Regeneration and Indwelling from Garden to Glory

I was just asked a question about God’s Indwelling Presence that prompted me to write the following, which I post here for general consumption. Here’s how I think regeneration and indwelling fit in the big story of the whole Bible:

Adam was in a different state than we’re in. He was innocent and spiritually “alive” in a way that only he and Eve experienced. Once they sinned, the ydied spiritually, became deadened to God, and needed to be regenerated/made alive to be re-sensitized to the things of the Spirit.

So I’m inclined to think that regeneration re-awakens sensitivities in us that were killed when Adam sinned.

I don’t see regeneration and indwelling as the same thing: regeneration is enabling, indwelling has to do with God’s covenant presence with us.

In the garden, Adam and Eve didn’t need to be indwelt by the Spirit because they were already in God’s presence. They lost access to God’s presence when they were driven out of the garden, and God renewed his ongoing presence with his people in the tabernacle and later the temple, which experience of God’s presence is replaced by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

In the new heaven and new earth, God will have restored his people to his presence in a way that is like, and better than, what Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden. The regeneration at that point will be completed as the redeemed inhabit glorified bodies.

13 Responses to Regeneration and Indwelling from Garden to Glory

  1. Ryan Modisette July 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Thank you for your post! What is your position on indwelling though? Will we still experience indwelling in our glorified bodies as part of our union with Christ?

    • JMH July 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      The texts don’t address it, but if we’re in the presence of God I don’t think we’ll need it.

      • Ryan Modisette July 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

        Thank you for responding to me. I agree that such a doctrine or position is not addressed in scripture (or at least not evidently so) and that it does not appear that we would need God’s indwelling presence in our glorified states, but I was just tinkering with how such an idea would affect our communion with the Trinity and God’s ultimate plans for redemptive history. I was unsure if such an position would be necessary to ground the collective unity of the body of Christ as the bride of Christ in the everlasting state (again, this is an area not readily addressed by Scripture).

  2. Rachel Monger August 23, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    I am looking forward to that complete restoration, and excited to be part of the process where I am now!

Leave a Reply