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THE SPIRIT-FILLED WALK
Intro: Paul continues to build on the foundation he has been laying for us in this book. His basic command for the church is that the people are to be different because we are in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
We were dead in trespasses and sin when he found us and saved us by His grace. God, through His amazing grace brought us out of death and depravity, and He delivered us from the doom and condemnation of His wrath. When the Lord saved us, He took us out of Adam and placed us in Jesus, Col. 1:13. And, thats a good thing, because everyone who is in Adam dies and goes to Hell, while everyone who is in Jesus lives eternally and goes to Heaven, 1 Cor. 15:22.
When He saved us, the Lord placed us in the building He is building in the world, which He calls the church. God, through the power of the new birth, adopted us into the family of God. God placed us, through the baptism of the Spirit, into the very body of Christ.
Here is what He did for us. He saved us from our sins, transformed us into new creatures, placed us in the body of Christ, then left us in this world to be light to a world trapped in darkness.
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christs stead, be ye reconciled to God, 2 Cor. 5:19–20.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain, Phil. 2:14–16.
The way this is accomplished, the way we become salt and light, the way we carry out Gods plan for our lives, is through the power of the Holy Spirit. When God saved is, He placed His Spirit within us, 1 Cor. 12:13, Rom. 8:9. While every child of God is indwelled by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit does not have full control of all those He inhabits.
Beginning here, and continuing through the end of the book, Paul describes what the Spirit-filled life looks like. The teachings found here are foundational truth that have the power to transform us, and by extension, they have the power to transform every relationship in our lives.
Living the Spirit-filled life begins with being filled with the Spirit. Thats what this Eph. 5:18 is about. Notice the demands Paul lays before us here. These demands teach us what we need to know about The Spirit-Filled Walk.
I. IT DEMANDS CAPITULATION
Most of the message I am going to preach today will revolve around the verb phrase be filled. One of the interesting components of that phrase is the fact that it is in the middle voice in the Greek.
In Greek, there are three basic voices in which verbs can be written. Two of those are familiar to us, while the third, and the one used here, is not. Those verb voices are:
Active - The subject acts. The boy hit the ball.
Passive - The subject is acted upon. The boy was hit by the ball.
Middle - The subject acts upon himself. The boy hit himself with the ball.
We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit, but we know that we cannot make that happen. We cannot just decide to be filled with the Spirit, and make it happen. Yet, the Lord commands us to be filled with the Spirit.
The middle voice in this verse suggests that God will fill us, but only when we yield our lives to Him. The same voice is used in the first phrase of this verse, where the Bible says, And be not drunk with wine wherein in excess. A person becomes inebriated when they yield control of their lives to the power of the alcohol. A person must surrender to the action of picking up the bottle, or the glass, and taking the first drink. If the person continues to consume alcohol, they will become drunk, because they yielded themselves to alcohol.
If we are going to fulfill this command to be filled with the Spirit, the first step is for us to surrender ourselves to the Lord in this matter. We must open ourselves to Him so the Spirit can fill us with His power.
I. It Demands Capitulation
II. IT DEMANDS COMPLIANCE
This verb praise is also written in the imperative mood. An imperative is a command. So, when the Bible says, be filled with the Spirit, it is not optional. Either we are filled with the Spirit, or we are out of Gods will.
The Bible is filled with all kinds of commands. There are things we are told not to do, while there are other things we are told to do. The command to be filled with the Spirit is to followed to the same degree as any other command in the Bible. God expects us to be filled with the Spirit just like He expects us to refrain from cursing, stealing, committing adultery, coveting, or just like He expects us to be holy, to tithe, and to witness.
When the Lord gives a command, He expects His people to obey that command. To obey Him is proof of our love for Him, John 14:15.
So, whatever God tells me to do in this matter, I am to do without question and without hesitation. I am to obey Him and I am to be filled with the Spirit.
I. It Demands Capitulation
II. It Demands Compliance
III. IT DEMANDS CONTROL
The image Paul uses for being filled with the Spirit is an interesting one. He sets up a contrast between a person who is under the control of alcohol and a person who is under the control of the Holy Spirit. Lets examine this contrast for a few moments.
A person comes under the power of alcohol when they yield control of their lives to alcohol. They choose to drink, and when alcohol is given and inch, it will take a mile.
A person comes under the power of the Holy Spirit when they yield control of their life to Him.
A person who yields to alcohol soon finds out that the alcohol will take over. It consumes everything in the individual and brings them under its control. Alcohol controls the way a person thinks, speaks, walks, acts, sees, and hears. It so dominates the life that a person under its control will often say and do things that they have no memory of the next day. Alcohol takes over and produces the fruit of its control, which is excess. This word means, to be a prodigal; to be debauched; to live wickedly. The word is synonymous with a lack of retrain. Alcohol loosens inhibitions, weakens restraint and cripples the ability to discern right from wrong. The control of alcohol is pictured in Pro. 23:29-35.
In like manner, a person who yields to the Holy Spirit will find that He also takes over. Instead of producing an excess of wickedness, the Holy Spirit will produce and excess of holiness in every life He fills. When the Spirit of God fills a life, He also controls how a person thinks, speaks, walks, acts sees, and hears. When He takes over, He produces the fruit of His control, the Fruit of the Spirit. The contrast between a life lived in the flesh and one lived in the Spirit is seen in Gal. 5:16-23.
Alcohol will produce an excess of wickedness.
The Holy Spirit will produce an excess of holiness that will affect every area and relationship in your life.
Beginning in Eph. 5:19 and continuing through Eph. 6:19, Paul gives us a commentary on the Spirit-filled life. We find there that the presence that the filling of the Spirit will change the following areas of life.
Our Worship Life - Eph. 5:19-20 - The Spirit of God will make us better worshipers of God, both publicly and privately.
Our Married Life - Eph. 5:21-32 - The Spirit of God will make us better spouses.
Our Family Life - Eph. 6:1-4 - The Spirit of God will make is better parents and children.
Our Work Life - Eph. 6:5-9 - The Spirit of God will make us better employees and better employers.
Our Spiritual Warfare - Eph. 6:10-17 - The Spirit of God will make us better soldiers, and guarantee us more victories in the battles of life.
Our Prayer Life - Eph. 6:18-19 - The Spirit of God will make us better and more effective prayer warriors.
We are talking about the matter of control. When the Spirit of God is in control of our lives, He will reproduce Christ within us. That, after all, is the goal of God in our lives, Rom. 8:29; Eph. 4:13-14.
The Spirit of God does not merely want a place in our lives, He wants preeminence in our lives. He wants to be in control. When we yield to Him, He will fill us and use us. Ill. Paul - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me, Gal. 2:20. When we do not yield control of our lives to Him, we grieve the Spirit, Eph. 4:30, and we invite the chastisement of God into our lives.
The truth is, these bodies we inhabit are nothing but stacks of meat, bone and tissue. The body must be energized by a spirit. When we are energized by our natural spirits, all we will produce will be sin and ungodliness, Eph. 2:1-3. But, when we yield control of our lives to God and are energized by His Spirit, He will produce His fruit in our lives. He will enable us fulfill Gods will for our lives.
Who controls your life? What kind of spirit energizes you? It might interest you to know that you are somebodys slave, Ill. Rom. 6:11-23.
The word filled here means, To be filled to the top; lacking nothing; nothing short of complete. When we are filled with the Spirit, there is no room for us. When we are filled with the Spirit, it means that He has the totality of our being and that He is in residence in a big way. When we are filled with the Spirit, He will dominate every aspect of our lives.
I. It Demands Capitulation
II. It Demands Compliance
III. It Demands Control
IV. IT DEMANDS CONSISTENCY
The verb be filled is in the present tense. It speaks of ongoing action. The verse could be read this way: be you being completely filled with the Spirit. The command is for us to be filled with the Spirit every moment of every day of our lives. That is a tall order.
It is possible to be filled with true Spirit one moment, and filled with self the very next moment. A great illustration of this is found in Matt. 16:13-23. One second Peter was commended by the Lord for his faith and spiritual insight, the next he is being rebuked for allowing himself to become the vessel of Satan.
Whether we want to admit it or not, this is a problem we also deal with. One minute you can be enjoying the profound presence of God, the next minute you can find yourself entertaining a wicked thought. One minute you are focused on the Word of God, the next minute you are acting in selfish ways. We have real problems staying filled with the Spirit of God.
When I confess my sins, and turn from my wickedness, God will fill my vessel with the Spirit. When self and other things are moved out of the way, the Spirit can fill this house with His presence and His control of my life. My problem is, I leak! So, being filled with the Spirit is a constant struggle for us.
What I have to do is go before God each day and ask Him for forgiveness of my sins. I must keep short accounts with Him. When I pray, I ask Him to fill me with the Holy Spirit for the day ahead. As I face each task like preaching a sermon, teaching a class, sharing the Gospel, etc. I seek the power of the Spirit to perform that task in His power, and not in my own. Since He has commanded me to be filled with the Spirit, I can rest assured that He will. Even when I allow other things to eclipse Him, He will forgive me and fill me up again with His sweet Spirit.
If we could only learn to be in a continuous state of being yielded, we could be filled with the Spirit all the time. Is that possible? I think its more possible than we realize. If we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, Gal. 5:16. So, it behooves us to seek to live a clean, close life to the glory of God.
Conc: Be filled with the Spirit. This command, if kept, is life changing. Being filled with the Holy Spirit would transform every area of our lives.
It would transform the home - If every member of the family was filled with the Spirit, we would love, honor and cherish one another, ever seeking the Lords will in our lives and in the operation of our homes. We need the power of the Spirit in our homes.
It would transform our marriages - If both spouses were filled with the Spirit, we would treat one another with respect, putting the other ahead of self, and we would ever be seeking the Lords best for our mate. We need the power of the Spirit in our marriages.
It would transform our churches - If every member of the church was filled with the Spirit, we would come to church seeking the Lords will instead of our own agendas. We would come in ready to worship, seeking the Lord. We would be more ready to be doers of the Word and not mere hearers only. We would come in excited about the Lord and about serving and worshiping Him. We would not have to be pumped up, but we would be about to blow up because of the presence of the Spirit within us. We would be ready, willing, equipped and able to go into the world to share the Gospel, and to be salt and light. We would see the LOrd working in conviction, salvation, sanctification and glory. We need the power of the Spirit in our churches.
It would transform the world - If every child of God in the world would be filled with the Spirit, the world would see a revived church. The world would see the Gospel in action. The world would be constantly confronted with the saving message of the Gospel of grace. The world would be transformed by an army of Spirit-filled believers who were carrying out the Great Commission.
That kind of power is available to everyone who will be filled with the Spirit. If you are like me, you can see the need to be filled with the Spirit. The question is, are we will to do what it takes to be filled with the Spirit?
Are we willing to confess our sins?
Are we willing to repent before God?
Are we willing to yield total control of our lives to the Lord?
Are we willing to be the people He saved us to be?
You can be filled with the Spirit. You need to be filled with the Spirit. As far as the work of the church is concerned, we must be filled with the Spirit. Who would be willing to join me in these altars asking God to fill us with His Spirit?