Summary: Being drunk on wine and being filled with the Spirit both bring a person under an outside influence. But the effect are very different.

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The filling of the Spirit is mentioned 14 times in Luke’s writings:

“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth” (Luke 1:15).

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41).

His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied (Luke 1:67).

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert (Luke 4:1).

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them (Acts 2:4).

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!” (Acts 4:8).

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly (Acts 4:31).

“Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them” (Acts 6:3).

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5).

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55).

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17).

[Barnabas] was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord (Acts 11:24).

Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:9-10).

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52).


Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

1. “Be filled” is in the IMPERATIVE mood; it’s not OPTIONAL.

To be filled with the Spirit is not a suggestion, recommendation, or piece of advice; it’s a command.

None of us are to get drunk on wine; all of us are to be filled with the Spirit. What is worse: going to church drunk or going to church without being filled with the Spirit?

2. “Be filled” is in the PLURAL form; it’s for EVERYONE.

3. “Be filled” is in the PASSIVE voice; it’s accomplished by the SPIRIT.

4. “Be filled” is in the PRESENT tense; it’s a CONTINUOUS need.


Being “drunk on wine” vs. being “filled with the Spirit”:

· Both cause a person to come under an outside INFLUENCE.

Being filled with the Spirit does not mean receiving more of the Spirit; it means being filled with more of the Spirit’s control.

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