“…there can be no such thing as a Christian who is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This truth is so emphatically declared in the New Testament that it seems almost impossible that any other view could ever have been entertained.” – Lewis Sperry Chafer
There is nothing more important to understanding and practicing spirituality than the foundational works of the Holy Spirit as explained in the Bible: Indwelling, Baptizing, Sealing, and Filling. Countless erroneous (even damaging) ideas about how to please God as a Christian in the age of Grace have sprouted from man’s imagination and not from God’s instruction manual. That the Holy Spirit has taken permanent residence in the believer is the bedrock principle upon which a spiritual life is built.
“From the doctrinal viewpoint or as a foundation for all truth respecting the relation between the Holy Spirit and the believer in the present age, there is no more characterizing or determining fact than that the Holy Spirit indwells every regenerated person. To fail to recognize the body of Scripture upon which this distinction in doctrine rests is to misapprehend one of the most essential factors in the Christian’s being, to conceive of the Christian as totally unprepared for the high and holy requirements which are laid upon him, to open the door for the promotion of unscriptural assumptions relative to persona holiness, and to create unwarranted divisions in teh Body of Christ. No student should pass over this aspect of truth lightly. No progress can be made in the knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s relation to the believer until the feature of the doctrine of the Spirit is recognized and accepted as declared by the Sacred Text.” *
The spiritual regeneration of a person by the Holy Spirit is the result of faith in Jesus Christ of the Bible: the incarnate Son of God who was crucified, died, was buried, rose again, and is exalted in Heaven. The new birth is the result of faith that does not happen unnoticed. The believer must know that he or she is born again. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is one of many things that happen to a new creation in Christ upon salvation. A new believer is unaware of most of the events in this “salvation package” until they grow in the Lord.. **
Chafer comments on this: “…the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer may not be indicated by any corresponding revolutionary experience, His indwelling is nonetheless one of the most characterizing of all the features which constitute a Christian what he is. The Spirit indwells without necessarily engendering an experience…” *
A few key texts about the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer (in their order by books):
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Having taken up His abode in the believer, His presence is never removed. (See II Corinthians 5:5 below.)
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.
I Corinthians 6:19-20
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? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
I Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
II Corinthians 5:5
Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
The “earnest” spoken of here is like a down payment or an engagement ring that seals a promise that will be completely fulfilled or consummated in the future. This is evidence in the believer that all of God’s promises for us will be kept.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
I John 3:24; 4:13
And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
* Systematic Theology – Pneumatology (Volume VI) by Lewis Sperry Chafer
** 215 Things That Are True of Me, Now That I Am Saved; Sunday School Notes from Pastor George Zeller, Middletown Bible Church, Middletown, CT.
Five ministries of the Holy Spirit to believers in the Church Age: