Eph 5:18 says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled (crammed full of and influenced) (present tense - habitually, continually) with the Spirit; Act 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Let’s get into God’s Word.
We see in the above Scriptures that as Christians, we are commanded to be continuously filled with the Spirit, like the Disciples were filled again with the Spirit, after the day of Pentecost (Act 4:31). Next week we will talk about how to be continuously filled with the Spirit; but before you can be continuously filled, you must be initially filled with the Spirit. That’s what we will look at today.
As I stated last week, the indwelling Person of The Holy Spirit comes to abide forever in the Believer at the moment of conversion. However, The Bible speaks of a secondary experience, which is called being filled with the Spirit; The Spirit coming upon/falling on you; being endued with power; and/or the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said we would receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us (Lk 24:49, Act 1:8). Power and giftings for service unto the Lord. Jesus told the Apostles not to begin ministering until they got this power. That’s how important this experience was to Jesus. They were already born again (compare Jn 20:22, Gen 2:7 & Jn 20:28, Rom 10:9-10), so Pentecost was not about salvation, but equipping for service.
In the same manner, the Samaritan Christians were born again and water baptized - but had not yet received the Spirit (Act 8:15-17). Also, Paul asked some disciples at Ephesus if they had received the Holy Spirit since they believed (Act 19:2-6). Obviously, for Paul to even ask the question, proves that it wasn’t “automatic” at conversion.
It is possible to be filled with the Spirit at the same time as conversion; as in the case of Cornelius’s house, where they were born again and received the Holy Spirit at once, and then were water baptized (10:44-48). However, every other example we have in Scripture shows that it is a separate experience.
The initial Biblical evidence and common manifestation of receiving Holy Spirit power was speaking in tongues (Act 2:4, 10:46, 19:6). We can deduct that it was also manifested in Paul’s filling (Act 9:17-18), because “He spoke in tongues more than anyone” (1Cor 14:18); Also, while not directly stated in Acts 8, we know that there was some observable evidence of the Samaritans receiving the Spirit, because Simon “saw” this gift was given, and wanted to buy it (Act 8:17-18).
We desperately need Holy Spirit power working in our lives today. We need revival in our personal walk with Christ, our families, our churches, our nation. We must not resist and grieve the Holy Spirit (Act 7:51, Eph 4:30). Be filled with Holy Spirit power! Receive the Spirit! Yield fully to the Holy Spirit! Be hungry and thirsty, and you shall be filled! You must draw near to God! You must earnestly desire the best gifts! We do not need any man made ideas! We need true Holy Spirit revival! A third Great Awakening! It starts with us yielding! It starts with us believing the Bible, not man’s commentaries! It starts by saying yes to God, and no to vain traditions of men! The only thing that has “passed away” is a lot of men’s faith in God and the Bible! We should lack in no gift until Jesus returns (1Cor 1:7)! Jesus hasn’t returned yet, so I believe I shouldn’t lack in any gift of God!
Holy Spirit power is a gift. You don’t have to receive it. If you have all of God you want - then let it be done unto you according to your faith. If you say you got all of God at conversion, then so be it. But let me ask: Did God get all of you? You may have the Spirit, but does the Holy Spirit have you? The Holy Spirit may be IN you; but is He UPON you, and are you FILLED? I will leave you with the Apostle Paul’s question: Have you received the Holy Spirit, since you believed? Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!