And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…”
The decade of the 1960s was marked by rebellion in America! Against the war in Vietnam, the military draft, the sexual mores of the day and against organized religion. There was experimentation with foreign religions, “free” sex, often accompanied with hallucinating drugs. Young people argued they were “searching for the Truth!” Notably, out of this some came full circle to discover salvation through faith in Jesus Christ! Yet in this rebellious setting there was widespread false teaching that spread, particularly about the Holy Spirit. Sadly, some preachers spent more time condemning the false teachers than they did communicating the Truth from the Bible!
It is often said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same!” Sadly, rebellion is a present problem, and Believers are not exempted from the temptation! I am convinced there is a critical need for more teaching of Bible Truth about the Holy Spirit. That is why I will seek to address four basic questions over the next several months. Why should a Believer be filled with the Spirit? What does that mean? Who should be filled? And How is one filled? I will address these issues from the gospel of John, chapters 14, 15 and 16! These chapters contain an ongoing time of discussion by Jesus concerning His soon-coming departure, and the ministry His disciples would be leading. A significant part of that discussion deals with the role the Holy Spirit will fill in their life and ministries.
In this discussion Jesus deals with three specific reasons why every Believer needs to be filled with the Spirit. The first reason is because the Holy Spirit indwells the Believer. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper” (John 14:16a). Many know that the Greek word translated Helper is at other times translated Comforter, Advocate, or Intercessor. The word means, “One called alongside to help.” Another word important to understand is the word “another”. That word in the Greek means, “Another like Me.” Jesus says that the best description of the Holy Spirit is He is another like Me! Then the Lord expands that statement, “that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16b). Jesus came for a specific task assigned by the Father, to redeem lost humanity by paying the redemption price, the willing sacrifice of His sinless Life. Soon He would return to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, He (the Spirit) is to abide with us FOREVER!
Not only that, but the Holy Spirit is now in us, “…that is the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (John 16:17). When one first believes on the Lord Jesus Christ the temptation is to think that the Christian life will be so wonderful that it will be easy. Then life happens, and sin enters the picture again. We begin to realize that living for Christ will be harder that we thought, and finally we come to see it is an impossible task. Just as we learn that we need Him with us in our loneliness, we realize our need for Him in our weakness. Praise to God our Father that the Holy Spirit is our Divine Helper who makes the impossible gloriously possible!