A four-part answer to a four-part question from the comments:
Many passages of Scripture state that we have given the gift of the Holy Spirit, sealed with the Holy Spirit, we are temples of the Holy Spirit, God dwells in us by His Spirit, etc. I believe it all right. I just don’t understand it. So, when people here and the elders in our congregation (they believe in the indwelling “through the word”), say what they do, I get confused. Childish, right? Can you help me to understand in a simple manner (as to a child)?
Every passage you mention tells its own story. God teaches us, like children, through metaphor. We are not enough like God to understand things exactly. So God has to compare spiritual things to worldly things.
“Gift of the Holy Spirit” is from Acts 2:38. It’s a reference to —
(Acts 2:33 ESV) 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
In fact, the first half of Peter’s sermon is about the prophecy of Joel 2 coming true that the Spirit would be outpoured on “all flesh.”
(Acts 2:17-21 ESV) 17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Read Peter’s entire sermon carefully, line by line, verse by verse. The first part is about the coming of the Spirit as promised by the prophets. The second part is the use of OT prophecy to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ) promised by the prophets, and therefore the “Lord” who must be believed in to be saved.
This is the “promise of the Spirit,” which, in context, is the “gift of the Spirit.” That is, the promise of the Spirit and the gift of the Spirit are both references to the Spirit himself — which was supposed to be poured on “all flesh” when the Kingdom dawns — so that salvation comes to all who call upon the name of the Lord.
Now, Joel does not directly address the indwelling question. But Joel 2 is just one of many OT prophecies that speak of the Spirit softening the hearts of its recipients, bringing obedience and salvation (we’ve already covered many of them). Joel 2 was adding to what was already revealed about the Spirit’s coming when the Messiah/Kingdom arrive.
An erroneous teaching commonly found in the Churches of Christ is that “gift of the Spirit” is salvation — but the sermon starts with a lesson about the coming of the Spirit himself. “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.” Well, “all flesh” is not “120 disciples” but “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord.” And what Joel promises them — and Peter says is coming true RIGHT NOW — is the Spirit, as well as salvation.
Both are promised, and God keeps all of his promises.
Finally, notice —
(Acts 2:38-39 ESV) 38 And Peter said to them, “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. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
We routinely ignore verse 39, but “the promise” is another reference to v. 33 — the “promise of the Holy Spirit.” Remember, Peter starts with Joel 2, which promises the Spirit himself and then salvation — BOTH. They go together and cannot be separated.