Charismatics – Part 5
By: Dr. Thomas Figart
|By: Dr. Thomas Figart; ©2012|
|What does it mean for a Christian to be “filled” with the Holy Spirit? What does that look like in a Christian’s life?|
Evaluation of the Tongues Movement
Charismatics – Part 5 – Dr. Thomas Figart
What does it mean for a Christian to be “filled” with the Holy Spirit? What does that look like in a Christian’s life?
IV. The Filling of the Holy Spirit.
- The Greek words used.
- Pleres, a noun translated “fill” or “filled.” Metaphorically it means, “full of, abounding in, wholly occupied with, completely under the influence of, or affected by” (Lk. 4:1; John 1:14; Acts 9:36; 11:24).
- Plero-o, verb form of the same root word, meaning, “to pervade, take possession of” (John 16:6; Acts 13:52; Eph. 5:18). In Acts 5:3 Satan was influencing and controlling Ananias and Sapphira, but not indwelling them.
- Pimple-mi, “what wholly takes possession of the mind is said to fill it.” Also, “to be under the influence of” (Luke 1:15; Acts 2:4; 4:8).
- Conclusion: All these words refer to the control of the individual. In the case of the disciples in John 16:6 sorrow had filled, or controlled, their hearts because Jesus was about to leave them.
- Full definition of “filled” from Ephesians 5:18.
- Imperative Mode: This is a command, involving exercise of the will. It is not merely an option for the Christian, but a necessity. This also means that it is the one ministry of the Holy Spirit which is not permanent.
- Present Tense: A habitual, continual process: “Be habitually controlled.” It is expected that the Christian will experience this habitually, daily, not merely once in a while; it is the norm.
- Second Person: “Be ye filled.” This is direct address; it is not to be shifted off to someone else. Paul says, “I am talking directly to you; you need to be habitually controlled by the Holy Spirit!”
- Plural Number: “Ye” that is, all of you; this is not just for the super-spiritual. All Christians have equal need and responsibility to obey this command.
- Passive voice: This means action from another source, other than yourself: “Allow yourselves to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.”
- Complete translation: Paul says: “I am speaking directly to all of you Christians; you are hereby expected to allow the Holy Spirit to control you habitually.”
- How to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Grieve not the Spirit (Eph. 4:30). The Holy Spirit is grieved when there is unconfessed sin in the life. Thus, the need here is to “confess” (1 John 1:9).
- Quench not the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19). The Holy Spirit is quenched when sin continues to accumulate in the life and we resist the Spirit. Thus, the need here is to “Yield” (Rom. 6:13).
- Walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-17). Walking is an exercise, so in the spiritual realm, it is an exercise of faith, an appropriation of the power already residing within (John 7:37-39).
- Observations: What the Filling of the Holy Spirit is Not!
- It is not an emptying of self and sin. There is no way you can get rid of your sin nature, or your sin (1 John 1:8, 10). It is rather a proper adjustment of us to the Holy Spirit.
- It is not the Spirit “falling fresh” on a believer. He already indwells us permanently (John 14:16). We do not need more of Him; He needs more of us!
- It is not filling and emptying, as though the Holy Spirit were like a liquid fuel supply which runs low and needs replenishing. Rather, He is a Person Who wants to control us.
- It is not “one baptism, many fillings.” This also gives the impression of emptying. It is rather, “one baptism, then His constant control.”
- It is not self-crucifixion. It is impossible to crucify yourself. You should rather recognize that you have been crucified with Christ (the past tense is used in Gal. 2:20), and quietly submit yourself to the Spirit’s control.
- It is not “yielding once for all.” The note in the New Scofield Bible on Romans 6:13 wrongly emphasizes this. The aorist tense does not always mean once for all; it can mean “completely.” The filling (control) of the Holy Spirit can happen more than once on any day.
- It is not of the old nature. James 4:5 says, “the Spirit desires us to the point of envy.” Why is this necessary? Because the flesh (the old nature) suppresses the Spirit (Gal. 5:17).
- Results of the Filling of the Holy Spirit.
- A singing heart (Eph. 5:19) associated with the Word of Christ dwelling in us richly (Col. 3:16). There are “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” but nothing is said about being “slain in the spirit” or any unusual “sign.”
- A satisfied heart (Eph. 5:20). We can thank God in all things but also for all things (1 Thess. 5:19), even robbery (Heb. 10:34). We can thank God for what does not happen, as well.
- A submissive heart (Eph. 5:21). There is real freedom in the Holy Spirit; not the so-called freedom of the uncontrolled “sign” gifts, but freedom to be what we ought to be when controlled by the Holy Spirit.
VI. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
- Definition: The normal qualities of Christian living which are brought into effect when the Holy Spirit is the impelling Person and power and principle in full control of the believer.
- The Nine-fold fruit of the Holy Spirit presented in Galatians 5:22-23.
- Love (agape) — This is love which sees preciousness and purpose in the object loved; commanded by Christ (Jn. 13:34-35); possible only through the Spirit.
- Joy (chara) — Eager desire and pleasure, joy as realized from the Lord (Neh. 8:10). It is intended to be experienced in “fulness” (John 15:11). It can come through answered prayer (John 16:24).
- Peace (eirene) — A sublime tranquility of heart and mind, in spite of every disturbing memory, fear, circumstance or condition. It passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7) and calms the heart (John 14:27).
- Longsuffering (makrothumia) — From makro (a long distance) and thumia (heated), thus, “A long way from getting all heated up!” This is characterized by patience (Heb. 6:12; Eph. 4:2).
- Kindness (chrestotes) — Goodness of heart and kindness, expressed in deeds to one another (1 Cor. 6:6; Eph. 4:32), mellowing the harsh and austere.
- Goodness (agathosune) A moral quality; a desire after the good as opposed to evil (Eph. 5:9; Rom. 15:14).
- Faithfulness (pistis) — Not so much the initial faith which saves, but here it is faithfulness in steadfast service (Titus 2:10; 1 Cor. 4:1).
- Meekness (prautes) — The balance of spirit that is neither elated nor cast down, because it is not occupied with self; closely related to humility, it comes from strength, not weakness (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; 2 Cor. 10:1).
- Self-control (egkrateia) — Discipline in all things; directed toward the will; from kratos (strength, see 2 Pet. 1:6). Also, the verb form is used in (1 Cor. 9:25) to refer to the discipline of the athlete in training.