Monday, September 28, 2009

DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT LEAVE A CHRISTIAN?

We are the temple of God through the Holy Spirit.
"you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the
Spirit.
" - Eph 2:22

"19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
" - 1 Cor. 6:19,20
The dwelling place of God must be a sanctified place. It is the blood of Christ that sanctifies the Christian as he walks in the light (1 Jn 1:6ff). But when a person turns from God there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, hence God removes the temple's cleansing, sanctifying agent.
"7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." - 1 Jn 1:7

"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins," - Heb. 10:26
If God removes the cleansing agent, does God remove Himself? That's the question.

Before Christ and the Church there was not the sealing of God's people with the Holy Spirit. In Ephesus, the disciples didn't know about the Holy Spirit and did not receive it until they were immersed again in the name of Christ (Acts 19:1ff). Christians receive the Holy Spirit after getting baptized and washed in the blood. Peter said, "be baptzed...and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). Christians have the indwelling Holy Spirit which is God's seal of ownership and the promise of redemption (Eph. 1:13,14). To be sealed is essential for eternal life. Paul says to the Romans, "But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." - Romans 8:9.

In the Old Testament there was the clear understanding that the Holy Spirit was real and active, and that the Spirit could come and go. David said,
"The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue." - 2 Sam. 23:2.
This seemed to primarily relate to the supernatural manifestation and work of the Spirit (see Ezekiel 2:2 "As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me."). Earlier in David's life, when he was coming to grips with his own sinfulness deeds, he prayed to God,
"Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me." - Ps. 51:11.
Samson's strength was related to having the Spirit of God. When Samson had the Spirit, he was strong (Judges 14:19). When Samson turned to immorality and broke the Nazarite Vow, the Spirit left him (Judges 16:20). "But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him." The implication is that the Spirit could be removed from the man of God. Later when Samson was repentant, he prayed to God and the strength returned to him one last time (Judges 16:28).

Along this line, we recall the importance of the Tent of Meeting and then the Temple built by Solomon. God's presence was there in the day and in the night. But when Israel turned away from God and the people were carried away into Babylonian captivity, Ezekiel saw a vision depicting God's Spirit leaving the temple. Ezekiel 10 says,
"18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim."
The next chapter says,
"23 The glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city." (Ezek. 11:22,23).
I don't pretend to have a complete picture on this matter, but I wouldn't exclude the idea that the Holy Spirit leaves a Christian similar to the way that God's Spirit left the temple. The leaving of the Spirit wasn't at the first sin or trespass since God is longsuffering and patient with His people. Paul reminded the Christians that sin "grieves" the Holy Spirit and not to do so (Eph. 4:30). If God's Holy Spirit leaves a Christian it would only be after it was certain the person had left God.

The position that the Holy Spirit leaves the type of person being described in Hebrews 6:4-6 is not as tenuous or difficult a position, in my opinion, as one that says God's Spirit must NOT leave since we have no explicit example of Him leaving and coming back into the repentant soul.

Since God's Spirit is first given at Baptism when there is forgiveness of sins, the seal of the Spirit (Eph. 1:13,14) could return when the straying Christian repents and prays.
"Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you." (Acts 8:22).

I was asked if I really believe that God would leave a Christian and the answer is no. But Hebrews 6 describes someone who has left God and would be listed more as a former Christian. The point of the question here is not to understate the grace of God or to overstate the responsibility of the Christian, but only to explore that there is a point at which a man no longer enjoys the presence of God. It is rightly pointed out that God is longsuffering and patient with His children. Christians aren't perfect, but they are made perfect by the sanctifying work of Christ as they walk by faith, not by sight. But if a man turns back to the world, removing his hand from the plow and looking back, he is no longer fit for the kingdom of heaven.
"62 But Jesus said to him, 'No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'" - Lk. 9:62

11 comments:

  1. "Since God's Spirit is first given at Baptism when there is forgiveness of sins, the seal of the Spirit (Eph. 1:13,14) could return when the straying Christian repents and prays."

    Wow – I'm flabbergasted reading this. How far away from the Scriptures is this! Within a single sentence this even contradicts the very verses quoted!

    Ephesians 1:13–14 it states that:
    "In Whom [Christ 1:12] you also – on hearing the word of truth, the evangel of your salvation – in Whom on believing also, you are sealed with the holy spirit of promise"

    Not on baptism, but on believing, there is this sealing with the holy spirit. Sealed, not by ourselves, not by my work, not by my faith *as a work*, but by believing and trusting this Word of God, this Evangel of our salvation.

    The sealing furthermore is "in Christ". It is not that we seal ourselves in Christ, but when we start believing that we are sealed (!) in Christ. The advantage is clear: It is not dependent on our success or failure in believing – as the text here suggests.

    "For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and THIS IS NOT OUT OF YOU, IT IS GOD's approach PRESENT, NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANYONE SHOULD BE BOASTING. For His Achievement are we..." (Ephesians 2:8-10)

    Ephesians indeed is worth a read.

    God bless!
    Kernbeisser

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  2. Dear Ken,
    Thanks for leaving a comment. The verse I quoted in Ephesians 1 says that the Holy Spirit is the seal of redemption. It says you are sealed AFTER hearing and believing the Gospel. The other verse I quoted says you are sealed AFTER repenting and being Baptized. How come we can't agree to harmonize these two passages? You don't think a person is saved before he repents and confesses Jesus, I hope not. Do you believe Romans 10:9,10 that says confession is unto salvation. If you don't believe Romans 10 contradicts Ephesians 1:13,14 that calls for hearing and believing, why can't you admit that Acts 2:38; 22:16; Galatians 3:26,27, and Colossians 2:12 do not contradict either?
    Thanks.
    Dan

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  3. i cant see why there is debate between mr. kernbeisser and mr. dm. I have read Dm's artical and have examined the scriptures and is very clear to me that God is long suffering very patient and VERY forgiving but when one of his own does not turn awayfrom sin and does not repent God picks up and leaves and there is scripture to prove that which mr. Dm has listed furhter more the sciptures are clear when we are sealed and forgiven i dont believe it is right to pick apart the bible it should be harmonised together i believe the bible is clear about things we must examine with our eyes truely open . thank you mr. anonymous

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  4. Anonymous9:16 PM

    I completely agree with you Dan. I find it interesting that so many people will base their entire faith on a single verse. Completely excluding the rest of the Bible! If faith is all that's required, then why does James 2:14-17 talk about faith without works being dead! I'm not at all flabbergasted reading what you wrote. Your post was based on the scripture as a whole. Not a small portion of it. I suppose that we could just as easily read Genesis and forget about the fact that God created all of creation with nothing more than His word! If I read that God created man, but refused to read the rest of the passage which shows that He created everything, I would be a moron. "The sum of thy word is truth..." Psalm 119:160. Not a portion of it. The whole thing baby!

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  5. Anonymous5:40 AM

    Some people are offended at the truth. "This is why I left the church", they say. To them the truth is too harsh. They don't like thinking that their self-willed, pleasure seeking, worship is displeasing to God. These are the kind that leave the church. They hate the truth. They gladly take His salvation, but they reject his law on divorce and remarriage. They claim to be Christians while voting for baby murderers. They profess adoration for Jesus, but their worship is all about me, me, me. These whiners don't have the spirit of a true Christian.

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  6. Anonymous7:01 AM

    I blive d Holy spirit of God is a gift frm God and d bible says dat d gifts and callings of God are without repentance, God is not a man that ll give and take back bcus of anger. u may say "the Holy spirit left king Saul, and David when he was repenting of his sins begged God not to take His Holy spirit fom him" but that was before Grace came and d Holy spirit was just using them to perform certain functions and then leave again. In Gen. after the fall of man, God said that His spirit ll no longer strive wit man but when Christ died the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom signifying that we now av an unrestricted access to the throne of Grace. Hence i think the Holy spirit cannot leave an xtian but man can refuse to hearken o d Holy spirit's biddings, dats y He feels grieved. Thanks. Jatto.

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  7. Anonymous3:41 PM

    The Holy Spirit will leave a child of God at some time if the child departs from God.





    The Holy Spirit will not go to hell with that lost child. The question is at what point does He leave.

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  8. Anonymous11:33 PM

    It's hard for me to wrap my brain around the idea of a child of God with the in dwelling Holy Spirit actually wanting to leave God outright.

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    1. Anonymous. Thanks for posting your thoughts. A lot of things are hard to grasp like how can man that is made in God's image, who has ample evidence of their Creator, how can he reject and rebel against God? Ephesians 4:30 reminds the Christians to turn from sin and not grieve the Holy Spirit.

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  9. Folks you have it all wrong! You have nothing do do with "your" salvation. Salvation comes from the Lord and the Lord only! Don't be naive and buy the lie that you own any part of what Christ did! Where did you come
    From? Did you create yourself ! Do you have the power to create life? God did ALL THINGS! Don't be deceived and put "I" in front of Him! God created Salvation and yes God even allowed sin to enter this world. Only He could give a cure for the disease! Call us out of darkness into light! He even gives you the faith to believe in the gospel. “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬. We are elected and a choosen race! Our hearts are deceitful and would NEVER CHOOSE GOD! That's why HE CHOOSE US! “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” ‭‭I Peter‬ ‭2:9-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬. On the last day of judgement when God asks you why He should let you in heaven don't say "I" accepted Christ or "I" choose You! "I" "you" did NOTHING! salvation is in and from the LORD!

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  10. Yes, Salvation is the gift of God through Jesus Christ. But, we must not forget our duties as Christians, either. Why did God punish Israel? Israel is type of Christians, I believe as 1Cor. 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
    Also, Matthew 7 says clearly, that only those who "DO" the will of God will enter the Kingdom of God.
    Matt. 7:21- Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

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