Tuesday, August 21, 2012
What Happens When You Are Filled with the Holy Spirit?
Nothing in Scripture teaches that the filling of the Spirit is accomplished by ecstatic experiences or external signs. To be sure, being filled with the Spirit does bring the believer tremendous exhilaration and joy, but the New Testament epistles reveal that being filled with the Spirit brings forth the fruit of the Spirit, not the gifts of the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:19-6:9 gives a list of specifics: A Spirit filled person sings psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, making melody n his or her heart to the Lord. A Spirit filled person always gives thanks for all things in the name of Christ. Spirit-filled Christians are subject to one another, they listen to one another, and bow to one another's authority. Spirit-filled wives submit to their husbands, and Spirit-filled husbands love their wives as Christ loved the church. Spirit-filled children honor and obey their parents, and Spirit-filled parents bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord without exasperating them in the process. A Spirit-filled employee obeys his or her employer and does good work. And the Spirit-filled employer is fair and understanding with employees. Those are all manifestations of the Spirit-filled life.
A parallel passage, Colossians 3:16-22, ascribes the blessed manifestations of being filled with the Spirit to letting "the Word of Christ richly dwell within in" (3:16). Since being filled with the Spirit and letting the Word of Christ dwell within both produce the same results, a Spirit-filled Christian is a Christ-conscious Christian. A Spirit-filled Christian is consumed with learning everything he or she can about Jesus and obeying everything that Jesus said. That is what it means to "let the word of Christ richly dwell within you." To be filled with the Spirit is to be totally and richly involved in all there is to know about Jesus Christ.