We abide in Him and He in us

Beloved, let us [unselfishly] [a]love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience].  The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]  By this the love of God was displayed in us, in that God has sent His [One and] only begotten Son [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind] into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath].  Beloved, if God so loved us [in this incredible way], we also ought to love one another.  No one has seen God at any time. But if we love one another [with unselfish concern], God abides in us, and His love [the love that is His essence abides in us and] is completed and perfected in us.  By this we know [with confident assurance] that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given to us His [Holy] Spirit.  We [who were with Him in person] have seen and testify [as eye-witnesses] that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. – 1 John 4:7-14

Some commentators understand the apostle as speaking here of the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit; but surely these gifts, of whatever kind they might be, never were to any man a certain evidence of his possessing real piety and union with God, as is manifest from our Lord’s words, (Matthew 7:22,) Many will say to me in that day of final judgment, We have prophesied in thy name, &c.; then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, &c. And St. Paul (1 Corinthians 13:2) declares, that though a man had such a measure of miracle-working faith, that he could remove mountains, yet if he had not love to God and mankind, it would profit him nothing. The ordinary graces of the Spirit, such as are enumerated Galatians 5:22-23;Ephesians 5:9; Colossians 3:12-17; Romans 12:9-21, are certain evidences of a person’s being a child of God; but the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit are not, inasmuch as they sometimes have been and still may be possessed by persons destitute of true religion. And we have seen — Or known; by undoubted evidence, ourselves; and therefore do boldly testify to others; that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world — And that it is in and by him alone, how proudly soever the unbelieving and carnal world may reject and disdain him, that present and eternal salvation can be obtained. These things are the foundation and the criteria of our abiding in God and God in us, namely, the communion of the Spirit. – Benson

How to Know If We Abide in Him and He Abides in Us

31 Bible verses about Abiding In Christ – Knowing Jesus



Moved by the Holy Spirit

So we have the prophetic word made more certain. You do well to pay [close] attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and light breaks through the gloom and the [k]morning star arises in your hearts.  [l]But understand this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of or comes from one’s own [personal or special] interpretation,  for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. – 2 Peter 1:19-21

Where are promises to be found? Where shall we go to fan the flames of our hope? The prophetic word of Scripture. Do you need encouragement that the day is really going to dawn—that the life of self-control, patience, brotherly affection, and love is really leading to glory? Then go to the Scriptures. Go daily. Go long. Go deep. And when you go, remember this first: these are not the mere words of men; they are the words of God. Seek his meaning and you will find the lamp of hope. – John Piper

 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope and overflow with confidence in His promises. – Romans 15:4

Church Fathers from the earliest time on unanimously regarded the Scriptures as “holy,” “sacred,” and “divine” and therefore as absolutely authoritative, being the very words of God Himself. Thus Clement of Rome advised the Corinthian church, “Look carefully into the Scriptures, which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit.” The Sacred Scriptures are “the oracles of God.” Clement can thus introduce his quotations from Scripture with the simple formula, “The Holy Spirit says. . . .” Even Paul’s recent Corinthian correspondence is regarded as written “under the inspiration of the Spirit.” – William Craig

The Holy Spirit is infallible. Men who wrote the Books of the Bible did not write their own ideas or doctrines. They were moved or “carried along” by the infallible Holy Spirit. – J.C. O’Hair

This portion of scripture states the two great doctrines concerning the nature of Scripture. The first great doctrine is that the text of the Bible, the content, the very words, are revelation – words from the mind of God, not merely the mind of man. And the second great doctrine is that the way in which the Spirit of God used men to record the words is inspiration men driven by the Holy Spirit.

This indicates that the Holy Spirit carried the human authors when they wrote the Scripture. It was God who moved them. The Holy Spirit was the active agent. The writers were passive in the message, but active in the writing. Ultimately they were writing what the Holy Spirit prompted them to write. – Don Stewart


Moved By The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit: God’s Power at Work

The Holy Spirit’s Role in Inspiration and in Illumination

Is the Bible inspired?

Getting To Know The Holy Spirit

Sanctifying work

To those [elect—both Jewish and Gentile believers] who live as exiles, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia [Minor], and Bithynia, who are chosen  according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by the sanctifying work of the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be yours in increasing abundance [as you walk closely with God].                       1 Peter 1:1-2

Called out of the world, and from a state of ignorance and sin, guilt and depravity, weakness and wretchedness, by the word, the Spirit, and providence of God; and in consequence of obeying the call, by turning to God in true repentance, living faith, and new obedience, chosen — Or accepted of God. For all true believers, or genuine Christians, whose faith works by love, have continually the title of God’s elect in the New Testament. “Election,” says the Rev. J. Wesley, “in the Scripture sense, is God’s doing any thing that our merit or power has no part in. The true predestination, or fore-appointment of God, Isaiah , 1 st, He that believeth shall be saved from the guilt and power of sin. 2d, He that endureth to the end shall be saved eternally. 3d, They who receive the precious gift of faith, thereby become the sons of God; and being sons, they shall receive the Spirit of holiness, to walk as Christ also walked. – Benson

These are to ascribe their salvation to the electing love of the Father, the redemption of the Son, and the sanctification of the Holy Ghost; and so to give glory to one God in three Persons, into whose name they had been baptized. Hope, in the world’s phrase, refers only to an uncertain good, for all worldly hopes are tottering, built upon sand, and the worldling’s hopes of heaven are blind and groundless conjectures. But the hope of the sons of the living God is a living hope; not only as to its object, but as to its effect also. It enlivens and comforts in all distresses, enables to meet and get over all difficulties. Mercy is the spring of all this; yea, great mercy and manifold mercy. And this well-grounded hope of salvation, is an active and living principle of obedience in the soul of the believer. The matter of a Christian’s joy, is the remembrance of the happiness laid up for him. It is incorruptible, it cannot come to nothing, it is an estate that cannot be spent. Also undefiled; this signifies its purity and perfection. And it fadeth not; is not sometimes more or less pleasant, but ever the same, still like itself. All possessions here are stained with defects and failings; still something is wanting: fair houses have sad cares flying about the gilded and ceiled roofs; soft beds and full tables, are often with sick bodies and uneasy stomachs. All possessions are stained with sin, either in getting or in using them. How ready we are to turn the things we possess into occasions and instruments of sin, and to think there is no liberty or delight in their use, without abusing them! Worldly possessions are uncertain and soon pass away, like the flowers and plants of the field. That must be of the greatest worth, which is laid up in the highest and best place, in heaven. Happy are those whose hearts the Holy Spirit sets on this inheritance. God not only gives his people grace, but preserves them unto glory. Every believer has always something wherein he may greatly rejoice; it should show itself in the countenance and conduct. The Lord does not willingly afflict, yet his wise love often appoints sharp trials, to show his people their hearts, and to do them good at the latter end. Gold does not increase by trial in the fire, it becomes less; but faith is made firm, and multiplied, by troubles and afflictions. Gold must perish at last, and can only purchase perishing things, while the trial of faith will be found to praise, and honour, and glory. – Matthew Henry


The Sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit


The Work of the Holy Spirit in Sanctification

Divine Election: The Role of the Father and the Spirit

Sanctification: Whose Work Is It?


You must submit to [correction for the purpose of] discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons; for [g]what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  Now if you are exempt from correction and without discipline, in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate children and not sons [at all].  Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we submitted and respected them [for training us]; shall we not much more willingly submit to the Father of [h]spirits, and live [by learning from His discipline]?  For our earthly fathers disciplined us for only a short time as seemed best to them; but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.  For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [right standing with God and a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose]. – Hebrews 12:7-11

The important thing about God’s discipline is the spirit in which we respond. If we resist and harden our hearts, we will miss the purpose of the discipline. If we are truly God’s children, this will result in more discipline. God’s intention is that we respectfully submit to it. It’s possible to submit like the defiant little boy whose mother told him to sit in a chair until he calmed down. He clenched his teeth and said, “I’m sitting on the outside, but I’m standing on the inside!” That’s not true submission! The psalmist reflected true submission when he proclaimed, “I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are fair, And that in faithfulness You have disciplined me.” (Ps. 119:75).

A surrendered heart encourages other hearts to surrender through the power of the Holy Spirit. A surrendered heart cuts across many divides & divisions to bring believers together for the glory of God & the increase of His Kingdom reveals more of Christ in what we do.

As an athlete trains or practices without complaint and profits from it, likewise the Christian must submit to God with a teachable spirit.  The discipline of trials and suffering will result in increased righteousness of life. – Clarence Price, Jr.

Is not God the Father also of our flesh? For it is not without reason that Job mentions the creation of men as one of the chief miracles of God: hence on this account also he is justly entitled to the name of Father. Were we to say that he is called the Father of spirits, because he alone creates and regenerates our souls without the aid of man, it might be said again that Paul glories in being the spiritual father of those whom he had begotten in Christ by the Gospel. To these things I reply, that God is the Father of the body as well as of the soul, and, properly speaking, he is indeed the only true Father; and that this name is only as it were by way of concession applied to men, both in regard of the body and of the soul. As, however, in creating souls, he does use the instrumentality of men, and as he renews them in a wonderful manner by the power of the Spirit, he is peculiarly called, by way of eminence, the Father of spirits. – Calvin

Hands of desperation

Surrendering to God

Through the eternal Holy Spirit

But when Christ appeared as a High Priest of the good things to come [that is, true spiritual worship], He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not a part of this [material] creation.  He went once for all into the Holy Place [the Holy of Holies of heaven, into the presence of God], and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, having obtained and secured eternal redemption [that is, the salvation of all who personally believe in Him as Savior].  For if the sprinkling of [ceremonially] defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a [burnt] heifer is sufficient for the cleansing of the body, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal [Holy] Spirit willingly offered Himself unblemished [that is, without moral or spiritual imperfection as a sacrifice] to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the ever living God? – Hebrews 9:11-14

Observe the three members of the Trinity in this passage — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — is involved.

The voluntary nature of the offering gives it especial efficacy. He “through the eternal Spirit,” that is, His divine Spirit (Ro 1:4, in contrast to His “flesh,” Heb 9:3; His Godhead, 1Ti 3:16; 1Pe 3:18), “His inner personality” [Alford], which gave a free consent to the act, offered Himself. The animals offered had no spirit or will to consent in the act of sacrifice; they were offered according to the law; they had a life neither enduring, nor of any intrinsic efficacy. But He from eternity, with His divine and everlasting Spirit, concurred with the Father’s will of redemption by Him. His offering began on the altar of the cross, and was completed in His entering the holiest place with His blood. The eternity and infinitude of His divine Spirit (compare Heb 7:16) gives eternal (“eternal redemption,” Heb 9:12, also compare Heb 9:15) and infinite merit to His offering, so that not even the infinite justice of God has any exception to take against it. It was “through His most burning love, flowing from His eternal Spirit,” that He offered Himself [Oecolampadius]. – Jamieson-Fausset-Brown

Who through the eternal Spirit – The work of redemption being the work of the whole Trinity. Neither is the Second Person alone concerned even in the amazing condescension that was needful to complete it. The Father delivers up the kingdom to the Son; and the Holy Ghost becomes the gift of the Messiah, being, as it were, sent according to his good pleasure. Offered himself – Infinitely more precious than any created victim, and that without spot to God. Purge our conscience – Our inmost soul. From dead works – From all the inward and outward works of the devil, which spring from spiritual death in the soul, and lead to death everlasting. To serve the living God – In the life of faith, in perfect love and spotless holiness. – Wesley

As Christ’s miraculous conception was by the Holy Spirit, and he wrought all his miracles by the Spirit of God, so his death or final offering was made through or by the eternal Spirit; and by that Spirit he was raised from the dead, 1 Peter 3:18. Indeed, through the whole of his life be was justified by the Spirit; and we find that in this great work of human redemption, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were continually employed. – Adam Clarke



The Holy Spirit Indwelling the Believer


Fallen away

Therefore let us get past the elementary stage in the teachings about the Christ, advancing on to maturity and perfection and spiritual completeness, [doing this] without laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,  of teaching about washings (ritual purifications), the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. [These are all important matters in which you should have been proficient long ago.] And we will do this [that is, proceed to maturity], if God permits.  For [it is impossible to restore to repentance] those who have once been enlightened [spiritually] and who have [c]tasted and consciously experienced the heavenly gift and have shared in the Holy Spirit,  and have tasted and consciously experienced the good word of God and the powers of the age (world) to come,  [d]and then have fallen away—it is impossible to bring them back again to repentance, since they again nail the Son of God on the cross [for as far as they are concerned, they are treating the death of Christ as if they were not saved by it], and are holding Him up again to public disgrace.  For soil that drinks the rain which often falls on it and produces crops useful to those for whose benefit it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God;  but if it persistently produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned. – Hebrews 6:1-8

It is one thing for a stranger to the faith to resist Christ. But it is another thing for a person who has been in the church and has been enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift and become a partaker of the Holy Spirit and tasted of the good word of God and the powers of the age to come — it’s another thing for that person to say after all those blessings and all those experiences, “I think what the world offers is better than Christ.” That is a re-crucifying of Jesus and a putting him to public shame worse than any outsider could, who never tasted the truth. – John Piper

How much greater punishment do you think he will deserve who has rejected and trampled under foot the Son of God, and has considered unclean and common the blood of the covenant that [a]sanctified him, and has insulted the Spirit of grace [who imparts the unmerited favor and blessing of God]? – Hebrews 10:29

This does not mean that those who stray for a season cannot be restored.  Those who have not completely fallen away, who have not held the Son of God up to contempt, can indeed be restored to repentance.  A sinner who has genuine sorrow over sin shows that the Holy Spirit is working in his heart and is not forever lost.  But those who have indeed fallen away completely are impossible to restore, and God will not permit those who have committed such apostasy to come to repentance.  – Alex Carmichael


If They Fall Away


Granting gifts to believers

 [i]For this reason [that is, because of God’s final revelation in His Son Jesus and because of Jesus’ superiority to the angels] we must pay much closer attention than ever to the things that we have heard, so that we do not [in any way] drift away from truth.  For if the message given [j]through angels [the Law given to Moses] was authentic and unalterable, and every violation and disobedient act received an appropriate penalty,  how will we escape [the penalty] if we ignore such a great salvation [the gospel, the new covenant]? For it was spoken at first by the Lord, and it was confirmed to us and proved authentic by those who personally heard [Him speak],  [and besides this evidence] God also testifying with them [confirming the message of salvation], both by signs and wonders and by various miracles [carried out by Jesus and the apostles] and by [granting to believers the] gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. – Hebrews 2:1-4

Our minds and memories are like a leaky vessel, they do not, without much care, retain what is poured into them. This proceeds from the corruption of our nature, temptations, worldly cares, and pleasures. Sinning against the gospel is neglect of this great salvation; it is a contempt of the saving grace of God in Christ, making light of it, not caring for it, not regarding either the worth of gospel grace, or the want of it, and our undone state without it. The Lord’s judgments under the gospel dispensation are chiefly spiritual, but are on that account the more to be dreaded. Here is an appeal to the consciences of sinners. Even partial neglects will not escape rebukes; they often bring darkness on the souls they do not finally ruin. The setting forth the gospel was continued and confirmed by those who heard Christ, by the evangelists and apostles, who were witnesses of what Jesus Christ began both to do and to teach; and by the gifts of the Holy Ghost, qualified for the work to which they were called. And all this according to God’s own will. It was the will of God that we should have sure ground for our faith, and a strong foundation for our hope in receiving the gospel. Let us mind this one thing needful, and attend to the Holy Scriptures, written by those who heard the words of our gracious Lord, and were inspired by his Spirit; then we shall be blessed with the good part that cannot be taken away.  Matthew Henry

Gifts of the Holy Ghost were extraordinary qualities and powers given to such as heard the apostles’ doctrine and believed it; as power to heal, to speak in strange languages, to prophecy, to do miracles. They are said to be gifts and effects of the Holy Ghost, because they had them not by nature, or industry, or instruction by man, but from the power of God-Redeemer, and the Spirit of Christ. They are called in the original, “distributions” or “divisions,” because they were

1. Communicated to divers persons.

2. Were many of different kinds.

3. Were given in several degrees. They were distributed according to His own will.

But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. The effect of these miracles and gifts was the confirmation of the doctrine of the apostles, which they did confirm by word and deed. – Biblical Illustrator

gift boxes over white background 3d illustration

Diversity and Unity in Spiritual Gifts

What are the basic facts about spiritual gifts?