The Spirit indwelling an individual occurs at the time of the birth from above ( Cor. 3:16; 6:19 ). The individual is immersed in the Spirit, which places him in" in Christ", making him part of the one new man and Abraham's seed, because Christ is Abraham's seed (cf. Matt 3:11; 1 Cor.12:13; Gal.3:26-29 ).
But the filling of the Spirit is another matter entirely. The filling of the Spirit occures subsequent to the indwelling of the Spirit and may or may not occur in a Christian's life.
The filling of the Spirit is connected with receiving the Word of God, and, at the same time, allowing the indwelling Spirit to lead the individual into all truth. The filling of the Spirit is conected with Christian maturity. The two go hand - in - hand in this respect. From a Biblical standpoint, the more a person matures in the faith the more he can be said to be filled with the Spirit.
Note parallel verses in two companion epistles, Ephesians and Colossians, relative to the filling of the Spirit:
"And be drunk not with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord ( Eph. 5:18,19).
" Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" ( Col. 3:16 ).
In Ephesians , Christians are commanded to be filled with the Spirit; and in the parallel section in Colossians, Christians are commanded to let the Word of Christ dwell in them richly in all wisdom. The latter relates how the former is accomplished.
Thus , the importance of spiritual growth unto maturity in this manner cannot be overemphasized. Spiritual growth unto maturity is inseparably related to the filling of the Spirit, a necessity for Christians if they would be properly prepared for meeting Christ at his judgement seat and attending the marrige festivity.