Located where Residenzplatz flows into Domplatz in Salzburg, Salzburg Cathedral (Domkirche St. Rupert) is renowned for its harmonious Baroque architecture and 4,000-pipe organ. It also contains a medieval font in which Mozart was baptized. The stained glassed central dome contains a detailed depiction of the Holy Spirit as a dove, a very popular characterisation. Click image to enlarge.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit refers to His unique present ministry of ongoing and permanent habitation within all believers coinciding at the moment of their salvation.
This indwelling affects all who believe without exception. John, commenting on Jesus’ own words, says, “But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive….” (Jn 7:39a)
If the Spirit is present in all who believe what then might the absence of the Spirit indicate? Paul issues this stern warning: the absence of the Spirit indicates a defunct salvation, “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom 8:9b)
Sin saps believers of power, but could sin disqualify the presence of the Spirit? Paul spent a great deal of time in the first epistle to the Corinthians dealing with the sins of believers (1 Cor 5:5; 1 Cor 6:7). Yet his exhortation to them to stop sinning is based on the premise of the permanence of the, “Holy Ghost which is in you….” (1 Cor 6:19b)
“…He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” (Jn 14:16) What blessed assurance it is that the comforter is freely and eternally bestowed.
More how and what tomorrow.
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness” (Gal 6:1)
It’s the elephant in the room that no one any longer wants to talk about: The church is as characterised by sin as the world is and no one’s doing anything about it. Click image to enlarge.
At some stage in the last few decades the church in South Africa made peace with sin. Oh, we’re not given over to complete licentiousness but, like holy hypocrites, we tolerate it in our midst. Our young folk “wobble on the tracks” and we ignore it because “all teenagers go through that phase”. We turn a blind eye to our ladies whose idle chatter amounts to gossip. We’ve ceased to challenge those caught in sexual sin (Gal 5:19), confront those dabbling in spiritualisms (Gal 5:20a), tackle those who engage in all manner of animosities (Gal 5:20b) or face up to the other “such like[s]” described as the fruit of the flesh in Galatians 5.
When a believer strays from the straight and narrow Godly leaders must intervene for the good of the individual (Mt 18:15 – 20) and righteous testimony of the body. Sin is a gangrenous contaminant; unchecked its corruption multiplies. Paul speaking to this very topic says, “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Cor 5:6). However painful the process might be, correction, and even church discipline, is an act of grace rather than an act of vengeance (1 Cor 5:5).
How uncomfortable it is for one sinner to stand before another, with integrity, and plead them to holiness. For this reason church leaders must be characterised by two indispensible traits: we’re to be exemplifiers of truth (2 Tim 2:21 – 23) and we’re to be pursuers of truth (2 Tim 2:21 – 23). We’re at war with sin. The battle lines are drawn and forces amassed. We’re to fight sin in our lives, our families, our churches and this world. It can no longer be tolerated, stomached or condoned.