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Be Filled with the Spirit

Ephesians 5:18



This subseries on walking in purity has challenged us to do hard things. 


Walk differently than the world, and avoid their hardness, darkness, and lewdness.  The only way to obey that is to obey today's challenge and be filled with the Spirit!


Taking off the grave clothes, putting on the grace clothes, and putting away the old man and putting on the new man...putting an end to lying, stealing, corrupt speech, uncontrolled anger, etc.  The only way to obey that is to obey today's challenge and be filled with the Spirit!


How do we walk in love, walk in light, and put away fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talk and jesting?  The only way to obey that is to obey today's challenge and be filled with the Spirit!


This is by far the most important message in this's the key to the's the key to the Christian life!


How can I prevent being powerless against temptation?  Here's the key: 

Be filled with the Spirit!

I know I'm saved, and I don't want to feel burned out and stressed out.

Be filled with the Spirit!

My witness seems fruitless.  I talk to others, and it goes nowhere, or, I don't talk to others at all.

Be filled with the Spirit!


There's more confusion about the Holy Spirit than any other doctrine of the faith.  There's a lot of nonsense promoted in the name of Spirit fulness.


At the moment of salvation:

1. You are born of the Spirit.

John 1:12
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Flesh is flesh, spirit is must be born of the Spirit!


2. You are baptized of the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

This is a once and for all experience which places you in the body of Christ.


The baptism means I belong to the body of Christ.

The filling means my body belongs to Christ.


3. You are sealed by the Spirit.

4:30 - sealed unto the day of redemption.

1:14 - the earnest [down payment] of our salvation is the Spirit placed within us.  'Sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.'

        That seal shows ownership, means security, and a finished transaction.


4. You are indwelt by the Spirit.

Romans 8:9
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

The Holy Spirit took up residence inside of you.

1 Corinthians 6:19
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Be careful where you go, for where you go, He goes.

[see, hear, do]

1 Corinthians 6:20
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Nowhere are we commanded to seek the above...they happen automatically.


But now we are talking about being filled with the Spirit [v. 18]


For the believer, the Holy Spirit IS resident, but He wants to be President!


1.     The Contrast.

v. 18        2 controlling influences:  wine, and the Spirit.  Excess = abandoned.  A drunk has abandoned life and responsibility for a period of time.

Getting drunk changes you.  The quiet, shy guy is suddenly running around with a lamp shade on his head.  The guy who is usually fearful turns bold as a lion, and thinks he can take on anyone.  The girl who is very intelligent will do very dumb things.  A kind, loving person becomes hateful and mean, because alcohol changes you.


joke:  A guy got drunk and thought he could fly, and jumped off the roof of the house.  At the hospital he asked his friend, "I thought I could fly...why did you let me do it?"  He said, "I thought you could too!"


Alcohol changes you in a negative way.  When you are controlled by the influence of the Holy are changed to the positive!


The person who doesn't think they can witness becomes bold for Jesus, and their tongue is taken over.  They are 'under the influence!'


Bitter becomes loving and forgiving.  Fearful becomes confident.  Angry becomes kind.


We all need an attitude adjustment, but it shouldn't be the 'spirits' in bottles, it should be the Spirit in you!


Happy Hour:  the people aren't happy going in...nor out!  If they are happy on the way out, it's a very short-lived happiness, soon to be overcome with a hangover, and if there's happiness in their path as they leave, they have a strong way of ending it in others.


the contrast...


2. The Command.

        a.     It's imperative.

"Be filled."  It is an imperative's a command!  Don't get drunk, and DO be filled.  And if it's a sin to get drunk, and it is, then it's a sin to not be taken over by the Spirit!


Imagine a member of the church is in the paper for a DUI.  If you think that would be damaging to the church you are right.  And it's even more damaging that many wear the badge of a Christian but they aren't filled, and we should put their picture in the paper!


        b.     It's inclusive.

Ye is plural.  It's not just for pastors and leaders.  No singer should stand up to minister without the Spirit.  And no one should sit in the pew and listen in the same manner.  The Spirit filling -- don't leave home without it!


John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit, and so was his mother and dad.  It applies to all of us.  We each should get up each day and seek to be filled!


3.     The Control.  'filled'

It's not like filling a glass with water.  It's not about how much is inside.  It's about what ELSE is inside.  If other substances are inside, then it is not just water...and water mixed with other things is not water!


Being filled with the Spirit isn't about you getting more of the Spirit, but the Spirit getting more of you.  At salvation, you got all of the Spirit [resident], but when will He get all of you? [president]


ill.--a missionary is traveling and given a guest room in a member's house.  He is confined to that room and not allowed to go into any other part of the house.  Bummer!  Let's change it up and say the member gives him a key and says, it's all yours, every room, the fridge, the TV...go crazy!  Now he is at home!


ill.--DL Moody sought to be wholly given over to the Spirit.  They say his grammar was atrocious.  He could pronounce Mesopotamia with one syllable!  But when he stood to preach it was smooth and fluent, and thousands would be saved!


contrast, command, control...


4.     The Continuance.

The tense is continuing BEING filled.  It's not a one time act.  Just as you can't push you grocery cart to the register and say one blessing over the week's meals, but rather should be thankful every meal, you cannot just say 'I do' at the altar of Spirit fullness and it be a long and happy marriage.  You need to show your love and give of yourself every day!


It's not a quick fix or a cure all.  You can be filled today, and blow it tomorrow.  Paul said, "I die daily."  It's a daily thing to seek.


5.     The Consequences.

3 results:

Inward:  v. 19 is joy.  It's not an outward show, it's an inward reality.  Joy is not a thermometer, but a thermostat.  It's sets the atmosphere, rather than being set BY it.


Upward: v. 20 is a new attitude of gratitude.  Only the Spirit can make even bad things be seen in a positive light.

ill.--a man with a speech impediment would give the same praise every wed. nite.  "Life is dittin' dooder and dooder and tweeter and tweeter."  People tired of it.  One week he had a doctor appointment and found out he had diabetes.  The others heard about it and said, I wonder how his tune will change in tonite's service now that something bad has happened to him.  He rose that nite and said, "I always tay how life is dittin' dooder and dooder and tweeter and tweeter, but, praise the Lord, I found out today I done turned to tugar!"


Outward:  v. 21.  Submit doesn't mean obey, but a demeanor of gentleness that doesn't have to have its own way.  When filled with the Spirit, you adopt the attitude of a servant, and are no longer concerned with your way, but others, and God having HIS way!


It's a changed personality, inward, outward, upward.

It's a changed power inside of you.

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

ill.--Jonathan Edwards preached in England in the 1700s.  He could not see well, and would hold his sermon so close to his face that you couldn't see his face.  He prayed and fasted for 3 days before preaching "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and they say that grown men threw their arms around the pillars of the building because they felt like they were about to drop into hell.


It's not about talent, but the touch of God.  We need the Spirit in our preaching, our praying, our serving, and in every aspect of life day to day.



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