“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18 (ESV).
Today, we examine the second commandment contained in Ephesians 5:18: “but be filled with the Spirit.” What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
The Holy Spirit’s indwelling (John 7:37–39; 14:17; Rom. 5:5; 8:9; 1 Cor. 2:12; 6:19–20; 1 John 3:24; 4:13), sealing (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30), and baptism (1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27) of the converted sinner occur at the time of their regeneration (John 3:1-8; Titus 3:1-5). However, God does command the believer to be filled with the Spirit.
The word filled (πληρόω; pleroo) is a present, passive imperative. The believer is commanded to allow the Holy Spirit to completely fill or control their life and living. Alcohol controls the individual and prompts them to do things they would not ordinarily do. So also the Holy Spirit is to control and prompt the believer to do things they would not normally do in bringing glory and praise to God.
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “Believers are commanded to be filled constantly with the Holy Spirit. Each Christian has all the Spirit, but the command here is that the Spirit have all of him. The wise walk, then, is one that is characterized by the Holy Spirit’s control.”
The evidence of the Holy Spirit’s control of the believer in Christ is the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “While the sealing of the Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30) is a once for all initiation in the Christian life, the filling of the Spirit applies to all the Christian life. This filling is progressive and is to be sought on an ongoing basis. In the parallel passage in Colossians, Paul tells Christians to let the ‘peace of Christ’ govern their hearts and to allow the ‘word of Christ’ to dwell in them richly (Col. 3:15-16). The one who is filled with the Spirit is filled with Christ, God, and His Word (Eph. 1:21; 3:19; 4:10; cf. John 14:16, 26; 16:12-15; 17:17).”
Are you obeying the command to be filled with the Holy Spirit? A daily study of God’s Word and constant prayer to be filled is indispensable. The evidence of God’s answer to your study and prayers is the fruit of the Spirit being evidenced by your life because of the fullness of the Spirit at that moment in your life.
Soli deo Gloria!