Why Wouldn’t Everyone Want to be Filled with the Spirit? [Part 2]
Are you ready for some good news?
The infilling of the Holy Spirit is not a privilege relegated to those who know and practice certain religious steps. The infilling of the Spirit is for every Christian.
Today’s Text: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit….” (Ephesians 5:18)
As we continue our classic radio series on the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, I am reminded that though bookstore shelves are filled with titles like Seven Steps to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit or How to Release the Power of the Spirit, I can’t find any such steps in the Gospels, Epistles or the book of Acts. There are, of course, many accounts of people being filled with the Holy Spirit, but there is never an explanation of what one must do in order to be filled and there is no list of qualifications that entitle one to the privilege.
That said, there are two principles of Spirit infilling that I notice:
1) Ignorance of the Holy Spirit kept a group of early believers from being filled with the Spirit. It’s an interesting story in Acts 8. Until they knew that the Holy Spirit was available to them, they hadn’t received Him. Along that line, Paul exhorts the Corinthians to “not be ignorant” about spiritual gifts.
2) It’s clear that our spiritual hunger and thirst is related to receiving. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst … they will be filled,” Jesus declares in the beatitudes (Matthew 5:6). When you are hungry, you eat. The hunger itself teaches you how to receive food.
It’s good to learn all you can about the beautiful, all-powerful person of the Holy Spirit and it is a wonderful thing to hunger for more of His sovereign presence in your life, but there are no steps or rituals necessary for being filled with the Spirit. Nothing but the blood of Jesus Christ earns us the privilege of being filled with the Spirit of God. Which means, gloriously, nothing in addition to the blood of Jesus is needed for the Spirit of God to dwell in you fully. And that’s the Gospel!
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