Is there a difference between INDWELLING and INFILLING?

This article is from Hank Hanegraaff, The Complete Bible Answer Book—Collector’s Edition (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008)
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First, all members of true Israel are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1–17; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 4:13). As such, the Spirit dwelt in Moses (Isaiah 63:11) as well as in Matthew (John 14:17), Joshua (Numbers 27:18), and James (see Acts 15). In every epoch of time, believers are regenerated and restored (John 3:3–6) as well as sanctified and sealed (Romans 15:16; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30) through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. While the indwelling of the Spirit happens at conversion, the infilling of the Spirit happens continually.

Furthermore, those who are in Christ are not only indwelt but infilled with the Holy Spirit. When Jesus said to his disciples, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever” (John 14:16), he was not suggesting that the Holy Spirit was not already working redemptively within his followers but that the Spirit would manifest in the special empowerment of each believer to proclaim the gospel (Acts 1:8; 13:52).

Finally, while the indwelling of the Spirit happens at conversion, the infilling of the Spirit happens continually (Ephesians 5:18). As such, we daily seek the Holy Spirit to empower us whether in our prayers to God or in our proclamations of the gospel. Indeed, whenever the gospel penetrates the human heart it is “‘not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6).


“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew
a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your
presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to
me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing
spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors
your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.”

Psalm 51:10–13

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