Thursday, May 24, 2007

God's Will is that You Be Spirit-Filled

In our last blog, I shared with your where the will of God begins. Today, I want to show you how the will of God continues once you’re saved.

God’s will is that you be Spirit-filled. Ephesians 5:17 says you are “not to be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Then in the next verse he tells you what “the will of the Lord is.” He says, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (v.18). The verb “be filled” is pleroo (pres.pass.imp) which is a command that can only be obeyed when you die to self. The passive voice is used here and indicates that you are the recipient of the action, which means you don’t fill yourself; the Spirit fills or controls you. You have to do what is necessary to not hinder the process. What hinders being controlled by the Spirit is sin. Paul says in verse 2 of chapter 5 of Ephesians that we are to “walk in love” and not let “fornication, all uncleanness or covetousness...even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which is not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (vv.3-4). In verse 6-8 he says not to “let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” In verse 11 he further says not to have “fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” All of this has to be either affirmed or denied in order to carry out verse 18. Spirit-filling is different than Spirit-indwelling. Spirit-indwelling occurs one time at salvation (Eph.1:13; 1 Cor.12:13). Spirit-filling occurs repeatedly as you yield yourself to the Spirit’s control (Col.3:16; Gal.5:16).

Are you being filled by with Spirit? Are you being led by Him or by your flesh? What does it mean to be Spirit-filled? It means that you are letting the Word of God control you. When you examine Ephesians 5:18ff with Colossians 3:16ff, you learn that the results are the same. In Ephesians 5:18 it says to be filled with the Spirit; In Colossians 3:16 it says to let the word of Christ richly dwell in you. When you examine the results found in both of these passages, they are the same. So the conclusion is, to be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by the Word or to put it more simply it is to obey God’s Word.

We will look at the role sanctification play in our next blog.

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