The closer we follow Christ and emulate Him, the more we will walk in the Spirit and be filled with the Spirit. We need a perpetual infilling of the Holy Ghost.
Ephesians 5:17-18 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Paul has been talking about how we should walk in an evil world, so that the way we relate to those of the world would not be in such a way as to participate with them in darkness, but rather to let the Light of Christ manifest itself to them through us. The ultimate purpose, of course, not being to bring condemnation on them, but in hopes that some will repent and believe the good news.
Now, he turns his attention to the church and begins to instruct us as to how we ought to be relating to one another as Christians, and he will tell us what condition must exist in order for us to do that.
After the day of Pentecost, when the Comforter had come and all believers were Baptized with the Holy Ghost we see them ministering to people, and there is visible evidence of those people receiving the Holy Spirit. Just as He made a difference in the believer’s life back then, He still makes a difference today!
He, the Holy Spirit is the 3rd PERSON of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is not just an influence. So many seem to talk about being filled with the Spirit as if the Holy Spirit were some kind of liquid. They talk about having an ‘empty vessel and having the Spirit poured in. That is entirely wrong because it forgets that the Holy Spirit is a Person. He is not a substance, not a liquid, and not a power like electricity. We all tend to fall into this error.
So with that in mind, that puts a new meaning into “Be Filled with the Spirit.” Remember Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. You know why he could go through that terrible stoning? Because he had the Holy Spirit within him.
Holy Ghost in Acts 2:4 and Spirit in Eph. 5:18 are from the same Greek word, pneuma, the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son. Therefore… being filled with the Spirit is more than just having a force within us, or an influence. It is having the HOLY SPIRIT living in and abiding in us.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in 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?
When Paul said “Be filled with the Spirit” he was saying we must be holy in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit, Because, 1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
But here is the thrust of my message; In Acts… the believers are to wait until they are endued with power from on high. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is an initial outpouring in a believer’s life. So then if you are Baptized in the Holy Ghost, why then does Paul say here in Ephesians “be filled with the Spirit”???? Because… he is emphasizing the fact that ALL believers cannot just have a ONE TIME experience and leave it at that.
Since it is a command, it cannot be an ’experience’ or a special one time blessing to be sought. We are to pursue being filled with the Spirit constantly. We are to be perpetually filled, by virtue of our unwavering pursuit of Him. And that, I think, is where most of us have our greatest struggle. It’s because WE DO NOT PURSUE HIM ENOUGH!!!!
What Paul is saying here is that we should be so consumed by Him that our self is lost in His will. In order to do these things there has to be a drawing so near to Christ, in order to imitate Him, learn what is pleasing to Him, understand what His will is, emulate Him and His love and light in our life, that our self is lost and He becomes the all-encompassing, overwhelming influence in our lives.
I think that is the secret to being filled with the Spirit. Filled and powerful and equipped for service! It all comes down to our relationship with HIM. The closer we follow Christ and emulate Him, the more we will walk in the spirit and be filled with the Spirit. We need a perpetual infilling of the Holy Ghost.