THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT
Since we have seen that the Holy Spirit indwells the believers at the time of their regeneration, we should see in more detail where the Holy Spirit dwells so that we can understand His work within us.
We must remember that the real meaning of regeneration is not an outward change or the soul and the body being stimulated, but it is the spirit receiving life. Regeneration is a new event which takes place within the human spirit. It is the enlivening of the deadened spirit. The reason the deadened spirit can be made alive is due to receiving a new life. But the most important point is that when we receive a new spirit, we also receive the Holy Spirit of God to dwell within us. The phrase "put within you" occurs twice in Ezekiel 36:26-27 and indicates that the place where the Holy Spirit dwells is the human spirit.
We have seen that our whole being is just like the holy temple. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor. 3:16). What the apostle means is that because believers are the temple of God, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is just like God dwelling in the holy temple in the old days. Although the entire temple signifies the presence of God and is the dwelling place of God, the actual place of God’s dwelling is in the Holy of Holies. The Holy Place and outer court are only places for God to work and move according to His presence in the Holy of Holies. Our spirit is signified by the Holy of Holies. According to this illustration, the Holy Spirit indwelling our spirit is a very clear matter.
The nature of the dweller and the dwelling place are the same. After man’s regeneration, only man’s regenerated spirit is an adequate dwelling place of the Holy Spirit—not his mind, emotion, will, and body. He is the Builder and also the Dweller. He cannot dwell before He builds. He builds because He wants to dwell. He can only dwell in the place which He has built.
As we have mentioned, the holy ointment cannot be poured upon man’s flesh. We have also mentioned that everything of man before his regeneration, regardless of which part, in its totality is called "flesh" in the Bible. Therefore, the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in man’s flesh. This also indicates clearly that the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in man’s mind, emotion, will, or body. Not to mention that the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in any part of man’s soul or body, He cannot dwell even in man’s unregenerated spirit. Just as the holy ointment cannot be poured upon the flesh, in the same way, the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in any part of the "flesh." The Spirit can only lust against the flesh (Gal. 5:17); He has no other relationship with the flesh. Therefore, unless something different from the flesh exists in man, there is no way for the Holy Spirit to dwell in man. Therefore, the regeneration of the spirit is very important because the Holy Spirit dwells in the new spirit, which is different from the flesh.
(Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), Chapter 15, by Watchman Nee)