Be Filled With The Spirit
Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.
There is a lot of confusion among Christians on the topic of the filling of the Spirit. Some believe that the filling and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are the same thing. Others believe that one is baptized many times by the Holy Spirit and that He can be sought. It is important for believers to know and practice the truth. Believers cannot fully live for God without the filling of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit but not with spirits.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not directly mentioned or used in the New Testament. Galatians 3:27-28 states all believers are baptized into Christ: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” This occurs one time only at the moment of salvation. Baptism means to immerse. From Scripture, we know that the Holy Spirit is involved in immersing believers into the body of Christ.
There are 225 references to the Spirit of God in the New Testament. Seven include the word “baptize” or “baptizeth.” Six of these relate to John the Baptist. He ministered before the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and before the start of the New Testament church at Pentecost. Four of these six are found in the Gospels (Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33-34). John said: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:11).
In Acts 1:4-5, Luke reminds those gathered to wait for the promise of the Father given to them by John that they would soon be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2 is the fulfillment of the promise of being immersed or baptized into the family of God. 1 Corinthians 3:16: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” Acts 11:14-16 indicates that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is received at salvation. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 refers to being brought into the body or family of Christ at salvation. None of the Scriptures say one must seek or repeatedly ask for the Holy Spirit to baptize them.
During this dispensation of grace, there are no commands in the Bible for us to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. However, believers are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Out of 225 references to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, the words fill, full, fullness occur 15 times in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. Of these 15 times, 14 appear in Luke's writings (Luke 1:15, 41, 67, Luke 4:1, Acts 2:4, Acts 4:8, 31, Acts 6:3, 8, Acts 7:55, Acts 9:17, Acts 11:24, Acts 13:9, 52). The only one not written by Luke is by Paul in Ephesians 5:18. Nowhere are we commanded to be baptized by the Holy Spirit, (He does that at salvation), but we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Seven out of the 15 references refer to the filling of the Holy Spirit for the ministry of preaching and serving. Being filled with the Holy Spirit means to be under His control and influence and to be yielded to Him.
Romans 5:13:“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” The results of being filled with the Holy Spirit are found in Ephesians 5:19-21: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”Verse 19 - JOY does not mean the absence of conflict but an overwhelming confidence that God is in control and that He is sovereign. Verse 20 - THANKSGIVING comes from a heart that is right with God. Verse 21 - SUBMISSION is the result of a heart yielded to God.
A believer needs the filling of the Holy Spirit to keep from being drawn back into sin and being enslaved by sin. The Holy Spirit helps us to overcome temptations. He can turn sorrow into joy, heartache into peace, and impossible situations into hope. Problems may not go away, but He gives strength and power to endure. Yielding to the will of God gives us peace. Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
How can we be filled with the Holy Spirit? We cannot please God and continue in sin. We must deal with known sin. Psalm 66:18: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We must yield to the directions of the Scriptures and be willing to do God’s will. Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We must rely upon the Holy Spirit, as well as do our part. Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
We must obey the command in Ephesians 5:18: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled (keep on being filled) with the Spirit.”