These are notes for my Bible study class on Sunday mornings at 9:45, a book called Downpour by James MacDonald. Today we will look at being filled with the Holy Spirit.
There is no Christian life apart from Christ in you; Christ is only in you by His Holy Spirit. What are the attributes of the Holy Spirit? (Galatians 2:20, John 14:16-17).
The Holy Spirit is God, not some force of God. The Arians taught that the Holy Spirit was an energy of God, but not a person. Unitarians deny a distinctive personality and personhood of the Holy Spirit. Mormans and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe He is the influence of God but not God.
The Spirit has mind, will, and emotions, just like any person with a soul. He has Intellect or capacity to know (1 Corinthians 2:11), He has emotions and can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30) and has a will giving gifts to whom He desires (1 Corinthians 12:11). Here are some of the Spirit’s activities:
- Source of truth – 1 John 5:6
- Convictor of sin – John 16:8
- Provider of comfort – John 14:16
- Gives boldness to witness – Acts 4:31
- Gives courage to follow – Ephesians 3:16
- Gives grace to stand – Acts 9:31
- Gives hope to endure – Colossians 1:11
- Illuminates God’s Word – John 14:26
- Prays for God’s people – Romans 8:26-27
- Advances God’s agenda – John 16:13
Living in the Holy Spirit’s power can only happen when we are filled. If you don’t want what God wants for your life, you are not filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit sets your priorities and goals when He fills your life.
In Ephesians 5:18, the meaning of “being filled” is to be controlled, filled, intoxicated and thoroughly influenced. (Luke 4:28 and Acts 13:45 have a similar understanding of the word). It is to be overcome with a power greater than your own. It is a command, to be filled. It is also in a tense that indicates a continual action, “keep on being filled.” Early believers were filled and were filled again (Acts 2:4, 4:8, 9:17, 13:9). When you drink water in the morning, you get thirsty in the afternoon!
Check out Romans 8:9-13. How does one put to death sinful inclinations? Or get over a private addiction? Or become a man of purity? Or do what’s right? Or stand against sin?
Five confirmations of being filled (Romans 8:14-17):
- Is God leading me? (Romans 8:14) God directs our lives, helps us to speak well, do the right thing.
- Is God giving me confidence? (Romans 8:15) we no longer live in fear (the future, death, not having enough) but in confidence.
- Am I growing in intimacy with God? (Romans 8:15) with a spirit of adoption into God’s family.
- Do I feel secure in Christ? (Romans 8:16) we are not meant to doubt our salvation. We should doubt our doubts, not our relationship. When we are insecure, two things may be present: am I grieving the Spirit? (doing things that sadden Him) or am I quenching the Spirit? (not doing that which He has asked me to do)? What have you ignored (1 Thessalonians 5:19)? What is He saying?
- Do I draw my identity from Christ? (Romans 8:17) being an heir with Christ. We don’t earn the filling, we simply ask for it.
How to be filled with the Holy Spirit:
- Repent of all known sin (Psalm 139:23-24)
- Ask God to fill you (Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:13)
- Believe that He has filled you (John 14:13, Matthew 9:29)
Bill Bright has a Campus Crusade piece that helps us understand the Spirit-filled Life.