Does 1 Corinthians 3:16 teach that the Holy Spirit is God?
The Iglesia Ni Cristo teaches that the Holy Spirit is not God. Does this teaching conflict with 1 Corinthians 3:16?
1 Corinthians 3:16 (ESV) - Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
The Bible says that believers are "God's temple" and that "God's spirit dwells" in that temple, inside believers. What does it mean that the Holy Spirit dwells in God's temple?
This passage does indeed teach that the Spirit is God. The INC blasphemes and contradicts scripture when they claim that he is a lesser being than God.
God is the only one who can dwell in the Temple of God
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 gives us an example of someone who was not God trying to sit in the temple of God.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (ESV) - 3 And the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
What does it mean when this man sits in the temple of God? It means he claims himself to be God!
By sitting in the temple of God, he proclaims himself to be God. Because he is a man, and not God, he is called "the man of lawlessness". However, the Spirit is allowed to dwell in God's temple, and is not reproved for it; he is not called "the spirit of lawlessness". This means the Spirit is God.
God says that he dwells in us.
John 14:23 (ESV) - Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
How do Jesus and the Father make their home with the believer? Paul tells us in Romans:
Romans 8:11a (ESV) - the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you
Would God promise to dwell in us, but then send a different being—a lesser being—to dwell in us instead? God is not a liar. When he said he would dwell in believers, he was telling the truth. The Spirit he sends is God dwelling in us.
God promised he would dwell in us and fulfilled that promise by sending the Spirit. The Spirit, after being sent, is allowed to dwell within believers, in the temple of God.
Because God is not a liar, and because the Spirit is not a "spirit of lawlessness", the only conclusion is that the Holy Spirit must be fully God. The Iglesia Ni Cristo teaches the opposite of this biblical truth. The Holy Spirit is indeed God, and saying anything different is blasphemy.