Definition and Description
The Holy Spirit indwells the body of the believer at the moment of salvation, 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 3:16. This indwelling provides the divine power to offset the continued presence of the sin nature which also indwells the body after salvation. In addition to the indwelling Spirit, the filling of the Holy Spirit is required to provide the control and power for Christian living.
The sin nature continues its disruptive tactics and seeks to frustrate the plan of God for the believer’s inner life. When the sin nature controls through sin then the believer is carnal. The carnal believer behavior leads to backsliding (reversion). When the Holy Spirit controls the soul, that is the filling of the Holy Spirit. In the life of every believer, human ability must be superseded by divine ability.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is also a sign of royal family status on earth. In the Millennium, all believers will continue to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
No indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a Christian occurred until the church age. Therefore, we are royal family who complement Christ’s battlefield royalty. We receive five additional ministries of the Holy Spirit at salvation: indwelling, sealing, spiritual gifts, filling, and baptism.
While some believers have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit in every dispensation, all believers are indwelt with the Holy Spirit in the church age.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in other dispensations was technically the enduement of the Holy Spirit. For example, David said, “Take not Your Spirit from me,” Ps. 51:11.
It is important to distinguish between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is permanent, and the filling of the Holy Spirit which is temporary depending on the use of confession of sin. When we sin we lose the filling of the Holy Spirit, but not the indwelling of the Spirit.
While the indwelling of Holy Spirit emphasizes the body, the filling of the Holy Spirit emphasizes the believer’s soul. Therefore, the sphere of indwelling is always stated as the body of the believer, 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19-20. Your body is the sacred building of the church age. This indwelling makes it impossible for demon possession to occur.
Additional principles related to the Spirit.
We are commanded to “grieve not the Spirit,” Eph. 4:30.
We are commanded to “quench not the Spirit,” 1 Thess. 5:19.
We are never commanded to be indwelt by the Spirit (this always exists), but to “be filled with the Spirit,” Eph. 5:18, or to be “walking in the Spirit,” Gal. 5:16.
The Inner Conflict Between the Sin Nature and Indwelling of Holy Spirit.
The prior indwelling of the sin nature from physical birth and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit from the new birth result in a great inner conflict, Gal. 5:17.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the principle of victory over the sin nature, while the filling of the Holy Spirit is the function of victory over the sin nature. The Spirit indwells to be available to provide power; the believer makes use of that power by walking in the Spirit.
Therefore, emphasis is placed on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which divorces the believer from the power of the sin nature and marries the believer to a second husband with a new way of life. It further provides a new marriage counselor for the new life in God the Holy Spirit.
The inner conflict between the sin nature and indwelling of the Holy Spirit is portrayed in Rom. 8:2-8 and Gal. 5:16ff. The sin nature has a head start at birth. It is only overcome by a personal positive attitude to doctrine, especially the doctrine of Confession of Sin.
The Prophesy of the Indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, Jn. 7:37-39.
It was prophesied prior to the beginning of the church age by Christ. There are three spiritual uses of water, one is mentioned in Jn. 7:37-39.
For salvation, Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17.
For doctrine, Jn. 3:5; Eph. 5:26.
For the Holy Spirit, Jn. 7:39.
In Jn. 14:16-17 Christ again prophesied the indwelling of Holy Spirit, “will be in you.”
The Primary Objective of the Indwelling of Holy Spirit.
The primary objective of the indwelling of Holy Spirit is the provision of divine energy to execute the Christian way of life. This includes the attainment of all objectives of God for your life.
Advancement to maturity and glorification of Christ is accomplished through the filling of the Spirit and perception of doctrine.
Perception of doctrine is the ministry of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Jn. 14:26. The Holy Spirit provided accuracy of recall through a photographic memory for the writing of Scripture, Jn. 16:12-15 cf. 1 Cor. 2:9-16 and 1 Jn. 2:27.
Anointing and Unction are Synonyms for the Indwelling of Holy Spirit,
Anointing relates the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to the church age believer as a sign of the royal family of God. The indwelling of Holy Spirit is the royal family escutcheon. Because the royal family lives in the Holy of Holies forever, it is important that we are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit demonstrates that we are royalty. Anointing appoints us ambassadors for Christ.
The Distinction Between the Indwelling of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is both permanent and functional, while the indwelling of Jesus Christ is the guarantee of blessings and promises in the believer’s advance to maturity. The indwelling of Jesus Christ is also in the body and is permanent.
There is definite evidence that the backsliding (“reversionistic”) believer does not benefit from the indwelling of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. 13:5; Rev. 3:20
Bibliography (principal sources):
Braun, Ralph, “Categorical Notebooks”
Chafer, Lewis Sperry, “Systematic Theology”
Strong, A. H., “Systematic Theology”
Thieme, R. B. Jr., taped sermons and printed materials.