How can you be filled with the Holy Spirit?

Before Jesus ascended into heaven after his time here on earth, his last recorded and life-changing words to his disciples were "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." (Romans 8:14)

Jesus also spoke to his disciples about the Holy Spirit, who would come after he had left, saying, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

ANOINTING AND EVANGELISM

Jesus talked about both the gifting of evangelism and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, so the disciples knew that they needed to be witnesses but also that they would receive power to do this. Jesus commissioned his disciples to witness to others, just as we are called to follow and do the same today.

BAPTISM AND THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

The Bible talks about the disciples being “baptised” in the Holy Spirit. The word “baptise” came originally from the idea of a cloth being soaked in dye and absorbing the colour of the dye. In the same way, we can be “baptised” in the Holy Spirit and take on character traits through accepting this. What does this look like? The Bible tells us that we will begin to grow in different areas and these are described as the “fruit of the Spirit”. These are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 introduces the idea that there are many gifts that are given by the same Spirit:

“Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant… There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord… All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”

These gifts are supernatural and are given by the Holy Spirit himself. Each person can receive different gifts, and no gift is superior to another. The Bible is clear that the gift should not be idolised or a person idolised because of their gift, but they should be used to glorify God.

BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

We can all imagine a container being filled up with a liquid, and then it being “topped up” when needed from time-to-time. The Bible never talked about the Holy Spirit needing to do this. When we receive Him, we receive ALL of him, and it is a gift given to us by God. In the Greek language, the word used for “filled” talks of a continual and ongoing filling, so that we are always full.

HOW CAN YOU BE FILLED?

If you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit today you need to just receive him. If you’re already a believer, then ask him make himself known to you. Many times throughout the Bible we are told as believers that “you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you” – God gives us His Holy Spirit when we believe.

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