God’s Spirit in You

Paul gives a fully developed view of the Holy Spirit.  Including such synonymous designations as “the Spirit of God” and “the Spirit of Christ,” Paul refers to the Holy Spirit over thirty times in his epistles.   

In Ephesians, Paul refers to the Holy Spirit again and again.  Paul wants to remind us of the work of the Spirit. 

Apart from the Holy Spirit, we cannot be saved (Romans 8:9).  He both gives life and sustains life.  He is the Author of every Christian virtue.  By the gift of God’s Spirit, we know that we belong to Christ.

The Holy Spirit marks us as believers and is the guarantee of our future redemption.  Paul says that when we believe in Christ, we are marked with a seal, that is the promised Holy Spirit.  In Paul’s day, a seal was attached to an object for several purposes: 1) to guarantee the genuine character of something (such as a document), 2) to mark ownership, or 3) to protect against tampering or harm.  In Ephesians 1:13-14 and 4:30, Paul used the words “seal” or “sealed” to show that we belong to God and that we have the guarantee of redemption through the blood of Christ.  The promised Holy Spirit is the down payment which guarantees our future redemption.  He is the first installment of our full blessings in God (Ephesians 1:13-14).

The Holy Spirit dwells with the believer.    We are being build together to be a holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19).  We are the dwelling by which God dwells by His Spirit (Ephesians 2:22).  He is our constant companion and the most interested person in our life and witness.  In this capacity, Paul urges us not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God. 

This leads us to ask the vital question:  “what would make the Holy Spirit grieve?”  The obvious answer involves any thoughts, attitudes, or actions which pollute our souls.  Any of these would make the Holy Spirit grieve.  The context of Paul’s exhortation not to grieve the Holy Spirit indicates that our spoken words and angry attitudes particularly grieve the Holy Spirit of God.   Thus, his call for us to get rid of bitterness and anger and to “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).


  1. […] Paul used language that makes the verse clear.  Paul emphasized the work of the Holy Spirit.   Paul’s letter to the Ephesians contains several important teachings about the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit has sealed us for the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30).  He used the word “sealed” to designate a down payment or guarantee of our redemption at the day of Christ.  We know that we belong to Christ because we have received the Holy Spirit of God.  Paul also warned the Ephesians not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) by wrong speech, hurtful attitudes, or shameful actions (http://waylonbailey.com/?p=91). […]

  2. […] “Christ in me” is blessing beyond end. The indwelling Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace and more (Galatians 5:22-23).  The gift of the Holy Spirit is the down payment of our future life with God forever (Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:14). At the same time, the whole creation groans for the day of redemption (Romans 8:22-23). We wait for that full redemption that will be ours when Christ returns. For a discussion of the indwelling Spirit in the life of the believer look here. http://waylonbailey.com/2011/05/gods-spirit-in-you/ […]

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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[Ask, Seek, Knock] “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. — Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)