HOW DO WE LEARN HOW TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
First of all, we have to understand that when a person is born again, (1) He is regenerated or renewed (Titus 3-5) , (Ep.2:8-9): (2) He is indwelt, sealed, and anointed by the Holy Spirit (2Cor.1:21-22) : (3) And He is baptized by the Holy Spirit ( Acts 1-5), (Rom.6:1-4), ( Col. 2-12). All these will happen once only and at the same time during conversion . Also a born again Christian will be filled with the Holy Spirit during conversion (Acts 2-4). This filling of the Holy Spirit will occur many times in the life of a believer after conversion, depending on His yieldedness to God's will (Ep.5-17). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit to the believer is permanent but the filling is a command. The believers are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit to serve Christ. Filling of the Holy Spirit means we are controlled by the Holy Spirit.
(Gal. 5:22-23) says, - " But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, peace, Long Suffering ,Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, meekness, Temperance; Against such things there is no law". The Lord Jesus talked about the fruit of the Spirit in John 15. He said that without Him we could do nothing (John 15-5). The fruit is what He wants in our lives. He wants fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. In His parable of the sower, He spoke of seed bringing forth thirty fold, sixty fold, and an hundred fold ( see Matt. 13). He wants us to bear much fruit. Now the fruit is produced by the Lord Jesus using the Spirit of God in our Lives. He wants to live His life through us. Jesus said in John 14-23 -"If any one loves me, he will keep my word ; and my father will love him, and we will come to Him and make our abode with Him". Here, it is crystal clear that if any one loves Jesus, he will obey His command and God the father will love him; and both the father and the son will make their dwelling with Him. The father's love is conditioned on our obedience to Jesus Christ, the Son. Therefore, any believer who obeys Christ command is indwelt by the Trinity- God the father ,God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Always remember that no believer can live the Christian life Himself. The old nature cannot produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Also ,Paul makes it clear on Roman 7-18 that the new nature has no power to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. He said,"---
---to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not ". This is the problem with many of us. How are we going to let the Spirit of God produce the fruit of the Spirit in ourselves? The fruit is produced by yielding to the Holy Spirit who indwells us. The Holy Spirit wants to produce fruit-- it is called the fruit of the Spirit. " The fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace". Notice it is singular: Is, not Are. You can argue about the grammar used here , but it happens to be singular in the Greek.
This indicates that Love is the fruit and from it stems all other fruits. Love is primary." But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Long Suffering, Gentleness,, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance: Against such there is no law" (Gal.5:22-23).There is "no law " against them, and no law which will produce them. You cannot produce any of these by our own efforts. Have you ever tried being meek, for example? If you tried being meek , and accomplished it, you would be proud that you became meek, and then you would lost your meekness and humility.
The fruit of the Spirit should characterize the lives of believers. Since Love is the primary fruit of the Holy Spirit and from it stems all other fruits, then let me explore or examine carefully the important application of love in our lives (John 13:35) says- "By this all men will know that you are my disciples. if you have love one another". ( Rom 13:8) says- " Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another: For he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law". Then in (1 John 3:14) says- " We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren". Here we see that believers are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit to serve Christ, and the command is love our brother in which love is the primary fruit of the Holy Spirit. Also we are commanded to love our neighbor because he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
We know that our brother in Christ are the believers, the children of God. What about our neighbors! Who are our neighbors? Every person we meet daily is our neighbor, believers or non believers. We are also commanded to love our neighbor because he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
These two commandments are the most difficult to fulfill. We cannot fulfill them by our own power. We have to be filled with the Holy Spirit to fulfill them. BUT HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN WE ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?
(1) We know when we abide in Christ ( John 15:7) .
(2)We know when we follow Christ (Matt.4:19) ;(Matt,8:19); (Matt.8:22); (Matt.16:24).
(3))We know when we walk according to God's will and not on our own will (Rom.12:2); (Thess.5:18).
(4) When we love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and with all our souls, and with all our minds (Matt.22:37).
(5) When we love our neighbor (Matt.22:39).
(6)When we love our brothers in Christ (John 13:34)
There are two sins against the Holy Spirit that can be committed by Christians. (1) Grieving the Holy Spirit and (2) Quenching the Holy Spirit
GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT
(1) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of TRUTH.( John 14:17);So anything false, deceitful, or hypocritical grieves the Holy Spirit.
(2) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of FAITH (2 Cor.4:13); So doubt, distrust, anxiety, worry, grieves Him.
(3) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of GRACE (Heb. 10:29) ;So whatever in us Is hard , bitter, malicious, ungracious, unforgiving, or unloving grieves Him .
(4) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Holiness (Rom. 1:4) ; So anything unclean, defiling, or degrading grieves Him.
(5) (Ep.4:29-31) says-"........Do not grieved the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.......".The Holy Spirit is grieved by all sins ,specially the sin of the tongue.
QUENCHING THE HOLY SPIRIT
Quench means "to put out ". It is pertinent to the scripture's reference to the Holy Spirit as a fire. When we quench the Spirit, we put the fire out. EXAMPLE:
(1) When we are refusing or rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we quench Him.
(2) We quench the Holy Spirit when we fail to pray daily , because prayer is the only way to connect ourselves to God.
(3) When we fail to confess our sins daily, we quench the Holy Spirit.
By this time, we know when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, but we also know that we sinned to the Holy Spirit by grieving and quenching Him. We also know that every body sins almost everyday, if not everyday, to the Holy Spirit. So the question is--
; HOW DO WE LEARN HOW TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?
First of all, we have to understand that no believer can be filled with the Holy Spirit using his own effort. Our old nature is no good and our new nature has no power. We need Christ . Christ said--" Apart from me you can do nothing". (John 15:5). Then He said--" If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love; Just ask I kept my father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy maybe made full". (John 15:10-11).
Here, Jesus is saying that if we keep His commandments we will abide in His love, and our joy will be made full. Also in (Matt. 22:27-38) Jesus in answer to the Pharisees, He said--" You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart , and with all your souls, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment." Then in (John 14:15) Jesus said- " If you love me, you will obey what I command.
NOTICE THAT THE CONTEXT OF LOVE INVOLVED GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON, AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
(1) Jesus said -"You shall LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your souls, and with all your mind...." (Matt.22:37-38)
(2) Jesus said-" If you LOVE me, keep my commandments". (John 14:15)
(3) The primary fruit of the Holy Spirit is LOVE (Gal. 5:22-23)
(4) The supremacy of gifts over faith and hope is LOVE ( 1Cor. 13:13).
I believe, by this time, we can answer the question " HOW DO WE LEARN, HOW TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT."
The answer is when we learn how to love God, then we know we are being filled with the Holy Spirit. But before we can love God we have to know Him first and then know what He has done for us.
HOW TO KNOW GOD
(1) God is a our creator. He created us in His own image (Gen.1:27).
(2) God is our savior(1 Chr.16:35); (Ps. 27:9).
(3) Every word of God is flawless (Pr.30:5).
(4) He is the everlasting God (Isa.40:28).
(5) God alone can forgive sins (Mk.2:7).
(6) No one is good-except God alone (Mk.10:18).
(7) All things are possible with God (Mk.10:27)
WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US
(1) God LOVES us (Dt.23:5)
(2) God is gracious and merciful God (Ne.9:31).
(3) God is a righteous Judge (Ps.7:11).
(4) God is merciful (Ps.51:1)
(5) God is full of compassion (Ps.116:5).
(6) God gives wisdom and knowledge (Ecc.2:26).
(7) Believers are the temple of the living God ( 2 Cor. 6:16) .
(8) Believes are all sons of God through Faith (Gal.3:26).
(9) The eternal God is our Refuge (Det. 33:27) .
Now that we know who God is and what He has done for us, it is now easy for us to love Him. The bible says: We love, because He (GOD) first love us ( 1John 4:19). But another question may be asked. How can we love God when our old nature is no good and our new nature has no power to love God (Rom. 7:18). It is impossible to love God with our own power.
Jesus said- in (John 15:5) "........Apart from me you can do nothing ". Then in (John 15:10) He said--" If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love: Just ask I have kept my father's commandments and abide in His love". Here , it is crystal clear that Jesus said that if we keep His commandments we will abide (remain ) in His love, just as He kept His father's commandments and abide in His love.
Another question may be asked. How can we keep Jesus commandments. ( 1 Thess. 5:11-27) gives us the 22 commandments for Christians . Many people have tried to keep them with their own power but they all failed. It is very difficult and impossible to keep these commandments with our own power. It is also difficult to remember all of them.
In my experience I discovered that one of the 22 commandments given in (1 Thess. 5:11-27) that says--" PRAY WITHOUT CEASING " ( 1 Thess. 5:17) is the key to love God, because prayer is the only way to connect ourselves to God. The only way to abide in Christ. What kind of prayer I am talking about? It is a fervent prayer that open the heart of God. It is the result from knowing who God is and what He has done for us . When we truly have known God and have seen what He has done for us, all we want to do is to love Him and thank Him everyday. We can only show these love to Him through fervent prayer.
When we wake up in the morning and thank God for giving us another day and then ask Him what He wants us to do for that day because we only want to do His will and not our own will, then we are praying fervently.
When we sin sometimes in a day,and confess that sin right away to God, because we want to walk with Him all day long, we are praying fervently.
When we thank God everyday in everything, which is the characteristic of spiritual maturity, we are praying fervently.
Before we go to sleep, when we thank God in everything, for what He has done for us that day , we are praying fervently.
I believe that anybody who does not confess his sin everyday and thank God in everything for what He has done for us, he is not yet close to God. Maybe he needs to learn how to pray without ceasing.
I heard John Piper said one time, when he prays,
he prays the whole day. This is how he prays.
Before talking to somebody over the phone, he
asks God to help him what to say and after the
conversation he thanks God. I believe that John
Piper applies this system in all his activities,
each day. He always ask God to help him what
to say and afterwards he thanks God in
everything. This is how, we, the Spiritual
Christians should pray the whole day, asking
God to help us what to do and thank Him
in every activity, we are involved. This is how we pray without ceasing.
Anybody who prays fervently everyday, confessing his sin everyday, thanking God everyday, shows that he loves God and through that love which is the primary fruit of the Holy Spirit stems all other fruits. This man has learned how to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He is filled with the Holy Spirit that whole day. Also when a man bears the fruit of the Holy Spirit, he is filled with the Holy Spirit. When a man loves God and his neighbor,he is filled with the Holy Spirit. When a man loves God and his neighbor he will be filled with LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL. Is it not great if we are filled with the Holy Spirit everyday?
I know, it is not easy to be filled with the Holy Spirit everyday because most of us, if not all of us, grieved and quenched the Holy Spirit everyday. The only solution is to pray without ceasing in order to connect ourselves with God, and confess our sins as they are committed everyday, without waiting. And then we must thank God as we enjoy the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Written by Osmundo S. Sabado
Edited by Orman L. Sabado