It is written that the Holy Spirit indwells the Christian, as the apostle Paul wrote (1 Cor. 3:16 cp. 1 Cor. 6:19),

Don't you know that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you?

I was browsing the internet, and to my surprise, I found quite a few sites that said that the Holy Spirit does not actually dwell in the Christian.

For example,

The word "dwell" does not necessitate a literal indwelling of the Person.

According to 1) Roman Catholicism, 2) Protestantism, and 3) Evangelical Christianity, does the Holy Spirit actually dwell in the Christian, and if so, how does this occur (including, where does he dwell)?

  • see: "Why did Jesus have to leave for the Holy Spirit to come?"
    – Rick
    Aug 12, 2013 at 14:08
  • @Rick: Unless I missed something, that doesn't answer the question. Please cite something from the thread if you believe it does. I am asking whether the Holy Spirit actually dwells in man, and if so, how the Holy Spirit dwells in man (the mechanics or physics, if you will). Also, I want to know where exactly the Holy Spirit is said to dwell in man.
    – user900
    Aug 12, 2013 at 16:29

2 Answers 2


Generally, Christians hold that the Holy Spirit dwells within the heart of man; man being body, soul and spirit. This indwelling is not physical but spiritual.

The heart consists of soul and spirit.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The sending of the Holy Spirit was foretold within the Old Testament.

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

True circumcision is of the heart.

Romans2:28,29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

Our personal economy, our value system is established within the heart and our actions are derived within the heart.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things

The “hidden man of the heart” is Jesus Christ born of the Holy Spirit, which resides within the heart of man.

1 Peter 3:4 But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

  • Do you want to add Gal. 4:6?
    – user900
    Aug 13, 2013 at 16:58
  • @H3br3wHamm3r81 Yes!
    – Rick
    Aug 13, 2013 at 18:59
  • @H3br3wHamm3r81, Why is this question not being answered by others? Certainly you already knew the answer to this question.
    – Rick
    Aug 14, 2013 at 11:33
  • Actually, I didn't. And, I'm not sure that even matters. Even if someone does know the question, there are others who don't, whom the question may benefit in the future. I actually read Gal. 4:6 and saw it was relevant to the thread, so I thought you could include it. Also, do you really think the Holy Spirit dwells in man's actual heart?
    – user900
    Aug 14, 2013 at 16:51
  • @H3B3W Physical heart no, spiritual heart yes! Check out answer to "Does the indwelling of the Holy Spirit encompass a person's body, soul and spirit?"
    – Rick
    Aug 14, 2013 at 20:07

Roman Catholicism

The Holy Trinity is said to dwell within the soul of the man in a state of Sanctifying Grace, although "being a work of Divine Love, it is properly ascribed to the Holy Spirit." [1]

[1] Archbishop Michael Sheehan, Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Baronius Press 2019, p. 447

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