PART 7 GOD’S ABUNDANT LIFE
PART 7 GOD’S ABUNDANT LIFE
What Is the Ultimate Spiritual Condition Where the Believer Will Experience God’s Abundant Life to the Fullest?
So, you’ve decided to attend a Spirit-filled church on a regular basis. You’ve decided to take notes of the various teachings you are learning about whom God has made you be. You’ve hidden some of these truths in your heart along with reflecting upon them. You’ve made a decision to confess to God the Father known mental, verbal, or overt sins, and along with such to disclose them to whomsoever, they have been committed against. Furthermore, you’ve followed up confession with recovery, which is learning God’s perspective in any area of weakness, appropriating it for yourself through memorization, and meditating upon it throughout each day. Now, you’ve arrived at a very special place in your walk with God, which is called the filling of the Spirit.
What is the filling of the Spirit?
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit
There were some believers in the church at Ephesus that were being continually controlled by the consumption of wine. The only way to address this behavior was for them to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. What does this mean? To be filled with the Spirit means that the believer is controlled by one of the members of the Trinity, this being the Holy Spirit. The idea is the Holy Spirit filling (furnishing; supplying) the believer with Himself, which is another way of saying that when this spiritual condition occurs, they’ll experience His presence (a divine joy; a divine peace) in their own life, and as a result, they’ll manifest these spiritual qualities of character to others.
This is where our walk with God gets really exciting. No longer are we void of God’s presence. And to top it all off, there’s so much more to the ministry of the Holy Spirit that He will make us aware of. To find out more about this, please go to the book of Galatians.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
The Apostle Paul was instructing the Galatian believers saying that in view of the fact that the new divine life resident in their [beings] was supplied by the Spirit,55let us also walk in the Spirit.
What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?
This is another way of saying that he desired for them to be filled with the Spirit so that they would conduct themselves under the guidance, impulses, and energy of that life.56 Along with experiencing the fruit of His divine love, peace, and joy, etc., He would actively interact with them. In what ways?
When we pray for direction in some area, there are times when He’ll declare the answer to us in His way and at the appropriate time. When we grow spiritually and begin to become aware of the spiritual gift or gifts that have been given or distributed to us by Him, He’ll prompt us as to when to exercise them. When we’re falsely accused of something, we can pray to Him for a means of vindication, which He can provide according to the Word of God. And even in the midst of an intense situation, when we’re caught up in alarming thoughts and feelings, we can pray to Him for a verse of comfort, which He can recall to our mind.
I hope what has been said here has resonated with you. Remember, religion tries to get us to please God by what we do. Christianity is God coming inside us to indwell and help us to get to know Him in a personal way in thought, word, and deed by us choosing to make the varied decisions that have been presented to you in this study.
Some of you might be thinking, how do I know what you’ve been talking to me about is true? I’m aware that you might have never heard of these kinds of suggestions or teachings before. I can understand if you are contemplating that this study could be just a bunch of malarkey. I’ll leave you my response to these kinds of thoughts in the closing section.
But before we proceed, let’s read a beautiful article on the filling of the Spirit.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT?
When looking at Scripture, the indwelling of the Spirit appears to be different than being filled with the Spirit. If we look at specific passages, we can see that being filled with the Spirit is not only a single event, but it is a continual process, and it bears fruit in growth and spiritual maturity while serving the body of Christ and ultimately glorifying God.
When you hear the phrase “filled with the Spirit,” what comes to mind? For some, being filled with the Spirit is associated with a particular point in time with the evidence of speaking in tongues and the continuation of a private prayer language.
For others, [it’s] a focus on the joy of the Lord or cultivating spiritual maturity in Christ. The best place to gain a clear understanding of being filled with the Spirit is in the confines of Scripture and to recognize first the difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Every Believer Is Indwelt by the Holy Spirit
The Bible sheds light on promises concerning believers in Christ, and one of those promises is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ told His disciples in John 14:16 that He would ask the Father to give them another Advocate who would never leave them. That Advocate is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. He is our Advocate, and He never leaves us. Ephesians 4:30 assures us that [we’re] sealed for the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 says,
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession. [New International Version]
There are other [Scriptures] attesting to these truths, and the Bible encourages us as believers in Christ that the Holy Spirit indwells us at the moment of salvation. This indwelling is permanent because He (the Holy Spirit) seals us.
Spirit-Filled for a Work of Service
When studying Scripture for the biblical understanding of being Spirit-filled, there are two different words used to describe this action in the New Testament. The Greek word pimplemi is used several times in the Acts of the Apostles when referring to being filled.
The Complete Word Study Dictionary defines this word, “to be filled, to accomplish, persons to be filled, wholly imbued, affected, and influenced.” This word implies a single event taking place and empowering believers for a work of service. The filling of the Spirit seen in the first-century church empowered them for the work of preaching the [gospel] of Jesus Christ.
We find this filling first taking place in Act 2:4 on the day of Pentecost when believers were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke in tongues, which were known languages in the earth but unknown to those speaking them, and they told of the mighty works of God. Those who heard them speaking recognized their own language being spoken by Galileans. This was a work of service in priming the first message from the Apostle [Peter,] who would explain what was taking place in accordance with Scripture.
- He went on to minister to those who listened, and three thousand souls were added that day to the fellowship of the believers (Acts 2:14-41).
- When addressing the rulers and the elders concerning the healing of a crippled man, Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit before speaking to them. He was empowered [to preach] and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:8).
- In Acts 4:31, the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word of God with boldness.
- In Acts 9:17-20, Paul regained his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit so that he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues.
In each of these instances, the filling of the Spirit was in the context of a single event for a work of service in the lives of these believers to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Spirit-Filled for Growth and Maturity
The other Greek word in the New Testament applicable to being Spirit-filled is the word pleroo. The Complete Word Study Dictionary defines this as “to make full.” This type of filling is seen in [Ephesians 5:18-20.]
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. [NIV]
This is a continual process of growth and maturity, and this type of maturity comes from being molded by the Word of God. Colossians 3:16 says,
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. [NIV]
When we yield to the instruction of the Word of God, we yield to the continual filling of the Holy Spirit. This type of filling relinquishes control, “To be filled with the Spirit implies freedom for Him to occupy every part of our lives, guiding and controlling us.”
Regarding Ephesians 5:18, The MacArthur Bible Commentary says, “Being filled with the Spirit is living in the conscious presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, letting His mind, through the Word, dominate everything that is thought and done.”
When [we’re] filled with the Holy Spirit in this way, [we’ll] do as [Ephesians 5:19-20] says. [We’ll] praise and worship the Lord in song. [We’ll] overflow with thanksgiving to God. [We’ll] submit ourselves to other believers. [We’ll] be concerned for the needs of those around us. [We’ll] cultivate the fruit of the Spirit as seen in [Galatians 5:22-23.]
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
What Does This Mean?
Being Spirit-filled is centered upon a continual process of spiritual growth and maturity that can only be found and cultivated by the Spirit of God. By submitting to this process, we glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in word and deed while being conformed to His image through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within and filling us continually.
We can certainly quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19), and sin can hinder the filling of the Spirit, affecting our fruitfulness for God. The answer to this as believers in Christ is obedience to God and to His written Word. This is a daily submission as we walk with the Lord in progressive sanctification, yielding to the Holy Spirit in being filled for His glory and being empowered for proclaiming the [gospel] of Jesus Christ.57
What an uplifting and informative article. Wow! Tremendous!
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57Dawn Hill. “WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT?” 18 December 2021 <https://www.christianity.com/author/dawn-hill/>.