Summary: Prepared originally for Pentecost Sunday, this is a message on how to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Be Filled with the Spirit
--by R. David Reynolds
Are you happy with you relationship with Jesus Christ? Is it fruitful, fulfilled? Are you “growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” or does you spiritual journey with Him seem stagnant? Are you only going through the motions of being a Christian? There is much more to the Christian life than simply being saved and then going to Church the rest of your life. We all need “to be filled with the Spirit.”
We are commanded in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit. . .” It is clear in the original text that this is a commandment intended for all Christians. The subject of the sentence is plural meaning that it is intended for all disciples of Jesus Christ, not just for a few spiritual saints who may choose to go this extra mile with Jesus. It is meant for all Christians, no believer is exempt from this command.
How are you filled with the Holy Spirit? There is an initial experience of being baptized or filled with the spirit. It is a time in the life of the believer when he or she makes a full dedication of their life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, a time of surrender whereby the disciple let’s the Holy Spirit take absolute control of all he is and all he does. In this initial experience one receives the “infilling” of the Holy Spirit by faith.
The sense of the commandment, however, in our text is not limited to a one time, initial “infilling.” A better translation of this verse would be,
“Go on, or continue being filled with the Spirit.”? Being filled with the Spirit is a day-by-day experience, but I can not continue to be filled with the Spirit unless I have had an initial filling. The Spirit filled, Spirit controlled life has a beginning, but then it is to continue throughout the rest of the disciple’s lifetime.
We clearly see this in the experience of the Apostles. They had an initial filling with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:4 where Scripture testifies, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” A few days later in Acts 4:31 they had another filling with the Spirit, “When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.” This followed the healing of the lame man at the Temple through the ministry of Peter and John.
Immediately the leadership in the Jewish community protested! The Jewish Supreme Court, the Sanhedrin that had condemned Jesus to death some fifty days earlier, commanded Peter and John “not to speak or teach at all in the Name of Jesus.” They then made further threats against the Apostles. Peter, John, and their fellow disciples needed another filling, so they prayed; they were filled again with the Holy Spirit and empowered to speak the word of God with boldness with no regard for the threats hurled at them by the enemies of Jesus.