Can the Holy Spirit depart from a believer?

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer is something that every believer and adherents of Christianity accept as truth but not everyone agrees on certain things when we begin to go in-depth. In fact, a lot of preachers teach that the Holy Spirit departs from us when we sin and there are always bible verses used by those who stand on this which are usually quoted out of context. If it is true though, we’ll be forced to ask what differentiates the new testament from the old testament.

Whatever our opinions are, they aren’t true if they aren’t in line with the written words communicated by Jesus and the Apostles. In many of our teachings on George’s Diary, we have always discussed how the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus and how he is God’s way of becoming resident in man. The Holy Spirit is also how God makes a man like himself.

We see something remarkable in 1 Corinthians 6:17

“But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.”

We are joined to the Lord the day we accepted Jesus as our Lord and saviour and confessed it with our mouth. The very day we got born again, we were joined with Jesus by the Holy Spirit which is his spirit and became one with God just as a wife is one with her husband. While a husband may divorce a wife, God expressly declared his hatred for divorce in Malachi 2:16 saying “I hate divorce!”

The very day we got born again, we were joined with Jesus by the Holy Spirit which is his spirit and became one with God just as a wife is one with her husband.

God’s hatred of divorce also indicates that God cannot divorce his own! While men could, God can’t. We see yet another strong statement in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”

The believer in Christ Jesus has been established in Christ and anointed of the same anointing which is Christ. God didn’t stop at that, he sealed us and gave us his spirit as a pledge. We have been sealed by God and we surely know that the door which God has closed, no man can open it. If we were given the Spirit simply by believing in Jesus, how do we think that the Spirit will be taken away from us because we did something wrong? We didn’t have to do right to have the Spirit, we just had to believe and yield to God.

In fact, we can’t claim to be a member of God’s family without this Holy Spirit in us. God is not inconsistent and therefore the Spirit doesn’t come and go. To say the spirit of God in us can be taken away means we get saved today and get unsaved tomorrow. It puts a question mark on every truth in the word of God. The Bible says in Romans 8:9

“…if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

Another way to put this statement is “…anyone who belongs to Christ has the Spirit of God”. I am happy to announce to you that you have the Spirit if you are a believer in Christ Jesus. Prior to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, he said in John 14:16

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.”

Sometimes, we need to read certain words slowly so that we can grasp its message. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit who was going to be our advocate. But another important thing Jesus said is that the Holy Spirit will never leave us. Look carefully, Jesus didn’t say “…who will never leave”, he rather said, “…he will never leave you”.

To say the spirit of God in us can be taken away means we get saved today and get unsaved tomorrow.

Writing to believers, Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:13-14

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory”

We saw earlier that we have been sealed by God and here we see that it is with the promised Holy Spirit that we have been sealed, this same spirit which Jesus said will never leave us. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee, the assurance from God that we belong to him. While it may not seem like it now, we will acquire possession of it to the praise of his glory.

While we have established that the Spirit of God abides in the believer forever, it is worthy to note that we can grieve the Holy Spirit by the way we live. When we live short of whom God has made us and decide to live to the dictates of the world and our flesh, we are grieving the Holy Spirit. Let’s see what the Bible says in Ephesians 4:30

“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.”

We must be intentional not to bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit. We see yet another truth here even as we have been told not to grieve the Holy Spirit. The truth is that God, through the Holy Spirit has identified us as his own. We have a guarantee which is the Spirit of God in us, that we will be saved even on the day of redemption. Another way to say it is that we will remain saved even on the day of redemption.

The truth is that God, through the Holy Spirit has identified us as his own.

Isn’t it beautiful to realize that the Holy Spirit will not leave a believer in Christ Jesus? More-so, we ought to live according to the dictates of God’s word so that we do not bring sorrow to Him. The word of God is how the Holy Spirit leads us. God loves us and desires that we live for him alone and to the praise of his glory.

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