Since for the past few weeks I’ve been compiling the series on the Holy Spirit, and by any standard I’ve been in what one might call ‘a Holy Spirit frame of mind’, it was inevitable that at some point it would bleed through into my daily blog post.
As much as I tried to focus on another topic, or write about something else, I kept returning to this particular title, and the subsequent teaching. And so, today we will discuss why we must be filled with the Spirit. No, I am not jumping the gun on the series I’ve planned and this particular teaching is not part of the outline. It’s just something that has been on my heart for the past few days that has finally made its way to the forefront of my mind, and rather than spend the next few hours trying to write about something else and ending up writing about this topic anyway, I might as well proceed now without further delay.
Ephesians 5:18, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”
So why is it that we must be filled with the Spirit? First and foremost we must be filled with the Spirit because it was commanded of us. Paul does not write and say instead of being drunk with wine I would highly recommend that you be filled with the Spirit, he doesn’t say being filled with the Spirit wouldn’t hurt, he doesn’t say it would be in your best interest to be filled with the Spirit, what Paul says in his epistle to the Ephesians is ‘be filled with the Spirit!’
It was a command that was not spoken only to the deacons, or the elders, the preachers or the evangelists of certain congregations, it was a command spoken to all who call themselves children of God. Be filled with the Spirit!
The second reason we must be filled with the Spirit is that there are no other alternatives, replacements or surrogates for it. In my younger years I used to buy cars, fix them up and sell them to earn a little money. When I would need a part, I had the option of either buying the original part from the dealer, or looking for an aftermarket outfit that made the same part but for allot less money. When it comes to having the Spirit, and being filled with the Spirit there are no other options, no aftermarket outfits that can offer you something almost identical at half the cost. We are either of the Spirit, or we are of the flesh, there is no third category to which we can subscribe.
Know this, sooner or later, that which we are filled with will become evident to all. If we are filled with the Spirit the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in our lives, not only on Sundays but throughout the week no matter where we might find ourselves or who we happen to come in contact with. When we are filled with the Spirit, it shows just as it shows when we are still of the flesh because try as we might to rein it in, the flesh will assert itself and make itself evident.
The third reason we must be filled with the Spirit is because it is a necessity in the life of the believer.
Why is being filled with the Spirit a necessity? No, it’s not because I say it is, but rather because the Bible proves it out. One of the greatest examples of why being filled with the Spirit is a necessity rather than a negligible option is the life of none other than the Apostle Peter.
None of us could deny the faithfulness and sacrificial nature of Peter, who having abandoned his business, his livelihood and his family followed after Christ faithfully. Faithful as he was however, when Peter was not filled with the Spirit he perceived all things through the prism of human understanding and reason.
When Jesus gathered His disciples unto Himself and informed them that soon He would be crucified, rather than perceiving the spiritual implications of this, rather than understanding that only by the sacrifice of Christ could we be reconciled unto God, Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him saying, ‘far be it from You Lord; this shall not happen to You!’
Peter perceived the situation through the flesh, through the prism of human understanding, and what he perceived was not the Lamb of God that would take on the sins of the world, but rather the death of his Rabbi, his Teacher, his Lord and his Friend.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is a necessity in the life of the believer because only by being filled with the Spirit can we perceive and understand things spiritually.
Another example from Peter’s life that is worth mentioning within the context of the necessity of being filled with the Spirit is the high estimation of self that Peter had before he was filled, declaring before Christ and all who would hear, that ‘even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.’
Just in case anyone missed that particular Sunday school class, Peter said this before denying Christ three times, and even cursed and swore that he did not know the Man. Before he was filled with the Spirit, Peter thought himself strong, Peter thought himself superior to his brothers, Peter believed that even if all the other disciples were made to stumble he himself would remain faithful and would never be made to stumble.
What a humbling experience it must be to realize that you are not as strong as you believed yourself to be, and that you have come to do what you never thought you would. This is the danger of trusting in self, in thinking that we can in and of our own strength do great exploits and show great signs of faith.
After being filled with the Spirit, Peter did go on to do great exploits, he went on to do great signs and wonders in the name of Christ, but he never again took the credit for it, he never again believed he could do it on his own.
We need the Holy Spirit today, we need Him in our churches, we need Him in our fellowships, we need Him in our families, we need Him in our lives, because only by the Holy Spirit can we have power, only by the unction of the Holy Spirit will our simple words captivate the hearts of learned men and cause them to weep tears of repentance.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.