does it mean, to be filled by the Holy Spirit? For some
people, such a term only applies to saints long ago, like St.
Peter , St. Ignatius or St. Jerome. However, the term is for
everybody who is Born Again, not just famous people of
The Spirit of
God is necessary for anybody who comes to Christ, however the
continual filling of the Spirit is not a given. To live the
Spirit filled life requires something on our part, it is not
history of Christianity, we can see some remarkable stories of
people who, by all accounts were ordinary. Take Peter for
example, he was just a fisherman when Jesus found him. Later,
he ran from a young girl who questioned his identity, however
after being filled, by the Spirit, he led the church in
Jerusalem. Facing the chief priest in boldness, he
proclaimed Jesus. What changed Peter was the power of the
Holy Spirit, which he received at Pentecost; he was filled
with the Spirit when he met the priests.
The Holy Spirit
is an integral part of any believer’s life, without the Holy
Spirit we could not know Jesus Christ. There is a clear
difference in lives of many who accept Christ, some striving,
some thriving and others static. Why do Christian lives differ
so? What is the reason for such varied experiences? Jesus
clearly explained such would be the case, in the Parable of
the Sower ( Matthew 13). In this parable, Jesus compares the
soil the seeds are planted in, the better the soil, the greater
the harvest. The soil is a metaphor for the person, who has
received the seed (Gospel), a better soil produces a greater
So how can we
prepare our soil so we can yield a greater harvest? When we
have yielded our “self” to God’s Spirit, we can have an abundant
harvest. This is the point of living a Spirit filled life.
What does it
mean to be Spirit filled?
The filling of
the Spirit differs in the New Covenant era, compared to
the Old Covenant. The reason for this difference is one
of relationship. Before the birth of the Messiah, humanity
awaited His arrival; the prophets foretold His coming. The
Messiah came to redeem lost humanity for our fallen state.
Messiah would die for the sins of Adam and Eve’s descendents; He
would redeem us from our sins. Therefore, those who were before
Messiah’s death (Jesus Christ) did not have their sins paid for
until after the cross.
forward to the coming of the Redeemer, who would one day
resurrect him, allowing to see with his own eyes and not
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at
last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I
know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for
myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart
yearns within me!
In the period
before Christ we see selective people filled by the Spirit, for
specific purposes of ministry. The Holy Spirit was not
permanent and could be removed, David pleaded for the Holy
Spirit to not be removed (Psalm 51:11). The creation of the
Tabernacle and clothing of priesthood was the result of the
filling of the Spirit on select people to accomplish specific
work for the Lord.
30 And Moses said to the children of Israel, "See, the Lord
has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of
the tribe of Judah; 31 "and He has filled him with the Spirit of
God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of
Pentecost, the power and the filling of the Holy Spirit became
available to all who accepted Christ, born of the Spirit (John
3:3-8). This is an amazing event, only experienced by the
believer, so we should understand just what it means to be
filled by the Spirit. Being filled by the Spirit is
conditional, we can or cannot be filled. The filling of the
Spirit, depends on our relationship with the Lord. This is not
about salvation, which requires the Spirit of God to dwell in
us, all believers must have this, but not everybody is filled by
scripture makes between being “saved” and “being filled” is
clear, it is about the degree of the relationship we have with
the Lord. When someone comes to Christ they are saved (they
have the Spirit), what do we choose to do with our salvation is
another issue. If for example you received an inheritance, the
property and money of an estate became yours. You could either
squander the blessing or use it to accomplish more. In the same
way, when we receive the Spirit, we receive an eternal
inheritance from God, we have the choice, to allow God’s Spirit
to us or not use us.
When we yield
ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit, an amazing event
happens; we become filled with the Spirit. Scripture commands
us to seek the continual filling of the Spirit in
18 And do not be
drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the
Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and
spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the
Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one
another in the fear of God.
When the Spirit
of God is in control of our lives, there is both internal and
external evidence of the Spirit filled life. Paul uses the
illustration of wine to contrast someone filled by the Spirit.
The power of wine is evident when we see somebody drunk, they
are filled with “alcohol” to the point where it overflows. The
results of alcohol are visible, so in the same way the Holy
Spirit should be visible to the world, we should be “drunk” with
The filing of
the Holy Spirit is an internal relationship, between the Holy
Spirit and the person. From this internal relationship then
flows external evidence. Is God’s Spirit in control of our
life? When we yield to the Spirit, then the results follow,
because the Spirit of God is working through us as opposed to us
doing he work. We became the vehicle God uses to accomplish His
work. The external circumstances are only secondary, because
the internal relationship is primary.
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were
assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the
Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
after they prayed, they received power to proclaim the word of
God with boldness, first they yield through prayer, the filling
of the Holy Spirit was the result, an internal event. Out of
this internal control of the Holy Spirit, the disciples became a
vehicle for the word of God to be proclaimed.
Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we have a relationship with God.
The status of a relationship depends on the communication
between parties. A relationship can be encouraged or quenched.
Such is the case with the Holy Spirit, scripture clearly teaches
the Holy Spirit is the “third person” in the trinity who dwells
in us allowing us to have fellowship with God.
relationship can be quenched like any relationship. Paul warns
us ( I Thes. 5:19) not to quench our relationship with the Holy
Spirit, because we harm our relationship with God. We quench
our relationship with God, when we yield to our old nature.
22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the
old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful
23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24 and that you put on the new man which was created
according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak
truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.
26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on
27 nor give place to the devil.
28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor,
working with his hands what is good, that he may have something
to give him who has need.
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is
good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you
were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking
be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
We have a choice, we can choose to yield or not
yield control of our life to the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians
chapter 4, we see very specific examples of choices, which
indicate whether we have given control of our lives over to the
Spirit. The conduct of the old man grieves the Holy
Spirit. These specific actions will effect or relationship.
These actions quench the Spirit of God; they
grieve him because they feed our old nature, our old man. They
prevent us from being filled, because God’s Spirit is grieved
within us because of our actions. Our live are un-yielded to
the Holy Spirit, if these terms describe us.
When we have
yielded to the Spirit, we produce fruit; the Holy Spirit
harvests a crop from our soil. An evil spirit produces bad
fruit; the Holy Spirit produces good fruit. What kind of fruit
do we yield?
17 "Even so,
every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad
18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear
19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and
thrown into the fire.
20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
So if we are
saved, and have God’s Spirit dwelling us, are we producing “good
fruit”? The fruit we produce is an indication of our
relationship. Galatians lists these fruits and they are clear
indication if we have yielded to the Holy Spirit.
22 But the
fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its
passions and desires.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying
evaluate our lives, by taking an inventory of our fruit. Many
employers do an annual review of their employees, by evaluating
their work. They sit down and examine their work, the pluses
and minus, if they lack, they tell them what they need to do.
If they do many times they get a bonus or advance. In the same
way, we can evaluate our own life, where do the Fruits of the
Spirit stand in our life.
1. Do I love those around me, including my enemies?
2. Do I have inner joy, regardless of my
3. Do I have inner peace?
4. Am I patient (longsuffering) in my circumstances?
5. Would those around think of me as kind?
6. Would goodness be a quality that describes me?
7. Do I live a faith-filled life?
8. How do I treat those around me, am I gentle, mean
9. Do I have self-control over my flesh, or does it
If we see a
definite lack of these fruits in our life, we need to evaluate
why. Can we change the results? Can we establish a course of
action, so the results demonstrate fruit of the Spirit? Remember
we can take all this before the Lord and pray for these fruits,
these fruits are God’s will, so praying for them is in
accordance to God’s will.
Gifts of the
When we have
the Spirit in our lives, we are being transformed into the image
of Christ. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, to make us
Christ-like. (2 Corinthians 3;18) When we examine the filling of
the Spirit, in scripture, they occurred for ministering to
others. As a member of the Church, we are part of the body of
Christ. The Holy Spirit equips us to minister to the world we
live, through gifts. When we become Spirit filled, the gifts of
God’s Spirit are used to produce fruit.
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And
there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who
works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is
given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is
given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word
of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the
same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10
to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to
another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of
tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one
and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to
each one individually as He wills.
I Corinthians 12:4-11
28 And God has appointed these in the church: first
apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles,
then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of
tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all
teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of
healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But
earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more
excellent way.I Corinthians 12:28-31
1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially
that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not
speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in
the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks
edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks
in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the
church.12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual
gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek
I Corinthians 14:1-4,12
8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led
captivity captive, And gave gifts to men."
Corinthians why does the Spirit become manifest in our life? To
bring glory to the individual, no but for the profit of all, who
make up the church. The Holy Spirit has a gift for every
believer, so the whole body of Christ can benefit. What is your
gift? These are the gifts mentioned in I Cor. 12.
Interpretation of tongues
When we are
filled by the Spirit, we allow God to use us, by ministering to
those around us.