It is a fact that the Holy Spirit lives in every true believer. Jesus promised speaking to the disciples in John 14:16,17
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you”.
And of course, He kept that promise. Paul made clear the indwelling of every Christian by saying in Romans 8:9-11
“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you“.
Then in 1 Corinthians 6:19 he wrote
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”.
This is very clear and easy to understand isn’t it? The question then is not “if” believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the question is “when” did they first experience the fulfillment of Christ’s promise given above in John 14? The prevailing teaching is that it was at Pentecost. But was it? Consider the following facts.
In John 7:37-39 Jesus made this promise,
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified“.
This is a very important text for learning the “when” of the Holy Spirit living “in” Christians. First, the condition is that they are believers. This is repeated twice in these verses. The second condition given was that Jesus must first be “glorified”. “He was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” At the time Jesus said these words the first condition had been met, the second would not be met until He was “glorified“. What did that mean? Jesus was “glorified” when He came out of the grave victor over death, hell, and the grave. The same day Jesus was raised from the dead he again spoke to the disciples in John 20:19-22,
“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
Is there some reason I am missing that I should not believe exactly what the Bible says here? Jesus made the promise and then after he had been “glorified” said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit“. I know they did receive the Holy Spirit when He commanded that they should. The same God who spoke and the created things lept into existence now spoke to the disciples and will anyone argue that they did not receive the Holy Spirit?
When the Lord commanded the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait “until you are endued with Power from on high” they were not going there to wait to be saved, they were not waiting to have the indwelling of the Spirit, but they were waiting and praying until they would be endued with Power when the Holy Spirit would come upon them in His fulness so that they could then get God sized results when they witnessed about the resurrected Christ.
The danger of not understanding this point is that if you believe Pentecost was when Christians were first indwelt by the Spirit you will of necessity also believe it is not repeatable. The narrative of the Acts proves that to be incorrect but people believe it anyway. No, the Pentecostal Power of the Holy Spirit is still available to those who are willing to wait on God, emptied of self, and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus. Just at Peter and the others were filled with the Spirit in Acts 2 and were then filled again, and again later, so you and I can be as well.
Mark it down. If you attempt to do God’s work in the abilities and energy of the flesh you will get what the flesh can give. However, if you do God’s work in the power of the Holy Spirit you will have the results God can give. Paul did not say in vain, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might“. (Ephesians 6;10)
When we set out to preach the gospel of Christ we are invading Satan’s territory and that same 6th chapter of Ephesians teaches us that we are in a “spiritual” war. We must not enter the fray in our own strength. If we do we will have churches full of actors and pretenders and not people who have been “born from above”.
Grace to you,