“Filled with the Holy Spirit”

Pt. 4 of the Series: “The Ghost”

May 31, 2020

 

Acts 2:1-11

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

 

That must have been one amazing day.  Here was this rag-tag group of fishermen, with a doubter and tax collector thrown in. They had been on a roller coaster ride the last three years culminating with their friend, mentor and savior dying on the cross and then rising again.  For forty days, He had revealed Himself to them and others with convincing proofs that He had indeed defeated sin, death and the devil.  Then, as He was ready to ascend to heaven, He gathered them and promised them a gift.  He told them that “John baptized with water but in a few days (they) will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”  He promised the paraclete, the comforter, the counselor, the hagios pneuma.  He told them that they will receive power, Holy Spirit power, to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.  The same power that raised Jesus from the dead would be available to them, and, what we’ve seen through this series, is it will be available to us. 

 

Then, 10 days later, it happened. Oh, that had to be amazing.  The sound of a violent wind filling the whole house, tongues of fire descending, being filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in languages they hadn’t learned.  Think of the extraordinary power they had.  Imagine their feelings.  They had to be flying high.  And, what about the people observing all of this.  They saw the tongues of fire lighting on the apostle’s heads, they experienced the rushing wind, they were hearing the Gospel preached in their own language by these unschooled fishermen.  The people gathered there heard the apostles and said, “Woah, that is my language!”  The Scripture tells us that the people were amazed and perplexed.  Others had a different reaction, though.  They thought the apostles were drunk with wine, maybe smoking too much weed.  Yet, the message got through to 3000 of them for after Peter’s sermon, that’s how many were saved.  That was an amazing day as the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were filled with the Holy Spirit.. 

 

That is what we are going to look at today as we complete our series on the Holy Spirit called, “The Ghost.” So far, we have looked at the presence of the Holy Spirit, who He is and what He does, the power of the Holy Spirit, and last week, the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Today, we will look at what it means to be “Filled with the Holy Spirit.”  First, let me explain

 

  1.  What Being Filled with the Holy Spirit Is Not

 

  1.  It is not necessarily speaking in tongues

 

Have you ever had a discussion with someone and the topic turns to spiritual things and they ask you, “Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit?  Have you ever been filled with the Holy Spirit?”  Usually, they mean have you had an experience of the Holy Spirit where you have been so taken over by the Spirit that you speak in tongues, or prophecy or miraculously healed someone.  Now, speaking in tongues is not what happened at Pentecost.  The apostles spoke in known languages.  Speaking in tongues is a phenomenon where some people speak in an unknown language, some say a spiritual language.  They think it is the language we will be speaking in heaven. And, I thought we would be speaking German.  I just want to make it plain to you today that speaking in tongues is only a fraction of what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Don’t ever let anyone convince you that because you do not have the gift of speaking in tongues, you haven’t been baptized with the Holy Spirit. That’s what happened in Corinth. Some people had the gift of speaking in tongues and others did not.  The ones who had, looked down on the ones who hadn’t, called them second class Christians and even suggested that they weren’t Christians at all.  Don’t ever let anyone convince you that because you don’t speak in tongues, you are not a Christian.  When I am finished today, you will see that that is not so.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit dos not necessarily mean speaking in tongues.  Second, being filled with the Holy Spirit 

 

  1.  It is not necessarily having a second blessing

 

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is also not some sort of second blessing you must get.  Again, some people think that you get converted but then you have to get a second blessing, a second experience where the Holy Spirit comes upon you.  And, again, they sow doubts that if you haven’t had that experience, you aren’t a Christian.  Don’t ever let anyone convince you of that, either.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit dos not necessarily mean speaking in tongues and it is not necessarily having a second blessing.  So,

 

  1.  What Being Filled with the Holy Spirit Is 

 

When the Bible speaks of being filled with the Holy Spirit, this is way more than a one shot deal.  The Greek verb means to be filled and to keep on being filled.  It means to be constantly filled, a moment to moment filling. We think of filling a glass with water.  Once you fill it to the brim, you are done.  No, it means you keep pouring and pouring and pouring.  That’s the image for being filled with the Holy Spirit.  Actually, the Greek has 

 

  1.  3 shades of meaning for being filled [1]

 

  1. Being filled carries the idea of pressure

 

It is like the wind filling the sails of a sailboat providing the impetus to move the vessel across the water. The Holy Spirit provides the impetus to move a Christian along the path to a stronger faith and obedience to the will of God.  The Christian allows the Spirit to carry him or her in the proper direction.  It is like a stick floating in a stream.  The stick goes where the stream propels it. A Christian filled with the Holy Spirit goes where the Spirit leads.  Secondly,

 

  1. Being filled carries the idea of permeation

 

Maybe you remember the indigestion reliever called Alka Seltzer.  Flash your lights if you remember Alka Seltzer.  Do you remember the jingle?  Come on, sing it with me if you know it; “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.”  You put those two tablets in water, you plop them in there and it fizzes and you drink it and it was supposed to make your indigestion go away.  I remember my mother giving me that when I was a kid. The only thing it did to me was make me throw up.  I’d plead with my mother not to make me drink it but she insisted and I’d no sooner get it down and it would come right back up.  I’ve been forever scarred by that experience, let me tell you.  The connection with the Holy Spirit is NOT that the Holy Spirit will make you barf.  No, the connection is that as the Alka Seltzer so permeated the water, so the Holy Spirit permeates and flavors our lives so that when we are around others, they will know for certain that we have been permeated, are possessed, we have been filled with the Holy Spirit.  Thirdly,

   

  1. Being filled carries the idea of being dominated or ruled over

 

To be filled means to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.  The Bible speaks of people being filled with fear.  They were dominated by fear.  When Jesus told the disciples He would be leaving them, the Scripture says that sorrow had filled their heart.  They were so filled with sorrow that it controlled them.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit means to be dominated or controlled by the Holy Spirit.

 

So, we find in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit gave wisdom to people, filled Samson with superhuman strength, guided and directed Moses and Joshua and David.  In the New Testament, we hear of Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, being filled with the Holy Spirit and Zechariah, John’s father,  being filled with the Holy Spirit after John’s birth. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit so he could preach that sermon on Pentecost and Paul was filled with the Spirit. 

 

To be filled with the Holy Spirit implies freedom for Him to occupy every part of your life, providing the pressure to move you in a Godly direction, to permeate your entire life, to rule over you.   To be filled with the Holy Spirit means to let the Holy Spirit have His way with you. What a great prayer you could pray; “Holy Spirit have your way with me.  Guide me, permeate me, rule over me.  Have your way with me, O Holy Spirit.”  I like the way Psalm 19 explains it;

 

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  Psalm 19:14 

 

Here’s another image for being filled with the Holy Spirit.

 

  1.  Being filled with the Spirit means to be under the influence

 

Remember what some of the people said about the apostles on Pentecost.  They wondered if the apostles had been nipping the communion wine, if they had hit the bottle, if they were drunk with wine.  So, last week, my object lesson had to do with eating ice cream. Boy, did I get some reactions to that. People were concerned that my ice cream cone was melting.  They wanted to know what Bible passages spoke about licking the cone.  They wondered how much ice cream I really do eat.  The answer is, a lot.  Today, I am pulling out the hard stuff.  Today, my object lesson is about liquor.  It is about drinking.  Now, I want to be real clear here.  Although I am about an expert on ice cream eating, I don’t have extensive experience about drinking.  I do have a drink now and then but I have never been drunk in my entire life.  Not once.  So, I don’t want people saying that Deknatel gets sloshed, because I don’t. Paul draws a parallel with drinking when he said in Ephesians 5:18;

 

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,”  Ephesians 5:18

 

When someone is drunk, what do people say?  They say they are under the influence.  If someone gets a ticket after a night of partying, the charge is DUI, it is, say it with me, Driving Under the Influence.  They are driving under the influence of alcohol.  They are controlled by the alcohol.  When someone is under the influence of alcohol, they talk differently, think differently, act differently.  When someone is under the influence of alcohol, they have different thoughts, they speak different words, they have different behaviors. What is Paul saying?  He is saying, don’t be under the influence of alcohol.  Be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, be filled with the Holy Spirit.  When you are under the influence of the Holy Spirit, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will think differently.  You will speak differently.  You will act differently.  Paul is saying to live by the Spirit, walk with the Spirit, keep in step with the Spirit, be filled by the Spirit.  Be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 

 

I’m not done with this illustration yet.  One of the things I notice is that sometimes people drink just to get drunk.  Again, I don’t know this first hand but I watch tv. People sometimes drink to get drunk. They gather around and they do shots, lots of shots.  The stuff doesn’t taste good to them.  They just down the alcohol and take another and another until they—what do they say?—until they have a buzz, until they get drunk.  Then, the next day they boast to their friends, “Yeah, we did so many shots that I couldn’t even walk.  I threw up all over the place.”  That doesn’t sound like fun, does it, throwing up all over the place.  Just drink Alka Seltzer.  But, if you drill down a bit and ask them why they do it, some people might say that the alcohol loosens them up, that it seems to make their problems disappear, that it almost comforts them.  Some people will say that it has them attempt things they ordinarily wouldn’t do.  A guy is at a bar and sees a gal he is attracted to and he wants to get up the gumption to go and talk with her.  What does he do?  He takes a shot and that is supposed to give him courage. 

 

Paul says don’t get drunk on wine, don’t get drunk on alcohol, instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit. He says, “get drunk” on the Holy Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit comfort you. He is called the comforter.  He will comfort you in all of your hardships. He will give you peace.  Let the Holy Spirit give you courage.  He will move you to do things beyond anything you thought you were capable of.  Before the Holy Spirit filled them, do you think the apostles thought they were capable of speaking in those languages at Pentecost?  Before the Holy Spirit filled them, do you think Peter thought he was capable of preaching a sermon to 3000 people?  He has given you spiritual gifts which you can use to do extraordinary things. I have seen it happen all over the place here at Risen Christ.  People didn’t think they could teach little children but the Holy Spirit gave them courage and they jumped in and they loved it.  People didn’t think they could take on a leadership position but the Holy Spirit gave them courage and they jumped in and sat on council and they love it. People didn’t think they could speak words of comfort to somebody who was hurting, they didn’t think they could share their faith, they didn’t think they could sing, but the Holy Spirit gave them courage and they jumped in and they love it. 

 

Some people will think that alcohol can loosen them up, that alcohol can comfort them, alcohol can make their problems go away.  It is a lie, of course.  But, just like a drunk will think that’s what alcohol can do for them and they will want to drink more and they will do anything for a drink, when you truly experience what the Holy Spirit can do in your life, you will want to do anything to get more of that Holy Spirit.  You will want to know His presence and His power and His spiritual gifts all the more. You will want to take another drink and another and another.  You will want to “get drunk” not on alcohol, but on the Holy Spirit.  You will want to let Him fill you.  You heard it here, the preacher says you need to get drunk. Some of you will walk away from this sermon with just that.  “The preacher told me I should get drunk.”  Yes, get drunk, not on alcohol, but on the Holy Spirit.  And, know this, some of you need to take another drink.  Some of you aren’t drunk enough.  You need another shot of the Holy Spirit.  How do you do it?  Open up His Word, talk to Him in prayer, be aware of His presence in your family, use the gifts He has given you.  Some of you need to take another drink.  Don’t get drunk on wine, Paul is saying.  Get drunk on the Holy Spirit.  That is a very loose paraphrase of what Paul is saying in Ephesians 5.   “Do not get drunk on wine…Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”   There is one more thing we can look at here.  We need to ask,            

 

  1. What Will That Look Like? 

 

What will it look like if you are filled with the Holy Spirit?  In Galatians 5, Paul says that two things will happen when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. You will strive hard to not gratify the desires of the flesh and you will indulge in the fruit of the Spirit.    

 

  1. You will strive hard to not gratify the desires of the flesh

 

Paul says Galatians 5:16;

 

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”  Galatians 5:16

 

Paul goes on;

 

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”  Galatians 5:17

 

In the next verses, Paul lists some of the desires of the flesh.  In verses 19-21, He says they are;

 

“…sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”  Galatians 5:19-21

 

These, the desires of the flesh, are contrary to the walk by the Spirit.  They are in conflict with the Holy Spirit.  The problem is, sometimes we still want to do them.  Sometimes our sinful nature moves us to do some of these things.  What Paul is saying here is that there is a battle going on.  It is a struggle.  The Christian filled with the Spirit is waging war against their sinful desires. The person who is filled with the Holy Spirit will strive hard to not gratify the desires of the flesh.  They will fight tooth and nail against the desires of the flesh.  Oh, they will give in sometimes, but they will confess that sin and they will step up to the plate again and, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they will live to fight gain. What will it look like when you are filled with the Spirit? You will strive hard to not gratify the desires of the flesh.  The other thing it will look like when you are filled with the Holy Spirit is     

 

  1. You will indulge in the Fruit of the Spirit

 

What is the fruit of the Spirit? Paul tells us in verse 22:

 

“…love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22

 

It is interesting that God’s Word calls these things fruit.  Fruit is the end result of a plant.  I have a cherry tree in my backyard because I want to eat some of its fruit.  If I want more fruit, if I want more cherries, I need to fertilize that tree and water it and do all I can to make it grow.  When you are filled with the Holy Spirit you will produce fruit.  Flash your lights if you agree.  How many of you want more love in your life?  How many want more love?  Flash your lights if you want more love in your life.  What about joy?  How many of you want more joy?  Flash your lights if you want more joy.  How many want more peace?  In this Covid-19 thing, how many of you want more peace?  Flash your lights if you want more peace.  How many of you want more forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?  How many of you?  Come on, flash those lights.  If you want more fruit of the Spirit, you need to do all you can to be filled all the more with the Holy Spirit.  Be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit, you will have less desires of the flesh, you will fight against the desires of the flesh and you will have more fruit.  You will have more love, joy, peace, patience--that’s what your life will look like when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul ends up this section in Galatians by saying,

 

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”  Galatians 5:25

 

Live by the Spirit.  Keep in step with the Spirit.  Be filled with the Spirit.  Watch the love grow.  Feel the joy, the peace.  See what an amazing life you will have.

 

Alright, we are closing this thing out.  I hope over these weeks you have gotten a better understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and what He can do in your life.  I hope you have see the amazing power of the Holy Spirit, that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you.  I hope you have thought more about using your spiritual gifts, about licking the cone.  And, I hope you can see what a transformed and full life you can have as you are filled with the Holy Spirit.  Remember, the Holy Spirit, the hagios pveuma, the paraclete, the comforter and encourager, the One who hovered over the waters at creation and the One who raised Jesus from the dead and the One who indwellt the apostles on Pentecost, that same Spirit is yours.  He is yours.

 

In Jesus’ name,

Amen. 

         

 


 


[1] The following material has been paraphrased from a sermon by John MacArthur entitled, “What Does It Mean to be Filled with the Holy Spirit?