It is very evident to us that the Flesh is our enemy and has an agenda of its own that is contradictory to God. Its schemes and plans are for self-gratification and whether base or noble, the goal is to bring glory to the Me, Myself and I. Submission to the “Other Resident,” God’s spirit, is an anathema and a revulsion; something it cannot and will not do. All of this is fairly clear.
But what about the Other Resident? What is the true nature of the Holy Spirit?
Back in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), we read of the seduction of Eve, the disobedience of Adam and the broken relationship between God and humanity. God said they would die if they ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of God and Evil. And die they did, but the first death was their spirit. We were created in the image of God, triune, body, soul, and spirit, as well as immortal. Their spirits died when they disobeyed God leaving their souls without a direct line of communication to God. Though God restored them by the way of the first sacrifice (he covered them with animal skins) they now had a tainted nature that was passed down to every generation thereafter.
Before Jesus was crucified, he told his disciples that he had to go back to the Father but that God would send a Helper, the Holy Spirit to guide them. This “holy resident” would once again directly link them to God, not only providing salvation but instilling us with the very nature of the risen Christ, as a substitute and alternative and giving them infinite power, ability, and knowledge, far beyond anything that they could imagine or do.
From that time on, every believer is given this “helper” as our teacher, our reminder, and the revealer of truth. The Spirit also comforts us in our sorrow, seals our redemption, intercedes, prays for us, searches our hearts and minds revealing sin, infuses us with power to live according to God’s will, and speaks through us to a dying world of God’s love and redemption.
There was a line in a play I wrote years ago called “Three’s A Crowd,” a tale of Chuck Christian who is constantly having to chose between the influence of the Spirit or the rebellion of the Flesh. The Spirit has touched on a root of bitterness and the Flesh is in a full panic, knowing that if Chuck gives repents it will cut a major tie between them.
Flesh: (really beginning to panic) I won’t let you do this to me! (to Chuck, grabbing onto him) Chuck, you can’t let him do this! He’s going to separate us . . . (looking back at Spirit, then Chuck) He’s going to cut me off! Me . . . the one who’s been with you all your life. He’s the newcomer.
God has brought many lines in this little play to mind over the years in certain situations and circumstances because when I wrote this way back in the 80s, I knew it was the work of the Holy Spirit. How did I know that? Because I’m neither that smart nor that wise. God used this little play in miraculous ways, working in audiences to bring them to a higher love and honor of not only God but themselves. The Holy Spirit is God’s Divine Resident, the co-inhabitant of our bodies, teaching, protecting, urging, convicting, comforting, and bringing hope and power to live the abundant life Jesus promised. But it is our choice. It will be either the “Resident Evil” or the “Resident Holy” living through us. One gives life, the other death. One gives hope, the other despair. We shall explore more later.
. . . and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5