Is the Spirit Too Holy To Dwell in Sinful Men?

There is an old saying in Christianity – stated one of several ways – that God is too holy to tolerate sin; to abide sin; to dwell in the presence of sin, or the sinner. It is used to support the Spirit-in-the-written-word-only-today doctrine by saying that the Holy Spirit somehow becomes an accomplice to sin if the person in whom He dwells falls even for a moment.

To establish this proverb, Isaiah 59:1-2 is sometimes quoted:

Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.

But, generally the rest of the chapter is not cited … because a thinking person would realize that it ends with God’s covenant to inspire descendants forever with His words through His Holy Spirit:

“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 59:21)

That – and the rest of the chapter which describes how God overcomes the sin He sees through a Redeemer – is inconvenient to the argument that men are too sinful for God to dwell with them or within them.

And sometimes Habakkuk 1:13a is cited:

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.

But the rest of the verse, usually not … because a thinking person would realize that the prophet is having a conversation with God and actually accusing Him of tolerating evil:

Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

Plus … how could He be aware of evil if He does not see it or look upon it? if He is indeed blind to it?

The Lord’s answer in chapter two make it obvious that He sees and judges the sin spread out before Him and pronounces His woes and will dispense His justice:

The cup from the LORD’s right hand is coming around to you,
and disgrace will cover your glory. ~ Habakkuk 2:16

The LORD is in his holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before him. ~ Habakkuk 2:20

It is always a foolish and dangerous thing to base an argument upon what God cannot do. With God, nothing is impossible (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27) – and His eyes remain holy even if He sees sin. His Presence is not hobbled nor destroyed by the presence of it in His world.

You see, if God is too holy to even look upon sin, too holy to dwell among sinners, too holy to live within them …

Too holy to dwell in sinful men?

Yes, but not the ones He has forgiven.

Our sins may hide God’s face from us, but He still sees. He sees those sins repented. He sees them nailed down, lifted up, and crucified dead. He sees His Son, dying on that cross.

And for reasons unfathomable to us save in the term “love,” that is all that matters to Him.

Shame on any of us for ever trying to pretend God or His Son or His Holy Spirit are too weak to do what Christ’s blood has done.

8 thoughts on “Is the Spirit Too Holy To Dwell in Sinful Men?

  1. Keith, there are some things you and I will never agree on, because we build from two totally different foundations. you start at the believe God is comprized of three indiviguals, I start from the belief that God is one God, God Almighty that works through other persons.

    You believe in a God made up of “God the father” God the Son” and “God the holy ghost”.
    If you can answer the following question, I will look farther into your belief, if not you need to look farther into mine. If God is made up of “three” what are their names?
    God Almighty’s names is Jehovah.
    Exd 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by [the name of] God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

    The Son of God’s name is Jesus.
    Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

    What is the holy spirit’s name??

    • Read these in order and you will see that FatherSpiritSon are all one on the throne.

      Isaiah 6:3
      John 12:41
      Acts 28:25
      Isaiah 6:8

  2. The Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God. The Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of truth. The Spirit. The Spirit who is from God. Spirit of the living God. Spirit of the Lord. Spirit of His Son. Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Spirit of Jesus Christ.

    Perhaps He is so humble of heart that He needs no name.

  3. Keith it seems to me God held great store in a name. He even changed some of them.

    Gen 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.

    Hbr 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

    Keith is it just an oversight that the “holy spirit/ghost” is not mentioned in the book of Revelation. But it does say God is the only one who is holy.

  4. Laymond,
    The Holy Spirit is mentioned in the book of Revelation as the “Spirit” several times. Because the apostle John was hearing this voice before the N.T was sealed.

    Revelation 2:7
    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’
    Revelation 2:11
    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’
    Revelation 2:17
    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’
    Revelation 2:29
    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
    Revelation 3:6
    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
    Revelation 3:13
    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
    Revelation 3:22
    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

    • GFT, I believe you might be confusing your spirits.

      Jhn 4:24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

      Rev 1:1 ¶ The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John:
      Rev 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
      Rev 1:3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.

      • Laymond, Are you saying that the Apostle John did not hear what the Holy Spirit said? That was in the 1 century. I am not saying that is today the same way that was with the apostle John. Laymondm I have a question for you: When you were baptize in the name of who? where you baptize? Just in the name of the father? or in the name of Jesus? or just in the name of the Holy Spirit? please answer this.

      • Laymond, The Holy Spirt is also called the Spirit of Christ ( 1 Peter 1:11 )
        11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. The Father, The word and the Holy Spirit have the same purpose. That’s mean Jesus use his Holy Spirit to reveal the book of Revelation to the apostle John. in the book of revelation Is just mention as the Spirit because the message the medium “Sword:(The word of God) was been delivered by God to the 1 century Christian and for us.

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