What is “Filled with Holy Spirit”


                                     Jim Burns
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not as complex as rocket science. It is relatively easy as compared to the complexity of rocket science. It is when we made a honest to goodness request and completely yield to the Holy Spirit in a way that He can posses us fully and in a way that we follows His leading. (Romans 8:9 and Ephesians 1:13-14).

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon humanity was the inauguration of the New Covenant, which had been ratified by Jesus’ blood (Luke 22:20)

According to the terms of the New Covenant, every believer is given the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).( Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has baptized every believer into Christ at the moment of salvation (1 Corinthians 12:13) as He comes to permanently indwell in us who has received Christ as Savior and Lord. (It is like God giving in us a capacity for a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit in us, to act and move in God’s will within us). 

In the book of Acts, there are three “outpourings” of the Holy Spirit, to three different people groups at three different times.

The first was to Jews and proselytes in Jerusalem (Acts 2).

The second was to a group of believing Samaritans (Acts 8).

The third was to a group of believing Gentiles (Acts 10).

Significantly, Peter was present at all three outpourings. Three times, God sent the Holy Spirit with demonstrable signs, as the Great Commission was being fulfilled to reach out in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). .

The same Holy Spirit coming upon Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles in the same manner in the presence of the same apostle kept the early church unified. There was not a “Jewish” church, a “Samaritan” church, and a “Roman” church—there was one church, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). There was one body in Christ.

However, the outpouring of the Spirit is different from the filling of the Spirit.

The outpouring was a unique coming of the Holy Spirit to earth to be indwelt in the believer in Christ Jesus (when the Spirit of God comes in to dwell in us);  We call it being born again, being saved, becoming a follower of Christ, or having the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (it is like making a place for the Holy Spirit to live in us).

 On the other hand, the filling happens whenever we are surrendered to God’s control of our lives. We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18); when we lay down our own egos, the things we want to do, and surrender our goals and aspirations to God’s will and let the Holy Spirit within us rules and reigns in our lives (basically live a Jesus’ life in us).

 In this regard it is possible for the believer either to be “filled with the Spirit” or to “quench” the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). In either case, the Holy Spirit remains with the believer (as opposed to the Old Testament era, when the Holy Spirit would come and go with us). The filling of the Spirit comes as a direct result of submission to God’s will, and the quenching is a direct result of rebelling against God’s will by doing our own aspirations and actions with no regard to God’s will.

I want to use this little illustration that I hope will give you a better understanding between having an outpouring and a filling. Imagine this sponge as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (where the Holy Spirit becomes a dwelling place in our lives).  Peter in Acts 2:38 says, “Repent and be baptized each of you in the name of Jesus Christ for remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  I am going to give you this sponge as a gift to you (it represent the Holy Spirit in your life) – what you do with it is up to you. I give it to you. It is a gift. It has great potential for signs and wonders and miracles to touch and many to Christ Jesus, or you can hoard it in your broom closet and it will be worthless to you until you use it correctly. A sponge is a great tool to clean objects if used properly.
However, it is worthless if it hidden away in a closet.

A symbol of baptism by immersion is being placed under the water with your sins, and coming up out of the water as a symbol that we have raised into a new live in Christ Jesus our sins left under the water, and at that same time we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (a dwelling place in our life)  In other words, we now have the capability of having the Holy Spirit in our life – to be as little or much as we are willing to submit to God’s will.  

You can take the sponge (the capacity for the Holy Spirit), you can take it try to clean a surface with a dry sponge. What happens? It creates streaks, right! You can take a medicine dropper and drop a drop of water on the sponge and there is some water in the sponge right? Right! You can try to clean the surface and what happens? Still have streaks, but not completely clean. Right? Right!

There is a little water on the sponge, but the sponge is still not filled? Right? Right! You can place a wet cloth on top of the sponge, and the sponge seems to be wet because you have placed a wet cloth on the sponge, but the sponge is still not filled with water, right?  Right! Try to clean the surface again. What happens, some better, but not completely clean, right? Right!

The word filled in Ephesians 5:18 is when We are filled with the Spirit so that God can flow through us like a powerful river to impact others, letting it flow out to others, right?  Right! 

So, filled means to make full; put as much as can be held; to fill a jar with water. to occupy to the full capacity: Water filled the basin. A full crowd is filled to capacity of a hall.  Filled is to supply to an extreme degree of plentifulness; to be filled is to fill a house with furniture; to be filled is to fill the heart with joy; to completely over joyed. To be filled is to saturate the sponge to a degree that it flows out to other sources around it. So, now you take the sponge, plunge it into the bowl of water and let it set there long enough to be completely saturated throughout the sponge. You take the sponge and now try to clean the surface. What happens, it is completely cleaned. Right? Right!

What does a spirit filled person look like?  What are the characteristics of a person filled with the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit produces behavior traits that are representative of Jesus (to be like Jesus). The apostle Paul referred to these characteristics as the fruit of (the result of living in the Spirit). “The fruit (result of completely saturated in the Holy Spirit) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT) in a way that it overflows to others just like a saturated sponge that helps clean the surface around it.

Some synonyms for filling include jam-packed, chock-a-block, crammed full, filled to capacity. vIn all of these synonyms refer to something that has completely filled to its capacity.

To be filled with a sponge means we have saturated the sponge, and when we get it saturated, it is completely filled up and it overflows to other objects around it, and it is a valuable cleaning tool.

Can we begin to realize what Jesus wants us to be in relation to the Holy Spirit in us?  He has given us the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and He wants us to saturate ourselves in Him, in His Word, in His will, and He wants us to look like Himdo the things He did while He was here on earth, and what He has empowered us to do now by His power to impact the lives of others, if we will only let Him have His way in our lives, be jam-packed with Him in our thinking, and in our actions. 

A prayer you can pray for asking for the filling of the Holy Spirit?

Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart full; make me be more faithful to Christ; kindle in me the fire of Your passion and love in me. Send forth Your Spirit in me, and may I impact others through Christ with Your healing power.  And renew through me, as I grow more like You, change the lives of others around me, like a saturated sponge that overflows to others and cleans around it.
In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

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