March 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Sermons

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Ephesians 5:18)

The Holy Spirit is God Himself in spiritual form, the third person of the Trinity with God the Father and
God the Son. We first see Him as He moved upon the face of the waters just after creation. (Genesis 1:2) We
see Him next as He was breathed into the nostrils of Adam and Adam became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7) He is pictured as the oil in the lampstand in the Temple worship. (Exodus 35:28) He is pictured as a type in the account of the servant, Eliezer, going out to seek a bride for Isaac. (Genesis 24:10)

The Holy Spirit of God came mightily upon Samson. (Judges 14:6) We see Him in the rushing of wind in
the mulberry trees to give a sign to David to go to battle against the Philistines. (II Samuel 5:24) He filled the Temple as smoke when Solomon dedicated the Temple to the Lord. (I Kings 8:11) He shows up in the valley of dry bones and brings those bones to life (Ezekiel 37:5) and again when Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on His throne. (Isaiah 6:4) He descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove at His baptism by John the Baptist. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

The Holy Spirit indwells every believer, “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.” (Romans 8:9)
He supplies boldness to His own. (Acts 4:13) He is the One who leads us into the pathway of God’s will. “For
as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14) He is our Helper and Assistant in prayer. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the
saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)

The Holy Spirit is the Giver of wisdom. (James 1:5) He is the Comforter dwelling in the believer. “And I
will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:16-17) He came down in fire at Pentecost.  (Acts 2:2) He is our Teacher. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto
you.” (John 14:27) “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (I John 2:27)

Our relationship with the Holy Spirit is like a marriage. We are joined together. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (I Corinthians 6:17) “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19) I believe this verse is speaking of the two natures of the believer. If my spirit and the Holy Spirit are in agreement, then I will get my prayer answered. Jesus, in His high priestly prayer, prayed that we might be one in our relationship with the Father and the Son and that can only be done through the Spirit. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)

As a believer we must be careful not to attempt to make a servant of the Holy Ghost, trying to use Him to
accomplish our will and meet our needs and desires. We must not seek to have the Spirit, but allow Him to
have us. Jesus taught that our desires and needs will be met as a result of doing His will and not ours. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) I must allow Him to be in charge. When He speaks, I must listen. When He teaches, I must learn. When He prays, I must get on my knees. When He guides, I must follow and obey.

My relationship with the Holy Spirit is dependent on me realizing that this life is about the Lord and not
about me. Jesus said, “…Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24) And, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” (Matthew 16:25)

We, as God’s children, are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Ephesians 5:18) The result of obedience to this clear cut demand opens Heaven’s windows and bring Almighty God on the scene in our lives. It is sad that so many have failed to answer the question that Paul asked the Ephesians, “…Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” (Acts 19:2) So many are not aware of the great potential and possibilities that are available to the believer through surrendering to His power and filling. Let me share some things that the Bible tells us about the filling of the Spirit.


Jesus said this to Nicodemus. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:3-7) Unless the Spirit of God is in a person through bloodbought salvation, there is no way that they can be filled with the Spirit.

It was quite amusing to some of us on a mission trip to the Ukraine when a communist woman official was
saved in one of our meetings. She was so excited. She explained that for years she had secretly wanted to do
this but it would have meant the firing squad for her. Things had changed and she now was able to invite Jesus into her heart without that threat. Then she asked, “Now that I’m saved, would it be possible for me to get born again, too?” It was so simple to us, but difficult for her to understand. Once the Holy Spirit comes in and takes up residence with the believer, there is Someone in us that has contact with God.



The Apostle Paul explained, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16) Again he wrote, “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?” (I Corinthians 6:19) Then again he wrote, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11) Like that woman in the Ukraine, it is difficult for us to know and understand how to be filled, but to the indwelling Spirit it is a very simple matter. Indwelling is not an apartment rental agreement, or a period of time agreement, but He purchases the house and makes it His own. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Corinthians 6:20)


The word “baptize” means to “immerse or incorporate into” or “make a part of.” Paul tells us, “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.” (1 Corinthians 12:13) The Holy Spirt puts aside all differences of race, nationality, scholarship, intelligence, financial standing, religious preferences, and such, and joins us together in the body of Christ and begins to make us one in Christ. Unless this has happened to us, we could never be filled with the Spirit. Individuality is surrendered for the sake of the whole body. The heart and lungs do not function for their own benefit, but for the sake of the six hundred muscles and the two hundred and eight bones, as well as the rest of the body.


“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” (Romans 6:13) We are called, “instruments of righteousness,” in this verse. A piano is a musical instrument. The piano has no mind of its own. The pianist takes control of the instrument and produces the music. If the piano did its own thing and played “jazz” or “rock and roll” for the Sunday worship service instead of “The Old Rugged Cross,” or “Amazing Grace” that the pianist plays on it, there would be problems. A believer must allow the Holy Spirit to do His work through the mind, heart, and fingers to produce the will of God in our lives. Yielding brings filling.


Jesus prayed, “…Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42) God has a will about everything. He wants believers to be so close to Him that His will becomes understandable and clear. The Bible teaches that we can know what His will is in any situation. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:17) This is simply a matter of letting God be God instead of keeping control of the reins of our lives and doing our own will. This attitude violates the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) The modern saying is, “Do your own thing,” or “If it feels good do it,” or “Have it your way.” These and many others are in complete opposition to the teachings of the Bible and leads away from God.


Imagine being able to enter into the very presence of the almighty God. Paul stated, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18) On one occasion I was privileged to shake hands with and get my picture made with President Ronald Regan. I framed that picture and displayed it in my office. That was a big deal to me. I met with Colonel Harlan Sanders and Governor Lester Mattox and many world renowned preachers and a lot of other people and considered it a big deal, but there is no comparison to entering into the very throne room of God and talking personally with Him. When I am filled with the Spirit that is possible anytime, day or night. He extends an invitation to all who are indwelled and filled to come to Him at any time. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)


The children of Israel were led by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night through the
wilderness for forty years. They had God’s presence giving them direction for the entire forty years. This is a
type of the believer being led by the Holy Spirit in the church age. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that,
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) He also wrote to the Roman believers, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)

Dr. Lee Roberson, while teaching our Sunday School workers, took hold of a little boy’s hand who was sitting on the first row and began to walk back and forth and around the area. He explained that the little guy was allowing him to do all the deciding on where they would walk. The little fellow was enjoying the walk. Dr. Roberson then explained that this was what God wanted to do for every Christian. Jesus explained, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:…” (John 16:13) When we are filled with the Spirit we will believe right and make right decisions as we follow the leading of the Lord.


The Holy Spirit knows what is best and He also knows what God will do for us. The Bible says, “Likewise
the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26) When filled with the Spirit we will know what His will is about a matter and will pray accordingly. We can get 100% of our prayers answered if we follow this teaching. The Bible says, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” (I John 3:22) It also says, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7)
And then, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (I John 5:14-15) In all these verses we are assured that if we follow certain steps of obedience we will get our prayers answered. The Holy Spirit know exactly what these steps are and promises to help us pray accordingly. It all depends on being filled with the Spirit.



Another wonderful benefit of Spirit filling is that we will have the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. In his writing to the Galatian Christians, Paul tells them, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) These nine attributes are worth so much more than fame and fortune. I have a sermon called, “How To Have the Benefits of a Million Dollars Without All the Headaches and Problems Involved.” Everybody is looking for happiness, contentment, and satisfaction, but none of these come through money. These blessings are produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit, and the more of us that He has, the more of these we have.


There is a great difference between the “gift” of the Spirit and the “gifts of the Spirit.” When Jesus was
teaching His disciples about prayer, He gave an example of a dad responding to his son’s request for bread, a fish, or an egg and pointed out that he obviously would not give his son a stone, a serpent, or a scorpion. He then stated that the Heavenly Father loves us far more than a human father could love his son and would give the Holy Spirit as a gift to those who asked. He said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13) This refers to the salvation experience. Our body becomes the dwelling place of the Spirit of God at the time of our salvation.

Later, the apostle Paul gives a list of the “gifts of the Spirit,” which have nothing to do with salvation. “For
to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” (I Corinthians 12:8-12) These are gifts for service and the Lord gives them to whom He will. He knows what needs to be done and selects who He wants to get it done.

When I am filled with the Spirit I will understands what my gift is or what my gifts are, and I will cover my
base and do my part in the work of God and be rewarded for doing so. If I am not in harmony with the Holy
Spirit and I refuse to die to my own goals and ambitions, then I will be like the corn of wheat that amounted to nothing because I refuse to die. (John 12:24)


A person filled with the Spirit will experience the supernatural instead of just the natural. It is the difference
between God’s power and man’s effort. When the Holy Spirit came on the scene at Pentecost they had 3,000 saved then 5,000, then 20,000 the first week, and 80,000 people the first year. Instead of joy, they experienced joy unspeakable (I Peter 3:18). Instead of peace, they had peace that passed all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Instead of life they had abundant life (John 10:10) and instead of getting a prayer answered occasionally, they received all they could ask or even think. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Ephesians 3:20)

This is the same power that opened the Red Sea, brought the fire to consume Elijah’s sacrifice, helped David
to kill Goliath, protected Daniel from the lions, the Hebrew children in the furnace. Many, many others experienced God’s power in their time of need. D.L. Moody stated that the world was yet to see what God could do through a man who was completely surrendered to God. He then said, “By His grace, I will be that man.” We are told that over a million people were converted during his ministry.

Jesus told his disciples, “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.” (Acts 1:8) Then we read, “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33) That same power is available to any believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit.


Paul wrote to the Corinthian church about the difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of this world. He said, “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:” (I Corinthians 2:6, 7) Man has knowledge about history, geography, science, math, and such, while a Spirit-filled believer has discernment and insight. Paul also said, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:14)

Solomon was given this special spiritual wisdom by the Lord as an example for all believers. He became
the wisest and wealthiest of all mankind. The Lord said to him, “Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.” (I Kings 3:12) The Lord has said to all believers, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) It would really pay handsomely to anyone who would pursue the filling of the Holy Spirit and to have this wisdom of God.


One of my college mates, Orman Norwood wrote a poem that said,

“How do we find out what is right from wrong,
How get we power to keep us strong,
How grows our faith from a tiny seed,
Open the Bible and READ.”

The Bible is a closed book to the natural mind. The Spirit of the Lord opens the understanding of the Bible
to the believer. Jesus said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26) John explains this in these words, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1 John 2:27) We can pray like the Psalmist, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalm 119:18)


“Once saved, always saved,” is the term used by many folks to explain the security of the believer. The
Bible uses the words “eternal life” and “everlasting life” to explain the gift the Lord gives a person when they
receive Christ as their Saviour. The Bible says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:…” (John 3:36) It also says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’’ (John 3:16) Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)

Paul explained that the Holy Spirit seals the believer. He wrote, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:13) Again he wrote, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30) Just like Grandma poured wax on top of the peach preserves in the mason jar to seal off the air so they would not spoil, even so the Holy Ghost seals or preserves us until the day our bodies are redeemed at the Rapture or the resurrection.


The difference between victory and defeat for every Christian is found in these words. Be Filled With The
Spirit. Every Christian can be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is a matter of success or failure. It comes down to
going out to meet God to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant;” or lying on our death bed saying, “I wish I could go back and live my life over again.”

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7) It would be well for us to get a grip on the words of David, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalms 37:4)



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