By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit.
[1 John 4:13 NET]
A right knowledge and living experience of the Person, graces and operations of the Holy Spirit upon the soul, is a very essential thing. Man is so deeply sunk, so utterly fallen, so unable to bring himself back, that he needs this holy Teacher to lead him into a saving, experimental knowledge of the truth of God; for we know nothing but by his teaching, have nothing but by his giving, and are nothing but by his making. The more clearly, then, that we are led to see, and the more deeply we are taught to feel what we are as fallen sons and daughters of Adam, the more shall we feel our need of, and the more shall we value when realized, his blessed operations upon the heart and conscience.
Now, in the case of Aaron, (viewed not only as a type of Christ, but as personally ministering at the altar of the tabernacle, and thus consecrated to the office of high priesthood,) it was not sufficient that he was washed, nor that he was clothed; he must be also anointed by the holy anointing oil before he could stand in the sanctuary of God. So it is with a son of the Most High, one of “the kings and priests” that form “the royal priesthood;” it is not sufficient for him to be washed in the blood of the Lamb, and clothed in his justifying righteousness; he must be consecrated to God’s service by the holy anointing; in other words, be sanctified, regenerated and renewed in the spirit of his mind, that, by being made a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), he may enter into a spiritual experience of the truth of God here, and enjoy the eternal pleasures which are at God’s right hand hereafter.
From the very nature of the fall, it is impossible for a dead soul to believe in God, know God, or love God; it must be quickened into spiritual life before it can savingly know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. And thus there lies at the very threshold, in the very heart and core of the case, the absolute necessity of the regenerating operations of God the Holy Spirit upon the soul. The very completeness and depth of the fall render the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit as necessary, as indispensable as the redeeming work of the Son of God. The Apostle therefore puts them together. “But you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” If, therefore, the soul is to enter into eternal glory, it must be prepared for glory by being made a partaker of grace. It must, in this present life, this time state, be made fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, be capacitated while here below for the eternal fruition of the Triune God, by receiving a new and heavenly nature begotten of the Holy Spirit, which as a pure spirit (for “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”) is capable of seeing, enjoying, and eternally delighting in the open vision of the Deity as manifested in the glorious Person of the God-man.