Spirit of God (Eph. 4:30); to denote consistency - sealed as proof that the life has received the salvation promised and has been cleansed; to denote that he is set aside for the “Imperial” service, for the use of the King of Kings - “Ye serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:24).”  (A.W. Habershon, The Person of the Holy Spirit, p. 14).