Summary: A committed Christian depends on the power of the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life.
Most all of us know what it means for a person to be cited for DUI. DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” Paul speaks in our passage today about how the committed Christian will seek to operate under the influence. The influence of the Holy Spirit.
Paul draws a contrast and comparison between living under the influence of alcohol and living under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Rather than living under the influence of alcohol, Paul says that believers need to live under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Instead of being full of
wine, he says we should be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The contrast between being drunk with wine and being filled with the Spirit are fairly obvious. We are told that getting drunk on wine leads to debauchery. That Greek word, “asotia,” word, translated “debauchery,” is sometimes translated “dissipation.” The meaning of each of these
words is interesting. “Debauchery” means, “seduction from duty.” “Dissipation” means, “a wasting by misuse.”
(Wine Diet Cartoon)
When one lives drunk on wine, their life will be wasted, as a result of their not fulfilling their responsibilities. By contrast, the believer who lives a Spirit filled life will live a life characterized by fulfilling their responsibility to God and others. Therefore, a committed Christian will:
1. Seek to be consciously filled with the Holy Spirit – v. 18b
When Paul tells us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, it is not a suggestion for us to consider; it is a command to obey. Just as one makes the conscious choice to surrender to the influence of alcohol, we need to make the conscious choice to surrender to the influence of the Holy Spirit. Unlike the unbeliever, the child of God has a choice as to how they will live.
The Bible describes this choice in various ways: I can choose to live according to the world or according to the Word; I can choose to live by sight or by faith; I can choose to choose to live under the control of self or under the control of the Spirit; I can choose to live under the curse in Adam or under the blessing in Christ.
“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” - Colossians 2:6 (NASB)
How did I receive Christ? I chose to acknowledge Him as Lord. How do I walk in Christ? I choose to acknowledge him as Lord. And, again, it is not a suggestion for us to consider; it is a command to obey.
Why? Because without the influence of the Holy Spirit over our lives, we are completely unable to live like a child of God ought to live. The Christian is called to live like Christ, which is impossible for us to do on our own.
But thankfully, our Savior told us that: “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” - Luke 18:27 (NIV)
“When it is a question of God’s almighty Spirit, never say, ‘I can’t.’” - Oswald Chambers
When we chose to accept Christ as our Savior, He came to dwell within us through the person of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit resides in my life as a child of God, now I must choose to allow Him to preside over my life so I can live like a child of God.
The committed Christian understands this and obeys the command of God by choosing to live his life by consciously yielding to the influence of the Holy Spirit. But he will also . . .
2. Seek to be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit – v. 18b
This command could be translated, “Keep on being filled with the Spirit.” The command Paul gives us here is a present tense, continuous action verb. This means two things:
A. This is a command to obey every moment of every day.
The fact that this is a present tense verb, means that there is not a moment when we can afford not to be living under the Holy Spirit’s influence. I must daily choose to surrender my life to the Holy Spirit.
B. This is a command to obey in ever-increasing measure.
The fact that this is a continuous action verb, what is emphasized is that I need to allow the Holy Spirit to influence every area of my life. I need to live under the Spirit’s influence at church; at home; at work; and when I am alone. Every area of my life needs to be lived under the
influence of the Holy Spirit.
Notice what Jesus promised all those who come to Him by faith:
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” - John 7:37-39 (NIV)