Paul warned the Christians at Corinth to examine themselves to make sure they were really in the faith so they would not find out they were deceived and lost at Judgment Day. [2 Corinthians 13:5-9]
So how do we do examine ourselves? The apostle John wrote the letter, we call 1 John and tells us how and why. He says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, …” [1 John 5:13]
So today we look at Evidence #5 and ask, Is God the Holy Spirit living inside you? John says you will know if He is, and everyone around will see it too!
So here is our statement: A radical change of life into a holy life is non-optional because the Holy Spirit actually lives inside the believer.
1 John 3:24 (NLT) “Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.”
John states a clear and supernatural change happens only to true believers. They receive God’s Holy Spirit at salvation. His Spirit is not just a mystical or symbolic description, but a real event that happens when the believer is born again and the Holy Spirit enters a person.
The apostle Paul also reveals this truth in Galatians 6:15-16 (NLT) when he explains the old ceremonies of the Old Testament do not matter now. “It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.”
Believers have God’s Spirit, but the world is flooded by evil spirits and satanic influence. The regular person is not able to see or connect with God. Only when a person repents and follows Jesus does God enter and change everything! Again Paul agrees and says this in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
This evidence centers around the word holiness and is a non-optional change of allegiance by leaving the influence of God’s enemy and dwelling fully under God’s powerful grace. This is a revolutionary change of the mind. It is a new way to think, a new way to see things, and a new freedom from the satanic blindness that rules the world. God makes all things new!
So first understand this, God is holy and anything close to Him becomes holy. So if anyone is born again, the Holy Spirit comes inside that person making them holy. His holy presence cannot be hidden!
According to Strong’s Concordance, The Greek word for grace means “the divine influence upon the heart” which is the opposite of the world’s pull upon your heart. As the Holy Spirit miraculously influences your soul He floods you with new divine desires replacing the lusts that once controlled you. And the Holy Spirit does not stop there but gives increasing strength to please God by fulfilling His will.
Holiness is living fully under the influence of God’s divine presence. This affects all areas of life.
God’s holy presence is pulsating new life inside you and it changes you! Paul describes this in depth in the book of Philippians.
And remember Paul also says, “But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.” [Romans 6:22 (NLT)]
13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.
14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.
16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
1/ What Does it Mean to Have the Holy Spirit?
Christians are altered and “live in love”! They are driven and changed to act in love, not selfishness and hate. The evidence of God’s nature bleeds out of their lives because they are now possessed by the Holy Spirit.
But religious people can have a spirit of Antichrist in them, instead of the Holy Spirit. This is why John makes it clear, the actions of that person are all it takes to expose them as wicked disciples of darkness. The child of disobedience is not the same as a child obedience. A child of obedience is born again by the miraculous power of God. Change, real change happens to the believer.
I know I keep repeating this precious promise from Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NLT), but remember God says, “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”
The Bible is also clear to explain when you are born again a new heart and spirit are put inside you. The evidence of the Spirit shows through the Christian because they have a change of heart and the new ability to obey His commands. The new Spirit overwhelms the old life with brand new impulses and strength to carefully obey all God’s decrees and applications. Real and deliberate change happens by God’s grace flowing from within their new heart.
The Word declares these changes are bubbling up from within. The spiritual revolution of the heart shows up in changing desires, attitudes, and actions. Repentance from sin and the fruit of the Spirit manifest themselves with great impact. The Lord Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.“ [John 3:8 (NKJ)]
Our Lord proclaimed this rebirth would be explosive and life-changing. Floods of new spiritual life from God would radically redirect every aspect of a Christian’s life. The flow would not cease, nor slow down, but instead, floods and floods of God’s power would gush from within your new heart and spirit. John describes the scene…
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!
38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
If you look at the end of the Gospel of John, you see this did happen to Christ’s main disciples soon after He was resurrected from the dead. Christ entered the room they were hiding in and here is what happened. It says,
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.
20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!
21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Immediately they received a new spirit and a new heart! They were immediately changed by becoming new creatures in Christ. They all looked the same, but their doubting, sinful hearts were renewed by the miraculous power of God. The new responsive heart kicked in, and the old resistant heart was neutralized. Their spirits were electrified by the presence of the living water of God through the Holy Spirit now dwelling in them.
And it was not just those special disciples but every new follower of Jesus that repented was given the same promise, including all believers then, today and in the future.
2/ So what will we see if the Holy Spirit is in you?
Paul the apostle explains, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
First, everyone naturally is enslaved by sin. Our nature is unholy. Our sin flows from within our hearts and floods our thinking with selfishness, lust, and greed. Our actions are the normal result of our human nature! But Paul says the normal way of life leaves everyone on the road to hell and destruction.
Some people call it drama. Others hate their lives and think the consequences of it are unfair. Still, others love this type of life and embrace it. It is who they are!
But our creator sees this unloving lifestyle as an affront to Him because He never created us to live this way. He created us to love and enjoy Him forever. So Paul explains the life the Holy Spirit of God brings into a true follower of Jesus.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” [Galatians 5:22-26 (NLT)]
This invasion of the Holy Spirit inside a new believer and changes everything! Floods and floods of love, joy, peace, kindness, etc pour forth from within as the Holy Spirit’s character and life flood his new creations. Starting with new loving desires, new powerful joy, new desires for goodness, and new desires for self-control, they all permeate your soul influencing your mind, will and emotions.
So let’s make Evidence #5 clear with these statements…
This Means the Holy Spirit Changes What You Love “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” [Romans 5:5 (NKJ)]
This Means the Holy Spirit Changes What You Are Focused On “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” [Romans 8:5 (NKJ)]
It Means He Changes What You Hate “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” [Romans 8:9 (NKJ)]
It Also Means He Changes What You Do “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.
So This means God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.” [Ephesians 2:1-7 (NLT)]
The rest of mankind and even believers who are not born again have not changed. This includes the devil, the demons, and people just like Judas Iscariot who are believers in God. They have not changed because they are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. They do not have a new heart, or spirit. They do not really love God or obey Him. In fact, false preachers, teachers, and believers have their old sins ruling their lives just like everyone else, in spite of their profession of faith.
What Does It Mean If A Believer Does Not Have The Holy Spirit Dwelling Inside You?
1/ They are hypocrites [actors or imposters without the Spirit] because they do not have fruit “…test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets [preachers] have gone out into the world.” [1 John 4:1]
Some are false preachers and do not have the [Holy] Spirit living inside them but a [deceiving] spirit guides them.They cannot create the fruit of obedience and selfless agape love that only comes from the Holy Spirit. This was clearly taught by Jesus. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” [Matt 7:15-16 (NKJ)]
2/ Hypocrites are mixed Into the churches “And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage)..” [Galatians 2:4 AMP]
“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Jude 1:4 (NKJ)]
3/ The world [hypocrites included] loves the unsaved preachers “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” [Luke 6:26 (NKJ)]
So I must ask, do you pass this test? If not, please stop right now and make a change. Repentance starts with getting real with God and yourself. Here is how to be born again.
Acts 2:38-39 (NLT) “Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins, turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to show that you have received forgiveness for your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”
AN EXAMPLE PRAYER WOULD BE LIKE THIS
Dear Almighty God,
Just like I am subject to the laws of my nation, I realize you are my Almighty Creator and ruler of the universe. You are the only one who is all powerful, good and fair. Because of this, you have the right to establish the law of the world and I now bow to your authority. I have broken your law _________ [fill in the blanks], and I am sick with sadness in how I have acted.
Please forgive me! I believe and accept your offer of forgiveness through Jesus dying in the place of my judgment. I turn from all the crimes I am practicing, I have no excuses, And I now am grateful for your mercy. I choose to follow my Lord Jesus by obedience to His commands all my days. AMEN
Now remember, there are things we can disagree on, but you cannot disagree with the Bible over your salvation and eternal life. Unless you allow God through the Bible to direct your faith and beliefs you will be lost forever. God so loves you He gave His Word to be clear and concise to prevent you from being confused and miss His gift of eternal life.
If you still do not know or understand how to repent and follow Jesus contact us immediately through our website.
Read What Happens When You Are Born Again? for a detailed description of what the Holy Spirit actually does and how He changes the follower of Jesus. “A born again person is someone who has a direct connection with Almighty God by receiving the Holy Spirit inside their human spirit …”