The idea of the Holy Spirit having a dwelling is well established in Scripture. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word “shekhinah” means dwelling or settling and culminates into this Jewish idea of “Divine Presence”. We can read of God’s (e.g. Holy Spirit’s) dwelling among the people of Israel first in the wilderness wanderings (Exodus 13:21-22) and again with the dedication of the permanent temple in Jerusalem by Solomon (2 Chronicles 7:1-3).

Notably, God’s Holy Spirit did not fill the temple built by Zerubbabel in the days following the return of the Babylonian captives. Nor do we have any record of God’s Divine Presence filling Herod’s temple in the first century. So where is the Holy Spirit dwelling today?

how Scripture answers "Where is the Holy Spirit dwelling today?"

The Holy Spirit is dwelling in every baptized believer2,3,4,7,9,10,11,13,14. It is rather “matter-of-factly” stated in many places3,6,9,10,11,14. It is also a critical fulfillment to an ever-present Bible theme of God’s desire and promise11.

God literally dwelt among His people during the wanderings (tabernacle) and Solomon (temple) years. During the captivity (no temple) and remnant years He was absent but promised a day when He would return5,8. In the first century, Jesus alludes to this7,11 and we see the fulfillment of that promise on the Day of Pentecost4. From that point on we see these matter-of-fact statements by New Testament writers about the Holy Spirit dwelling in believers2,3,6,9,10,11,13,14 – and by extension, His church1,12.

the answer above is based on and footnoted with the following Scripture Blocks
1
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and the Holy Spirit dwells in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy them because it is holy.  You are that temple!

Paul is in the midst of correcting the divisions (“I am of…” vs 4) that had arisn in the church in Corinth.  In this context, Paul is clearly speaking of them as a collective group (“body”) or local church that he planted and Apollos watered (vs 6).

How does it inform?

Paul states that they, as a local church, are a temple of God in which the Holy Spirit dwells.

Does it apply? Yes

2
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit that’s within you who God gave you?  You are not your own since you were bought with a price.  Therefore, use your body to glorify God.

Paul is very clearly speaking here about sexual immorality and the Christian’s need to “flee” from it (vs 18).  Therefore, in this context the “body” is the individual Christian’s body.

How does it inform?

Paul states that the Christian’s body is the temple (dwelling) of the Holy Spirit given by God.

Does it apply? Yes

3
God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

God has exhalted him [Jesus] at His right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and foregiveness of sins.  We [apostles], together with the Holy Spirit – whom God has given to all that obey Him – are witnesses to these things.

In the early days of the Christian movement and God’s establishment of His “new covenant,” the apostles are carrying the message of the gospel across Jerusalem and Judea.  Being confronted by the Jewish leadership, as often they were, Peter tells them, “We must obey God rather than men” (vs 29) and witnesses to them about the things he and the others have seen with their eyes.  In this case, Peter may be specifically referring back to witnessing the transfiguration of Jesus documented in Acts 1.

How does it inform?

Peter states that God has given the/His Holy Spirit to all that obey Him (believers).

Does it apply? Yes

4
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brothers, what shall we do? And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.

When they heard these words, they were pierced in the heart and asked Peter and the other apostles what they should do [to be saved].  Peter told them that they each should repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins, and they would then receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  This “gift” was the promise made for all that the Lord calls to himself, even those far off.

Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost. Clearly, they believed his message (that Jesus was the Christ). More were continuing to be saved and they began meeting together as the Lord’s church (

vss 41-47
).

How does it inform?

Peter says their [water] baptism is directly connected to them recieving the gift/promise of the Holy Spirit.

Does it apply? Yes

5
Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.
The Lord declares for you to be strong, Zerubbabel and High Priest Joshua, son of Jehozadek.  He says for all the people of the land to be strong. Work [at building the temple] for I am with you, according to the covenant [Mosaic] made together when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst so fear nothing.  For the Lord declares: Yet once more in a little while I will shake the heavens and all the earth.
Haggai is prophesying to those that returned to the land from Babylonian captivity.  Released by Cyrus the Great of Persia, they returned to their home [promised] land and had to rebuild their lives.  Haggai [and Zechariah his contemporary] encouraged them in the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem – sometimes referred to by historians as “Zerubbabel’s temple” (verses “Solomon’s” prior and “Herod’s” later in the first century).  God’s statements here are in a response to their specific underwhelmed reaction to the temple not being like “its former glory” (vs 3).

Verse 6 of this passage is applied by the inspired writer of Hebrews to the second coming/final judgment of Jesus Christ (

Hebrews 12:25-29
).
How does it inform?

God through Haggai assures the people His Spirit is still in their midst and promises a future glimpse of something greater. Fortunately, we don’t have to wonder about this event. The “Yet once more” statement is quoted and interpreted for us by the inspired writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 12:26-29– it was the kingdom that had been received (past tense).

The Haggai and Hebrews passages don’t explicitely speak to the dwelling of God’s Spirit. However, in Haggai God’s encouragement and promise of the future was in response to their noting the absence of God’s glory (Spirit) in their temple rebuild. Likewise with the Hebrews passage, we know of many other passages that connect the coming of God’s kingdom with His Spirit dwelling and God returning “in their midst”.

Does it apply? Probably

6
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

We know that we dwell in him and he in us because he has given us his [Holy] Spirit.  We [apostles] have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God.

John is arguing that Christians are to love each other since “God is love” (vs 15) and He “loved us first” (vs 19).  He goes on to say that we know we love (or are loving) our brethren “whenever we love God and obey his commandments” (5:2).
How does it inform?

God dwells in us because “he has given us of his Spirit.”

Does it apply? Yes

7
Jesus answered him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus answered with a truth: unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus didn’t understand and asked how someone that is old be born again as he can’t enter back into his mother’s womb?  Jesus answered expounding on the same truth: unless one is born of water and the Spirit [born again] he cannot enter [see] the kingdom of God.

Jesus is approached at night (in secret) by Nicodemus, a Pharisee and “ruler of the Jews” (vs 1).

How does it inform?

Jesus references the role of the Spirit to one’s entering the kingdom of God. It was one of two “born again” elements – water (baptism) being the second.

Does it apply? Yes

8
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

I will sprinkle clean water on you to remove all sin and idols from you. And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit that I will put in you, removing the heart of stone from you.  And I will put my Spirit inside you to execute/govern (Heb: “cause”) your walk in my covenant.

Ezekiel spoke God’s words during the Babylonian captivity – after the destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple.  Interspersed with his encourage and preaching to God’s people of that day are many references to a time that God promises a true shepherd to care for them (34:13-15), a return of “my servant David” (34:23-24, 37:24), a convenant of peace (34:25), a gathering of a single nation to their land (36:24, 37:14, 22).

How does it inform?

God, through Ezekiel, promises a time (a “day“) when He will put His Spirit “within you.” This this theme in many other places in Ezekiel including 37:14 and37:26-28 and the last many chapters of the book. His contemporary Jeremiah also uses very similar language and identical thought (Jeremiah 31:33). Two men…but importantly prophets of God so the same author (God) and message.

While Ezekiel’s words are never directly quoted/interpreted by inspired writers in the New Testament, Jeremiah’s are interpreted in Hebrews and applied for us to the 1st century church.

Does it apply? Yes

9
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

God has called us to be holy and not to be impure.  Therefore, whoever chooses to disregard this is disregarding the very God that has given his Holy Spirit to you.

Paul is giving his final admonitions in his letter to the Thessalonians and imploring them to remain sanctified especially avoiding sexual immorality (vs 3).

How does it inform?

God gave his Spirit to those that have responded to his call for holiness.

Does it apply? Yes

10
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Unlike those in the flesh, you are in the Spirit since the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Anyone who doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to God.

After rejoicing in his own salvation and freedom from “this body of death” (7:24) through Christ, Paul is calling on the Roman Christians to remember their own calling and the triumph they share in Christ (vss 1-2).  He implores them to “live according to the Spirit” (vs 5).

How does it inform?

The Spirit of God (aka Spirit of Christ) dwells in those that are “not in the flesh”. He goes on to conclude and restate his declaration that God gives life to their fleshly bodies “through his Spirit who dwells in you” (vs 11).

Does it apply? Yes

11
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

On the last day of the feast, Jesus stood up and yelled, If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture says, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.  He said this referring to the Holy Spirit which was to be given to all those who believed in him after his glorification.

Jesus has begun his public ministry and is beginning to stir up Jerusalem with his controversial teaching and popularity.

How does it inform?

Jesus speaks about “rivers of living water” coming from the believers heart. John confirms for us that he was speaking about the Holy Spirit that all believers would receive and times it for us after his ascension.

Does it apply? Yes

12
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

You are no longer set apart, but now are fellow citizens with the saints of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Himself is the chief cornerstone, in whom the entire building joins together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In Christ, you also are adding together to form a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Paul is pointing out to the Ephesians and Gentile Christians, that though they were at one time “called the uncircumcision by the circumcised” (vs 11), they are now part of the inheritance in Christ as a result of the “peace” that has been preached (vs 18).

How does it inform?

The indwelling of the Spirit in each Christian forms the basis for “the household of God” (all saints) being a “holy temple” dwelling place for God.

Does it apply? Yes

13
that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
that by the abundance of his [Jesus] glory he enables your strengthening with power by the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, whereby Christ will dwell in your hearts by faith in him — so that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and continues with an actual prayer through verse 21.

How does it inform?

The Holy Spirit is in our “inner being” (and in that way, Christ dwells in our hearts).

Does it apply? Yes

14
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Brethern, you are from God and overcame them [forces of evil] since he [Holy Spirit] who is in you is superior to the one [Satan] in the world.
John is warning of false teachers and giving them encouragement as well as ways to fight against them.
How does it inform?

John is reminding Christians of what is in them using a pronoun, “he” [Holy Spirit implied].

Does it apply? Yes

Do you agree? If so, share this question and the Bible Study Framework with others.

If you know of some other verses or you have something to add to the verses already listed for this question please leave a comment below! We welcome the public discussion and will incorporate your input into the Framework above. We have nothing to hide and invite your help in considering all that God’s word has to say.

what do you think?

Send Us Your Question