Filled With the Spirit

Paul wrote, “For we were all baptized by the Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Cor. 12:13). The Spirit’s indwelling (Jn. 14:17; Rom. 8:9), sealing (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13), and baptism (Gal. 3:27) all occur at the time of regeneration and therefore are never commanded. The presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life is what sets them apart from the rest of humanity. A Christian is simply one in whom Christ dwells. The Church age began with the promised coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. However, the early church soon learned that there would be an ongoing need to be filled with Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in every true believer, but not every believer is fully yielded to Him. The Spirit-filled believer is yielded to God and their life is characterized by His presence. Being filled is very similar in meaning to being controlled. Therefore being filled with the Holy Spirit is to be under His control. The fruit of the Spirit becomes evident in the life of the believer who is yielded to Him (Gal. 5:22,23). Other manifestations of the Spirit-filled life can occur such as was evidenced in this early Church prayer meeting, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).

In the Eph. 5:18, the responsibility falls upon the believer to be filled with the Spirit. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). The evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is revealed in the ways we communicate with each other and God with a thankful heart (Eph. 5:19,20). The idea of being filled with the Spirit is not like a glass that is empty and needs to be filled. We already have the Holy Spirit. The idea is more like a balloon full of air that can become much bigger and sail much higher if fully opened to the divine breath of God.

Our potential to bear fruit increases as we grow in Christ. As new believers, we are like small lawn mower engines. As we grow, we become more like tractor engines, but neither can bear fruit without gas. We never outgrow our need for God. We cannot fulfill our purpose without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and we can be if we will confess our sin and yield to Him. Make that a daily experience and watch what happens.

Dr. Neil

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