Over the past several decades, I have been asked the “in” question in a variety of different ways: “What does it mean to say God is in my life, Jesus is in my heart, or the Holy Spirit is in me? Does it mean that everyone simultaneously has a little piece of God in them?” Or is the Bible communicating something far more precious?
First, to say that the Holy Spirit is in you is not to point out where the Holy Spirit is physically located, but rather to acknowledge that you have come into an intimate relationship with Him. As such, the preposition in is not a locational but a relational term. Similarly, when Jesus said, “The Father is in me, and I in the Father” (John 10:38), He was speaking not of physical location but of intimacy of relationship.
Furthermore, to deny that the Holy Spirit is spatially locatable within us is not to deny that He is actively locatable within us, working redemptively to conform us to the image of Christ. Far from detracting from our nearness to the Holy Spirit, the classic Christian view intensifies the intimacy of our relationship to the Creator as well as the benefits of our redemption.
The glorious reality is that you and I can experience union with God—the interpenetration of His uncreated energy with our humanity. While we cannot experience God in His essence, we can experience His energies (Colossians 1:29). As Peter put it, we may as yet participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4; cf. John 17:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
Finally, according to the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is not a physical being; thus, to ask where the Holy Spirit is, is to confuse categories. Asking spatial questions about a Being who does not have extension in space makes about as much sense as asking what the color blue tastes like. King Solomon revealed the utter futility of believing that the infinite Holy Spirit can be physically contained in any finite space, let alone the human body, when he exclaimed, “Will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27).
Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV
**Note the preceding text is adapted from a new Revised and Updated version of The Complete Bible Answer Book that is forthcoming. When available we will update this page with corresponding information. Until then you can still purchase or receive for your partnering gift the current version by clicking here for purchase or here for partnering gift. ***