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"Why Be Filled With The Spirit" - By Don Hill
Published in the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada "Testimony" Magazine in June, 2001

The Holy Spirit indwells every born-again person. This means that if you are saved, the Spirit of God already lives inside you. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you?"

Although every Christian has the Holy Spirit, not every Christian is filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 says, "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit."

This experience is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised His disciples in Acts 1:1, "in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Then, just 10 days later, it happened! Acts 2:4 says, "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not salvation. In fact, you must be saved before you can receive this experience. In Luke 10:20, Jesus said to His disciples, "rejoice that your names are written in heaven." The disciples were saved but at that time they did not have the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jesus told them shortly after this to wait in the city of Jerusalem until they had been clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49).

The baptism in the Holy Spirit gives us power to witness for Christ. Jesus told His disciples that after they received the Holy Spirit "you will be my the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

God wants to fill every Christian with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:39, Peter said, "For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call." It doesn't just happen. Some Christians say, "When God is ready to fill me, He will fill me." By faith the Christian must act and receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit, as the believers in the early Church received.

The filling of the Holy Spirit comes with an overflow! In Acts 2:4 we read: "they began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."

The early church recognized speaking in tongues as the first sign or evidence that a believer had been filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:45-47 says the Jewish Christians "...were astonished...that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles." How did they know this? "For they heard them speaking in tongues..."

Speaking in tongues is more than a sign to let us know we have been filled with the Spirit. It is a whole new dynamic. 1 Corinthians 14:4 says that praying in tongues allows us to pray in the Spirit according to the will of God, for people or needs we know nothing about.

We should pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Luke 11:13, "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Not only are we to ask for the Holy Spirit; we are to ask in absolute confidence that the Father will give us the Holy Spirit, and not something less or something harmful.

You can receive the baptism in (or filling with) the Spirit any place where you can pray and seek God. Some receive it in the privacy of their homes, kneeling at their own bedside. However, most probably receive it in the company of other believers who pray with them. In Acts are three of five cases in which people received the baptism in the Holy Spirit after fellow Christians laid their hands upon them and prayed. Encourage your leaders to provide a time during or after a service when you can pray to receive this blessing and then seek the Lord until He fills you.

Fear often prevents us from telling others about Christ, but "...Perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18). When believers are filled with the Holy Spirit, they have a new boldness to share the gospel with others. In Acts 4:31, we read that these Spirit-filled believers spoke the word of God boldly.

We witness more for Christ, however, by what we are than by what we say. The Holy Spirit produces the character of Christ within us so that people will see Him in our lives. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

Fruit requires time to grow. But it will appear in ever-increasing quantity if we maintain a Spirit-filled life by our daily walk with God in light of His word.

Office: 705-325-8964
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 523, Orillia, Ontario Canada L3V 6K2
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