The Holy Spirit, In Us And Upon Us

Q. Recently, our pastor gave a message on the Holy Spirit regarding the Greek words ‘en’ and ‘epi’ (the Holy Spirit being ‘in’ a Christian and ‘upon’ a Christian) and said there was a difference. He explained that ‘en’ happened at the time of salvation, which I already knew, of course, but the ‘epi’ , I had not heard of before happened when a Christian had a deeper relationship with Christ and then would receive miracles and blessings. I know blessings happen when we are in fellowship with Christ. I didn’t know about the Holy Spirit being upon us as different from being in us. I would like your thoughts on this and did I understand him correctly?

A. Three Greek words are used to define the role of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. Para means “with” and applies to everyone before the Resurrection. Eperchomai (a compound form of epi and erchomai) means to “come upon” and describes events in Acts 2, Acts 10:44, and Acts 19:6, resulting there in the manifestation of tongues. En means “in” and refers to the result of having heard and believed the Gospel, as in Ephesians 1:13-14.

Taken together, these passages agree that the Lord sealed the Holy Spirit within you at the moment of belief, determined what gift(s) you would need to make your unique contribution to the body, and invested you accordingly. From time to time, for His own purposes, He might also cause the Holy Spirit to “come upon” you to perform a special assignment.

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