And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…”
Back in January I said I would attempt to address four basic questions about the fullness of the Holy Spirit. The first question was, “Why should every Believer be filled with the Holy Spirit?” I dealt with this by examining the 14th, 15th and 16th chapters of the Gospel of John, because they contain an ongoing discussion by the Lord with His disciples about His soon-coming departure, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the role the Spirit would fill in the life and ministries of His followers. If you have not already done so, I recommend you scroll down and read the last three month’s devotionals.
This month I will focus on the last three questions. Question two is, “What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?” The Greek word “filled” in Ephesians 5:18 means “to fill; to be filled to the full.” It carries with it a picture of “to be fully taken up with; to be fully under the control of!” Thus, to be filled with the Holy Spirit means not so much to have more of the Spirit, but for the Spirit to have more (all) of you!
Question three is, “Do you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit again?” Some argue they do not need to be filled, because they were filled with the Spirit at conversion! Certainly, a Biblical view of salvation teaches that it includes a full surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, but guess what? You leaked! The commandment to be filled in Ephesians 5:18 is in the present imperfect tense in the original Greek language meaning, “Be always being filled with Holy Spirit!” Ask yourself this question, “Do I have the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23 fully operative in my life today?” The absence of any one of this cluster of fruit indicates you need to be filled again with the Spirit. Likewise, “Is the power of the Holy Spirit demonstrated in your daily living, preaching, teaching, witnessing. Acts 1:8 says we receive power when the Holy Spirit fills us. The absence of power is a reminder we need to be filled again! Note the experiences of the disciples in the book of Acts. See 13:52 especially.
The fourth question is, “How is one filled with the Holy Spirit?” Peter in Acts 2:32-33 tells us that when Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, the Father exalted Christ to the right hand of God, the place of all authority and power. He gave the Son the promised Holy Spirit. Jesus then poured forth the Spirit on the disciples at Pentecost, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit! In like manner when we as Believers genuinely surrender our life to the Lordship of Christ, crowning Him both Lord and Christ, He once again pours out the Holy Spirit into us in His fullness!