Friday, August 30, 2013

Commentary: His Permanent Address

His Permanent Address

(Originally published: Thursday, August 07, 2008)

A Synonym is one of two or more words in the same language which have
the same or very nearly the same meaning. The meanings are so similar
the words are often used interchangeably. The challenge is to know
which of these words to use when you are translating. For example,
there is no word in Spanish for righteousness. Many use the Spanish
word for Justice: Justicia. But, justice and righteousness do not have
the same definition, they are not synonyms.

A similar thing happens with the word dwell in the Bible. Sometimes it
means to live permanently and sometime it means temporarily. The
latter is the case of John 1:14. The word used in the Greek is Skenoo,
which means: to have or fix one's tabernacle, abide (or live) in a
tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle; to dwell. Let us read John 1:14,

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we
beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.

Christ dwelling with us as the Son of Man was temporary. When Christ
was on earth He "pitched His tent" among us. Tents are for temporary
dwellings. In contrast, other words are used regarding His dwelling in
us. The first one is Enoikeo which means to dwell in; to dwell
metaphorically in one and influence him (for good). Because is for
good, it gives an impression of permanency. Two verses use this

2Ti 1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the
Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye
are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in
them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my

The second one is Katoikeo, which means to dwell in, inhabit as in,
God is said to dwell in the temple, i.e. to be always present for
worshippers. Also to dwell, settle; used metaphorically to refer to
when divine powers, influences, etc., are said to dwell in his soul,
to pervade, prompt, govern it. Examples of this use are found in,

Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being
rooted and grounded in love,
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

The word kaitokeo gives an implication of something more lasting than
just pitching a tent. The third word is oikeo which simply means to
dwell in. However, there is no sign of short term stay or pitching a
tent. Again there is a sense of permanence in the use of this verse.
Let us read

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that
the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of
Christ, he is none of his.
Rom 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but
the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead
dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also
quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The last word is naos {nah-os'} – (our word for "IN") which is derived
from naio which also means to dwell. It was used when referring to the
temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice (or sanctuary)
itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of Holies. This word
is the one used for referring to Jesus in the Sanctuary. Let us read,

1Co 6:19 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?

No reference in this verse of anything temporary. Our bodies are
supposed to be Jesus' permanent address. As we can see all these words
were translated as dwelling. However, skenoo is temporary dwelling.

In conclusion, when the Bible talks about Christ dwelling among us as
a man, it is temporary living. However, when it talks about Christ
dwelling in us it is permanent living. Both dwellings are because God
loves us. God wants to permanently dwell in us. He does not want to
temporarily dwell among us. His incarnation limited the how and amount
of time He could dwell with us. But, through the Holy Spirit he can
dwell in us forever. Yes, we can evict Him and foreclose our property,
in which case the devil will repurchase it, and it will be destroyed
when the devil is destroyed. Or we can let God abide in us, and
eventually live eternally with Him.

Ps. Reformation can only occur when the Holy Spirit dwells in us. It
is He doing the reformation.

Raul Diaz