Summary: The Filling of the Holy Spirit. What it is, and why we should seek it. The Christian is already indwelt, but is he filled yet? Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Template.
I Must, I May, I Will, I Shall
To maintain a vigorous, active life, one must be healthy. Good health comes from a particular and a planned program of physical care. If I follow this plan I can feel the benefit in many ways. Someone said, "If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." I think all of us can say that with all sincerity.
For a Christian to have a healthy Christian life, he/she must be filled with the Spirit of God. Most of Christianity does not know what being filled with the Spirit of God is all about.
In our text verse Paul is conducting a class on the filling of the Holy Spirit and the purpose for such a filling. He makes a reference to wine that most Christians do not understand or have never heard about:
"...But be filled with the Spirit". The heathen priests pretended to be filled with the influence of the god they worshipped; and it was in these circumstances that they gave out their oracles. They would simulate the filling of the spirit by the fullness of wine. The apostle exhorts the Ephesians not to resemble these, but, instead of being filled with wine, to be filled with the Spirit of God.
Paul continues on in the remainder of the chapter teaching them what the filling of the Spirit consists of. Look in Vs. 19 & 20.
Eph 5:19 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"
Eph 5:20 "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"
Eph 5:21 "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."
Eph 5:22 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."
You must have the fullness of the Holy Spirit to enable you to overcome sin and temptation. The fullness of God’s Spirit is not necessarily accompanied by an overflow of emotional outburst. Neither is a
quiet calm spirit evidence of NOT being filled, or of being spiritual.
The reason Christians are not living in victory is they are not experiencing the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit of God. The reason that nearly every Christian suffers spiritual defeat is the absence of the fullness and power of the Spirit. The reason that churches worldwide are stagnant and dormant is they, or the membership, are working in the energy of the flesh.
The question is, "How can we be filled with the Spirit.”
I want to give you four steps to this endeavor. These thoughts were gleaned from a writing by Andrew Murray.
First, "I Must Have The Filling."
Second, "I May Have The Filling."
Third, "I Will Have The Filling."
Fourth, "I Shall Have The Filling."
I. I MUST HAVE THE FILLING
There are three thoughts I want to give you on this:
A. It Is The Command Of God. "...be filled with the Spirit."
Just as a man dare not get drunk if he is a Christian, just as much must a man be filled with the Spirit. A Christian must come to the reality that if he is going to please God he must be filled with the Spirit.
Too many are content with just operating with the indwelling Spirit and not the fullness of the Spirit. The Spirit enters the Christian for indwelling at the time of conversion, but the fullness brings with it the power of victory for the convert. You can have as much of God’s power as you are willing to pay the price to get it. A person can have as expensive a diamond as he/she is willing to pay. The same is true with the Spirit of God.
Too many erroneously think and practice that the fullness is just for some and not for all. How far from the truth of God’s Word this practice is. God commands that you be filled with His power and Spirit, and when God gives a command He will provide the necessary means for fulfilling that command.
I Must Have The Filling.
It Is The Command Of God.
B. It Is The Great Need Of Man.
To attempt the work of God with only the ability of man is foolish. Your greatest need as a child of God is to have the fullness of the Spirit of God. If your approach in accomplishing God’s plan is to do so under your own power, you of all men will be most disappointed.
It Is The Command Of God.
It Is The Great Need Of Mankind.
C. It Is A Great Need Of The Church.
If our church, or any church attempts any work of God apart from the fullness of God’s Spirit we have committed a spiritual crime.