Question: “Will the Holy Spirit ever leave a believer?”


Question: “Will the Holy Spirit ever leave a believer?”

Answer:
Simply put, no, the Holy Spirit will never leave a true believer. This

is revealed in many different passages in the New Testament. For example, Romans 8:9 tells us, “…if anyone does not have the Spirit
of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” This verse very clearly states that if
someone does not have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, then that
person is not saved. Therefore, if the Holy Spirit were to leave a believer,
that person would have lost the saving relationship with Christ. Yet this is
contrary to what the Bible teaches about the eternal security of Christians.
Another verse that speaks to the permanence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling
presence in the life of believers is John
14:16
. Here Jesus states that the Father will give another Helper “to be

with you forever.”

The fact that the Holy Spirit will never leave a
believer is also seen in Ephesians 1:13-14
where believers are said to be “sealed” with the Holy Spirit, “who is a deposit
guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s
possession—to the praise of his glory.” The picture of being sealed with the
Spirit is one of ownership and possession. God has promised eternal life to all
who believe in Christ, and as a guarantee that He will keep His promise, He has
sent the Holy Spirit to indwell the believer until the day of redemption.
Similar to making a down payment on a car or a house, God has provided all
believers with a down payment on their future relationship with Him by sending
the Holy Spirit to indwell them. The fact that all believers are sealed with the
Spirit is also seen in 2 Corinthians 1:22
and Ephesians
4:30
.

Prior to Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension into
heaven, the Holy Spirit had a “come and go” relationship with people. The Holy
Spirit indwelt King Saul, but then departed from him (1 Samuel 16:14). Instead, the Spirit came upon David (1 Samuel 16:13). After
his adultery with Bathsheba, David feared that the Holy Spirit would be taken
from him (Psalm 51:11). The Holy
Spirit filled Bezaleel to enable him to produce the items needed for the
tabernacle (Exodus 31:2-5), but this is not described as a permanent
relationship. All of this changed after Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Beginning
on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit began permanently indwelling believers
(Acts 2). The permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of
God’s promise to always be with us and never forsake us.

While the Holy
Spirit will never leave a believer, it is possible for our sin to “quench the
Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians
5:19
) or “grieve the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:30). Sin always has consequences in our

relationship with God. While our relationship with God is secure in Christ,
unconfessed sin in our lives can hinder our fellowship with God and effectively
quench the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives. That is why it is so important to
confess our sins because God is “faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John
1:9
). So, while the Holy Spirit will never leave us, the benefits and joy of

His presence can in fact depart from us.

Recommended Resource:
The Holy Spirit by Charles Ryrie.

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