“Indwelt” vs. “Spirit-filled”

Is there a qualitative difference between these two concepts regarding the relationship between a Christian and the Holy Spirit?

Having been away for so long, it’s a bit foolish to expect a response in the comments but I cast the question into cyberspace and let it land where it may.

I pose the question because of a lesson  by Dr. William Lane Craig about the Holy Spirit, in which he said more than once that being indwelt by the HS is not the same as being filled with the HS. I’m not sure I agree with him, but I do think it’s an interesting thing to discuss.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to ““Indwelt” vs. “Spirit-filled”

  1. Matt

    There is a difference. When we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, we become indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The difference is, we often don’t allow Him access to every aspect of our lives as we should. To do this (or when we do this) we are filled with the Holy Spirit. He has a hand in every part of our lives. It is a lot like relying entirely on God vs. turning to God only when we need something. Easiest way for me to explain it.

    • amtog

      Thanks for your response Matt.
      Let me lay this out for someone to pickup:

      What if the phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit” describes a temporary state which persists in order to achieve a task and ceases when the task is complete? What if the phrase “indwelt by the Holy Spirit” describes the constant state of having the Holy Spirit which all believers experience?

      Here’s another bit just for those who consider themselves “Reformed”:
      If Matt is right and the Holy Spirit can have His access restricted to various “aspect of our lives”, then wouldn’t it make sense that the Holy Spirit could be denied access completely? If so, how would we reconcile that with the doctrine that the H.S. regenerates the person against his/her corrupted will before the person believes? Or from another angle, if the H.S. regenerates a person without the person’s consent/cooperation, how can an “indwelt believer” restrict His access to any aspect of that person’s life?

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