Is Jesus in my heart or at the right hand of God?
As a born-again Christian, is Jesus in my Heart or seated at the right hand of God? Who is within us, the Holy Spirit? My wife is not a Christian and asked me that question.
The truth is “all of the above.” Christ dwells in the Christian’s heart: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,” Eph. 3:17. He is said to be in us as our hope of glory, Col. 1:27. Christ is described as standing at the right hand of God, Acts 7:55-56 and Romans 8:34, seated at the right hand of God, Col. 3:1, Heb. 10:12, and Heb. 12:2, and as being at the right hand of God without describing him as either standing or sitting, 1 Pet. 3:22.
The scripture is also clear that the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Cor. 6:19. (See also Romans 8:9-11. However, there is disagreement among scholars regarding this text over when the “s” in “spirit” should be upper case (the Holy Spirit) or lower case (the human spirit). There is disagreement as to whether the Spirit dwells in the Christian personally in conjunction with the Word or representatively through the Word. There is no disagreement whether the Holy Spirit indwells the Christian. The important truth is that the Holy Spirit guides and speaks to the Christian only through the Word of God. Put differently there is no direct operation of the Holy Spirit; there is only indirect operation through the Word of God. Many people today are fond of the expression, “God spoke to me and said . . . .” God speaks to man today and the Holy Spirit guides man today ONLY THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD. Those who claim a direct message do not speak the truth. To claim such a message is either fraud (a deliberate misrepresentation) or ignorance (the speaker is misguided). There are no other alternatives since the Bible clearly teaches that there are no latter day revelations. Moreover, any latter day revelation is at best superfluous and at worst untrue. If it contains more than the Bible it contains too much; if it contains less than the Bible it contains too little; if it contains the same thing as the Bible it is superfluous because we already have the Bible.
The evidence we have for the indwelling Christ and Spirit is what the Scripture reveals to us. In today’s search for a religion that is “better felt than told,” people mistake some emotional reaction as evidence of their salvation. It is true that feeling precedes salvation and is a sign of salvation. The feeling that precedes salvation is demonstrated by Saul of Tarsus in his conversion. Acts 9:6-9. After the Lord appeared to him, Saul spent three days in Damascus in fasting and prayer. He was obviously a man who “felt” penitent. His feeling was not a sign of salvation because he was yet in his sins. Ananias, who the Lord sent to Saul, instructed him to be baptized to wash away his sins. Saul obeyed and the rest is history. There is, however, feeling that is a sign of salvation. In Acts 8, the Ethiopian Nobleman “when on his way rejoicing” ( 8:39) after he was baptized.
The problem, however, is that feelings cannot be trusted. If one believes he or she is saved, he or she will “feel” saved even if they are lost. The only way to know that one is saved is to read and believe the Scripture and obey its commands. Then one can know that the Lord will fulfill his promise – “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be condemned.” Mark 16:16.