Apologetics – Dr. Thomas Figart/Part 5

By: Dr. Thomas Figart; ©{{{copyright}}}
Luke 4:1 What does it mean for a Christian to be “filled” with the Holy Spirit? What does that look like in a Christian’s life?


Charismatics – Part 5: Holy Spirit/Fruit of the Spirit

What does it mean for a Christian to be “filled” with the Holy Spirit? What does that look like in a Christian’s life?

IV. The Filling of the Holy Spirit.

A.The Greek words used.

1.Pleres, a noun translated “fill” or “filled.” Metaphorically it means, “full of, abounding in, wholly occupied with, completely under the influence of, or affected by” (Lk. 4:1; John 1:14; Acts 9:36; 11:24).

2.Plero-o, verb form of the same root word, meaning, “to pervade, take possession of” (John 16:6; Acts 13:52; Eph. 5:18). In Acts 5:3 Satan was influencing and controlling Ananias and Sapphira, but not indwelling them.

3.Pimple-mi, “what wholly takes possession of the mind is said to fill it.” Also, “to be under the influence of” (Luke 1:15; Acts 2:4; 4:8).

4.Conclusion: All these words refer to the control of the individual. In the case of the disciples in John 16:6 sorrow had filled, or controlled, their hearts because Jesus was about to leave them.

B.Full definition of “filled” from Ephesians 5:18.

1.Imperative Mode: This is a command, involving exercise of the will. It is not merely an option for the Christian, but a necessity. This also means that it is the one ministry of the Holy Spirit which is not permanent.

2.Present Tense: A habitual, continual process: “Be habitually controlled.” It is expected that the Christian will experience this habitually, daily, not merely once in a while; it is the norm.

3.Second Person: “Be ye filled.” This is direct address; it is not to be shifted off to someone else. Paul says, “I am talking directly to you; you need to be habitually controlled by the Holy Spirit!”

4.Plural Number: “Ye” that is, all of you; this is not just for the super-spiritual. All Christians have equal need and responsibility to obey this command.

5.Passive voice: This means action from another source, other than yourself: “Allow yourselves to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.”

6.Complete translation: Paul says: “I am speaking directly to all of you Christians; you are hereby expected to allow the Holy Spirit to control you habitually.”

C.How to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

1.Grieve not the Spirit (Eph. 4:30). The Holy Spirit is grieved when there is unconfessed sin in the life. Thus, the need here is to “confess” (1 John 1:9).

2.Quench not the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19). The Holy Spirit is quenched when sin continues to accumulate in the life and we resist the Spirit. Thus, the need here is to “Yield” (Rom. 6:13).

3.Walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-17). Walking is an exercise, so in the spiritual realm, it is an exercise of faith, an appropriation of the power already residing within (John 7:37-39).

D.Observations: What the Filling of the Holy Spirit is Not!

1.It is not an emptying of self and sin. There is no way you can get rid of your sin nature, or your sin (1 John 1:8, 10). It is rather a proper adjustment of us to the Holy Spirit.

2.It is not the Spirit “falling fresh” on a believer. He already indwells us permanently (John 14:16). We do not need more of Him; He needs more of us!

3.It is not filling and emptying, as though the Holy Spirit were like a liquid fuel supply which runs low and needs replenishing. Rather, He is a Person Who wants to control us.

4.It is notone baptism, many fillings.” This also gives the impression of emptying. It is rather, “one baptism, then His constant control.”

5.It is not self-crucifixion. It is impossible to crucify yourself. You should rather recognize that you have been crucified with Christ (the past tense is used in Gal. 2:20), and quietly submit yourself to the Spirit’s control.

6.It is not “yielding once for all.” The note in the New Scofield Bible on Romans 6:13 wrongly emphasizes this. The aorist tense does not always mean once for all; it can mean “completely.” The filling (control) of the Holy Spirit can happen more than once on any day.

7.It is not of the old nature. James 4:5 says, “the Spirit desires us to the point of envy.” Why is this necessary? Because the flesh (the old nature) suppresses the Spirit (Gal. 5:17).

E.Results of the Filling of the Holy Spirit.

1.A singing heart (Eph. 5:19) associated with the Word of Christ dwelling in us richly (Col. 3:16). There are “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” but nothing is said about being “slain in the spirit” or any unusual “sign.”

2.A satisfied heart (Eph. 5:20). We can thank God in all things but also for all things (1 Thess. 5:19), even robbery (Heb. 10:34). We can thank God for what does not happen, as well.

3.A submissive heart (Eph. 5:21). There is real freedom in the Holy Spirit; not the so-called freedom of the uncontrolled “sign” gifts, but freedom to be what we ought to be when controlled by the Holy Spirit.

VI. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit.

A.Definition: The normal qualities of Christian living which are brought into effect when the Holy Spirit is the impelling Person and power and principle in full control of the believer.

B.The Nine-fold fruit of the Holy Spirit presented in Galatians 5:22-23.

1.Love (agape) — This is love which sees preciousness and purpose in the object loved; commanded by Christ (Jn. 13:34-35); possible only through the Spirit.

2.Joy (chara) — Eager desire and pleasure, joy as realized from the Lord (Neh. 8:10). It is intended to be experienced in “fulness” (John 15:11). It can come through answered prayer (John 16:24).

3.Peace (eirene) — A sublime tranquility of heart and mind, in spite of every disturbing memory, fear, circumstance or condition. It passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7) and calms the heart (John 14:27).

4.Longsuffering (makrothumia) — From makro (a long distance) and thumia(heated), thus, “A long way from getting all heated up!” This is characterized by patience (Heb. 6:12; Eph. 4:2).

5.Kindness (chrestotes) — Goodness of heart and kindness, expressed in deeds to one another (1 Cor. 6:6; Eph. 4:32), mellowing the harsh and austere.

6.Goodness (agathosune) A moral quality; a desire after the good as opposed to evil (Eph. 5:9; Rom. 15:14).

7.Faithfulness (pistis) — Not so much the initial faith which saves, but here it is faithfulness in steadfast service (Titus 2:10; 1 Cor. 4:1).

8.Meekness (prautes) — The balance of spirit that is neither elated nor cast down, because it is not occupied with self; closely related to humility, it comes from strength, not weakness (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; 2 Cor. 10:1).

9.Self-control (egkrateia) — Discipline in all things; directed toward the will; from kratos (strength, see 2 Pet. 1:6). Also, the verb form is used in (1 Cor. 9:25) to refer to the discipline of the athlete in training.

Apologetics – Dr. Thomas Figart/contents

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