Will the Holy Spirit ever leave a Christian?

Author: BibleAsk Team

The Holy Spirit Helping the Christian

The question of whether the Holy Spirit will ever leave a Christian is one of great importance. Understanding the nature and role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian requires a careful examination of biblical teachings.

In Christian theology, the Holy Spirit is understood as the third person of the Trinity (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14), along with God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ). The Holy Spirit plays a central role in the life of a believer, convicting (John 16:8), guiding (John 16:13), and empowering (Luke 1:35) them. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit marks the believer’s union with God and empowering them to live a life that honors Him.

To explore the work of God’s Spirit in the life of a Christian, we must first understand the biblical teachings regarding His indwelling. One foundational truth about this is found in Ephesians 1:13-14 (NKJV), which states:

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” This sealing of God’s Spirit is a promise of the ultimate fulfillment of all God’s promises to men.

Furthermore, Jesus Himself promises the continuous presence of the Holy Spirit with believers if they continue to abide in Christ (John 15:4). In John 14:16-17 (NKJV), Jesus says: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

Grieving the Holy Spirit

While the biblical teachings emphasize the commitment of the Holy Ghost to the believer in his relationship with God, a believer can forfeit or lose his relationship with the Lord if he chooses to do that. A believer’s deliberate evil actions or choices can certainly lead to the departure of God’s Spirit from his life.

One passage often cited about the Holy Spirit’s departure is Ephesians 4:30 (NKJV), which states: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” The act of sealing does not forever guarantee salvation, for it is possible for the Christian to sin against the Holy Ghost and thus lose salvation (Hebrews 6:4–6). The sin for which there is no pardon comes as a climax to repeated grievings. Therefore, it is important to guard against even a single act of grieving.

Jesus declares,  “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men” (Matthew 12:31, NKJV). Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, or the unpardonable sin, consists of progressive rejection to God’s Word that climaxes in a final and irrevocable decision against it, intentionally made in the full knowledge that by so doing one is choosing to follow his own way in opposition to God’s will.

The conscience gets seared by progressive rejection to the conviction of God’s Spirit, and one may not know that he has made the fateful decision. Therefore, a person who has a fear that he has committed the “unpardonable sin,” has clear evidence that he has not committed it. For this reason, Paul in, 1 Thessalonians 5:19 (NKJV), instructs believers, “Do not quench the Spirit.” Quenching the Spirit involves stifling or suppressing the Spirit’s convicting work in one’s life.

This shows that individuals have the freedom to reject God’s grace and turn away from Him. Paul, in Hebrews 6:4-6 (NKJV), warns against falling away from the faith: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”

In conclusion, the biblical teachings regarding the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and the assurance of salvation provide strong evidence that God’s Spirit will remain with the believer as long as the believer chooses to abide in God. Therefore, believers are called to maintain a close relationship with the Lord, yielding to the His guidance and avoiding sins that hinder their spiritual growth. Towards that end, the Holy Spirit will empower them to persevere in faith until the day of redemption.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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