God's Word For You is a free Bible Study site committed to bringing you studies firmly grounded in the Bible – the Word of God. Holding a reformed, conservative, evangelical perspective this site affirms that God has provided in Jesus Christ his eternal Son, a way of salvation in which we can live in his presence guilt free, acquitted and at peace.




We have seen previously that the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah and Ezekiel, looked forward to an era in which the Spirit of God would come and indwell those who believe in him.

Isaiah 32:15a – ‘...till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high.’

Isaiah 44:3b – ‘I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants...’

Ezekiel 11:19 – ‘I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.’

Ezekiel 36:26, 27 – ‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.’

Ezekiel 37:14 – ‘I will put my Spirit in you and you will live ...’

These promises of the Spirit of God indwelling the people of God were spoken to those people during an era in which they, as a nation, had rejected God, despising his covenants and his commands, refusing to listen to his word. Loving lies rather than God’s truth.

When Jeremiah spoke of this new covenant, he put it this way:

Jeremiah 31:31 - 34 – ‘The time is coming ... when I will make a new covenant ...I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. ...they will all know me from the least of them to the greatest ... I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’

And here we see they synergy between the Spirit of God and the Word of God: that there is no tension between the Spirit and the Word. The Spirit does not take us beyond the Scripture to something different. Rather, by his Spirit God impresses his word on our hearts and minds, generating true knowledge of God, trust in God and commitment to God.

This unity of the Spirit of God and the word of God was affirmed by Jesus Christ when he promised to send the Holy Spirit to live in those who believe in him. Jesus called the Holy Spirit ‘the Spirit of truth’, who would glorify him by teaching them the truth about him, and reminding them of everything he had taught them.

John 14:16, 17 – ‘I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth’.

John 14:26 – ‘the Holy Spirit ... will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.’

John 15:26 – ‘the Spirit of truth ...will testify about me.’

John 16:13, 14 – ‘when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth ... He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.’

Acts 1:8 – ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’

In all of this we see a deliberate action of the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is Christ’s gift to his church, sent by the Father and the Son to indwell, comfort and instruct those who believe in Christ, and to be with them forever.

And just as there is no tension between the Spirit of God and the word of God, so there is no tension between the Spirit and the Father and Son. Such is the unity of Father, Son and Spirit that the presence of the Holy Spirit is also the presence of the Father and the Son. For this reason, Jesus Christ, in promising the presence of the Holy Spirit, also promised:

‘I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you’ – John 14:18.

‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ – John 14:20.

‘...we will come to him and make our home with him’ – John 14:23 (Jesus speaking of himself and his Father).

It is in this context that Jesus goes on to speak of believers living in him and him living in believers (John 15:1 – 10). Unfortunately the Greek meno has been here translated as ‘remain’, whereas in 14:10 & 17 it is translated as ‘lives’. Jesus’ intention is not to suggest the possibility of not remaining, but rather, to point out that he is our permanent dwelling place, and we are his permanent dwelling place – in whom he lives by his Spirit.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2024