I believe it is the role of the Holy Spirit to indwell disciples of Christ and serve to complete the transition from lost sinner to Saint of the church. The Holy Spirit teaches, leads, counsels, chastises and convicts, comforts, motivates, and, in short, completes the person in the form of the spiritual being that he or she is intended to be in Christ. Jesus Christ lives and breathes again in and through the believer. The believer becomes the hands and feet of the Christ on earth and just as the Holy Spirit continues to sanctify us in the likeness of Christ, He also leads us in our submission and service to the Christ. If submitted in spirit, then when the believer is looked upon by another, that person sees Jesus. This is only possible by the power and work of the Holy Spirit as He indwells the believer.
I believe the words of Acts 2:36 when Peter spoke, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38 NIV) When the heart of the person is truly turned away from the world and toward Christ (true repentance), and he or she believes that Jesus was the Christ of God and died as a sacrifice for his or her sins, that person, that new believer, is justified at that moment in the eyes of God and has made available to him or her the gift of the Holy Spirit of God for the purposes of regeneration and sanctification. This what Ephesians 5:18 is referring to when Paul simply writes, “be filled with the spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18 NIV) The regeneration may be a sudden feeling or just the beginning of a process. I believe that the power of The Holy Spirit is revealed primarily via the sovereignty of God over all creation. It is important to understand that when it comes to the concept of being baptized in the Spirit, God will manifest Himself in the new believer just as He in His sovereignty wills.
I believe that the Holy Spirit moves through people in other ways as well. I believe He will make Himself known through the laying on of hands (Acts 8:19); and I believe He is able to indwell a person just as He wills, as a result of intercessory prayer (Acts 8:15). I do not believe that if a person is saved and receives the Holy Spirit that it necessarily will be “proven” by immediate “signs and wonders” or manifest in the speaking of tongues. And this leads us to the gifts of the Spirit.
I believe that every believer has a unique role in the body of Christ that is determined by the Father. In order to fulfill this role, the believer is equipped by God with an array of what we deem Spiritual gifts insomuch as they are imparted to the believer by God the Holy Spirit as a result of that person’s submission to the will of God. Perhaps the best discussion of the purpose and distribution of spiritual gifts is offered by Paul in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12. In this chapter Paul discusses the fact that there are many gifts given by the Holy Spirit but reminds the believers that they all originate from the same God (verse 4). Moreover, the gifts will work in as many different ways as there are those who receive them (verses 5-6) Finally, Paul teaches that, “to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1Corinthinas 12:7 NIV) This is to indicate that the gifts are meant for the edification of the body of Christ and no other reason. A large measure of the rest of this chapter teaches the concept of the diversity yet unity of the body of Christ.
The gifts of the Spirit are so diverse in nature as to allow for any and every necessary combination to serve perfectly any and every body of Christ. Moreover, Spiritual gifts can be “adjusted” by God as He sees fit. In other words, God can permanently or temporarily equip a person with a particular Spiritual gift in order to meet a particular need in a body of Christ and/or to serve that person as he or she grows and develops through the process of sanctification. From the gift of hospitality, to the gift of healing, to the gift discernment, each and every gift is given to the individual and blended in the body of Christ perfectly.
Sorry - all of this seminary stuff has me in a rather theological mood.