If you’re just joining us, be sure to go back to Part I and work your way up to this post. Each post in this series builds on the previous ones. None are stand-alone articles
Texts on being filled repeatedly with the Spirit:
You will often hear Pentecostal people say things like, “John is a great guy, but he’s not filled with the Spirit.” By that they mean that John hasn’t spoken in tongues, which for them means he’s not been “baptized in the Holy Spirit.”
In the previous posts of this series, I’ve refuted this way of thinking.
One of the things that’s fascinating to me is that a person who is baptized in the Spirit (which I’ve argued has happened to all believers) can be filled and re-filled with the Spirit. For example . . .
Acts 4:8 – Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people. (Peter had already been filled with the Spirit in Acts 2 at Pentecost.)
Acts 4:31 – And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. (The church here had already been filled with the Spirit in Acts 2 at Pentecost.)
Acts 13:52 – And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 – And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit. (The Greek here carries the idea of being continuously filled.)
Texts describing people who were full of the Spirit:
The phrase “full of the Spirit” indicates a person who has allowed the Holy Spirit to take over a significant part of their life to where they have a walk in the Spirit that is evident. It doesn’t indicate perfection or the inability to make mistakes. It rather has in view the overall pattern of a person’s walk.
It’s another way of saying that a person is consumed with Christ and they are spiritually mature. (Spiritual maturity DOES NOT correspond to how long you’ve been a believer. I’ve met many Christians who have been in the Lord for 30+ years and they are not terribly mature.)
Acts 6:3 – “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. (Stephen was one of them.)
Acts 7:55 – But being full of the Holy Spirit, he [Stephen] gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
Acts 11:24 – for he [Barnabas] was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. (See also Luke 4:1).
Luke 4:1 – And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
The marks of a person who is “full of the Spirit”:
* They are obsessed with Jesus. The Spirit speaks of and glorifies Christ (John 15:26; 16:14).
* Their life and speech get people excited about the Lord Jesus and inspire them to follow Him more fully. (In some translations of Acts 18:25, Apollos is “aglow/excited with the Spirit.”)
* They walk in love; they aren’t selfish. The Spirit has shed God’s love in our hearts (Rom. 5:5; 1 Pet. 1:22).
* Their speech is edifying and it builds up the brethren; it does not tear down the saints. Tearing down others, gossip, putting others in a negative light, and slander all grieve the Spirit (Eph. 4:3, 29-30). These sins match the nature of the “slanderer” (the meaning of the word “devil”) and are against the nature of the Holy Spirit.
* They don’t draw attention to themselves or their gifts. They draw attention to the Lord Jesus Christ and they speak well of others (Phil. 2).
* Their lives and speech bring unity rather than division among God’s people (Eph. 2:14-18; 4:3).
* The fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) is a sure token of the Holy Spirit’s presence and operation in their lives. Spiritual gifts can be counterfeited, but fruit cannot.
In the NT the Holy Spirit is called:
- The Spirit of God
- The Spirit of Christ
- The Spirit of the Father
- The Spirit of the Lord
- The Spirit of truth
- The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
- The Spirit of holiness
- The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead
- The Spirit of the living God
- The Spirit of His Son
- The Spirit of Jesus Christ
- The Spirit of grace
- The Spirit of glory
- The Spirit of life
- The Comforter (which means Advocate, Counselor, or Helper).
See also 50 Things the Holy Spirit Does
Part VI on Monday . . .