God promises to live in every Christian. The Holy Spirit is God and makes His residence in Christians. “Do you not know that the Spirit of God dwells in You” (1 Cor. 3:16)? Too often we focus on God’s promise to forgive us of our sins when we are baptized and hardly mention receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit at baptism as well (Acts 2:38). When Peter says, “for the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off” he is also talking about the promise of the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. Paul is very clear about this in Romans 8 and goes so far as to say, “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (vs. 9).
He goes on to speak of many of the blessings that accompany the Spirit’s dwelling within us.
Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 also speak of gifts that God gives to Christians. He is clear that all Christians receive a gift, but not all Christians receive the same gift. Since these lists of gifts differ, we must conclude that he’s only giving us some examples of these gifts.
Here’s the hang-up. We know that some of the miraculous gifts were given through the apostles laying their hands on Christians (read carefully Acts 8:12-20). We know that some of these gifts would cease. Paul mentions gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge would cease (1 Cor. 13:8). These gifts were necessary for the receiving and proclamation of God’s Word before the written Word was established (Heb. 2:2-4). Not only this, but they also provided confirmation that the things spoken were from God (Heb. 2:4, Mk. 16:20). God’s written Word is now well established. These gifts accomplished their purpose. Some of these gifts have ceased because they are no longer needed. The apostles are all dead and no longer able to pass these gifts on by the laying on of their hands. It was an easy leap to conclude that since some of the gifts have ceased, then all the gifts have ceased. Some have even concluded that the Holy Spirit doesn’t even dwell in Christians today. We need to be good students of the Word and be careful to only speak where the Bible speaks.
James Harding (Harding Univ. is named after him, he is the co-founder of Lipscomb Univ., respected preacher) once rightly wrote: "Not a few people seem to be under the impression that all divine interventions have ceased since the death of the apostles, and that since then there have been no supermundane or super-human influences known on earth. They think God gave the word and stopped--a very low and very erroneous conception of the reign of Christ.”
God is alive and living and works in our lives today. That is why we pray without ceasing. That is why we give thanks and acknowledge God in our lives.