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Bible teaching on the Indwelling and Infilling of the Holy Spirit

A detailed and anointed Holy Spirit baptism Christian Bible teaching on the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Spirit can be found at Christ-Centered Mall.

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Holy Spirit Indwelling and Infilling Teaching

Jesus Was Filled with the Holy Spirit

Like fresh heavenly oil, the Holy Spirit is the anointing from the Father, given to His Son Jesus (Yeshua). "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him" (Acts 10:38). Notice in this verse that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power. We know that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20), and therefore had the indwelling Holy Spirit all His life: "And the child [Jesus] grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him" (Luke 2:40).

However, the time came when Jesus needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit to carry out His earthly mission. Remember that before coming to earth, Jesus emptied Himself of His divine privileges and power, making Himself "nothing" so that He could become human (Philippians 2:5-8). He "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). As the perfect example of a human, Jesus did not perform any miracles until after He was filled with the Holy Spirit (see John 2:11), nor did He work miracles and endure trials with His own power. Instead, Jesus healed people and overcame suffering by daily yielding Himself to the power of the Holy Spirit. "But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men"
(Matthew 9:8). Jesus confirmed this truth when He said, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you" (Matthew 12:28). In His humanity, Jesus had to fully rely on His Father to perform miracles through Him, strengthen Him through suffering, and even raise Him from the dead (see Acts 3:15; Romans 10:9).

So, how was Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit? Well, at about thirty years of age (Luke 3:23) Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. When Jesus came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove, filling Him with power (Matthew 3:16). "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness" (Luke 4:1). From that time on, Jesus was led by the Spirit and walked in the power of the Spirit. He healed the sick, raised the dead, overcame the temptations of Satan, cast out devils, faced persecution by those who did not believe, and ultimately, bore the sins of the world upon the cross.

Jesus' life on earth perfectly exemplified total dependency upon God (see Matthew 23:9; Luke 11:2). Jesus said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), revealing that the Spirit of the Father (John 15:26) and the Spirit of the Son (Galatians 4:6) is the same Holy Spirit. The children of God are invited to share in this divine fellowship (oneness of Spirit), for the same Spirit Who filled and empowered Jesus is present within the heart of every born-again believer. "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" (I Corinthians 2:12).

The Indwelling and the Infilling

Now the question arises, "Doesn't every Christian already have the Holy Spirit? If so, why is there a need to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?" The answer is that the indwelling of the Spirit is not the same as the infilling of the Spirit.

The indwelling of the Spirit, also called the Spirit of earnest (seed of the Holy Spirit), is given by the Father to every person who repents and believes in Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:16; II Corinthians 1:22). This is the spiritual baptism into Christ, or new birth, which Christians depict through water baptism. "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27). This is the Spirit of earnest (II Corinthians 1:22) by Whom we are saved.

The infilling, on the other hand, is a gift offered to the children of God and is the "power from on high" (Luke 24:49) which Jesus promised to His disciples. Also called the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the infilling is received through faith and prayer and may be accompanied by the laying on of hands. Results of receiving the infilling include power to overcome sin, boldness to witness, divine comfort, sweet fellowship with Him, and a fuller manifestation of spiritual gifts. The indwelling and the infilling are distinctly different, although it is possible for both to coincide almost simultaneously.

Just as the indwelling Spirit reproduces the life of Jesus in the heart of a believer unto salvation, so the infilling or outpoured Spirit reproduces the ministry of Jesus with power and boldness. The Holy Spirit is the living water in which believers are baptized (see I Corinthians 12:13) and the heavenly drink which Jesus offers (John 4:10). Jesus promised, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" (John 7:37-39). After Jesus was glorified, the living water of the Holy Ghost was poured out at Pentecost and numerous times thereafter to empower believers to spread the Gospel.

The primary reason our Heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit is so that we can inherit salvation, but the Holy Spirit also empowers believers with the following:
  • Ability to overcome sin (Galatians 5:16; Revelation 12:11)
  • Boldness in witnessing (Acts 1:8)
  • Deeper understanding of God's Word (Isaiah 50:4; Revelation 2:29)
  • Faith to endure trials (I Peter 1:7, 4:12)
  • Greater manifestation of spiritual giftings (I Corinthians 12:7-10)
  • Power in prayer (Romans 8:26-27)
Truly, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is for any believer who desires a closer walk with the Lord. However, the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit because it loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19) and worships what it sees and knows. Jesus told His disciples, "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"
(John 14:17).


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Holy Spirit Indwelling and Infilling Bible Study and Christian Teaching

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