What is the filling of the Spirit?

What is the filling of the Spirit?

Three related new Testament words express the truth of the filling of the Spirit. Two of the words are either an adjective describing those who are full of the Spirit (Luke 4:1; Acts 6:3, 5; 7:55; 11:24) or a verb that expresses being full of the Spirit (Acts 13:52; Ephesians 5:18). These passages highlight individuals who are characteristically under the control of the Spirit. The other word is more indicative of the Spirits filling an individual to give him capability for a God-given responsibility (Luke 1:15, 41, 67; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17; 13:9). In these cases, with the possible exception of Luke 1:15, this filling is the work of a moment. Perhaps that helps us understand this difficult statement about John the Baptist; the Spirit would remarkably and constantly give him enablement for his unique work.

The Spirits filling involves both control and capability. Our responsibility (Ephesians 5:18) is to continually allow the Spirit to have full control in our lives.

It is interesting that, apart from Ephesians 5:18, only Luke speaks of this truth. In his gospel, only One, the Lord Jesus, is characteristically under the control of the Spirit (Luke 4:1). In Acts, when the Lord had ascended, he identifies nine individuals who were full of the Holy Spirit. Seven times in his two books, Luke records that the Spirit filled believers.

D. Oliver