Many people call themselves “Christian.” The only correct definition, however, must come from the Bible. The term “Christian” was first used in a town called Antioch in Syria (Acts 11:26). In general, the term referred to those who were followers of Jesus Christ. Specifically, however, early Christians knew actually what the term meant: They had received Jesus Christ as the Savior from their sins and the only hope of eternal life. In gratitude, the obvious response was becoming a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ for the rest of one’s life. For Jews, that meant acknowledging that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah and announcing such through baptism (Acts 2:37-41). By accepting the fact that Jesus was the Messiah and receiving Him, they also acknowledged that their sins could be forgiven by Him. But God alone can forgive sins (Mark 2:1-12). Thus Jesus was the Son of God and therefore equal to God, the very reason for which He was crucified (John 5:18; 8:59).
Other portions of Scripture clearly indicate that Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Trinity, the Logos, the Son of God. John 1:1-5, 14; 19:7; 20:31; Luke 22:70 should end all discussion on whether or not Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. It stands to reason, then, that regardless of how good or sincere a person’s faith might be, if they call themselves Christian but worship a Jesus other than He who is presented in the Bible, they worship a false god. The Jesus they worship is a Jesus of fabrication, not the Jesus of the Bible. Therefore, if the Jesus that is worshipped is not the Jesus of the Bible, then it is impossible for the Holy Spirit to dwell within the person, regardless of how good or morally pure that individual might appear to be. Therefore, to experience the divine interaction between the Holy Spirit and the spirit of the believer that enables him to become directly connected with God through His Word, the Holy Spirit must dwell within. If a Jesus other than the Jesus of the Bible is not worshipped or received, the Holy Spirit does not dwell within.
True Christians are those, and only those, who have, with a sincere heart by faith, received the Jesus of the Bible as the one and only Savior from their sins. The Bible teaches that when a person receives Jesus by an act of faith, the Holy Spirit comes to permanently dwell within the life of that person. Literally, a spiritual transformation takes place. That person is delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13), forgiven of all sins past, present and future (Colossians 1:14), seen by God as one of His children (Romans 8:15-16), made a co-heir of Christ Himself (Romans 8:17), and made a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17).