Summary: A Spirit filled life should be the goal of believers. Few demonstrate lives filled with the power of God, most living a “ho-hum” Christian existence. Some wonder why there’s no victory in their lives. Reason is few are Spirit filled.
LIVING A SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE
Introduction: A Spirit filled life ought to be the goal of every believer. Unfortunately many if not most Christians are satisfied with the way things are spiritually in their lives for as long as there is a spot is reserved for them in heaven they’re content. Few demonstrate lives filled with the power of God, while most live a “ho-hum” Christian existence. Some wonder why they can not find victory over the besetting sins in their lives; others don’t struggle with deep sin but never do much for Christ either. The reason is that very few believers are living Spirit filled lives. What does it mean to be Spirit-filled? Why should one be filled with the Spirit? What are the evidences of a Sprit-filled life?
I. What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
A. All born-again believers are baptized by the Holy Spirit the moment that they receive Christ.
1. John 3:3-5 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
2. 1 Corinthians 12:13 “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”
3. Romans 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
B. To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.
1. Ephesians 5:18 (ESV) “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit”
2. Paul explains being filled with the Spirit by drawing a parallel to the effect of alcohol in the life of a drunkard. Liquor controls the life of the drunkard.
3. Proverbs 29: 29-35 “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: "They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?"
4. Under the Influence or Control – Alcohol reduces one’s inhibitions and results in dissemination. The statistics concerning alcohol are overwhelming. Alcohol is America’s number one drug. It is the third leading cause of death. Alcohol is involved in fifteen thousand homicides and suicides annually. Sixty percent of child abuse involves alcohol. When one is drunk with alcohol he/she is under the control of that substance.
5. Just as a drunk is under the influence of alcohol, so the Spirit filled believer is under the influence of the Holy Spirit. As alcohol controls the thoughts and actions of the drunkard, so the Holy Spirit is to have control over the thoughts and actions of the believer.
6. To be filled with the Spirit means to empty oneself and to allow God to fill you. D. L. Moody said, “I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled.” – J. Kuhatschek, Taking The Guesswork Out of Applying The Bible, IVP, p. 153ff.
II. Why should one be filled with the Spirit?
A. To be Obedient to God
1. We are never commanded anywhere in the New Testament to be indwelt by the Spirit, never, that is also a promise already guaranteed. We’ve never commanded to be sealed by the Spirit or kept secure, that is also a gift of God. We’ve already been sealed, we’ve already been baptized, we’ve already been indwelt. Those are never given as commands.