Being Filled with the Spirit

After Jesus Christ died on that cross to save us from our sins, God the Father raised him from the dead. Jesus then appeared to many people in his resurrected body over a period of forty days before he ascended back to heaven to be with God the Father. But before he returned to the Father, Jesus ordered his apostles not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promised Holy Spirit. And he told them that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them, and that they would be his witnesses.

Then, on the day of Pentecost, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (languages) as the Spirit gave them utterance. And the people who were gathered there, from many different places, heard them speaking in their own native languages. They heard them telling them the mighty works of God.

“And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others mocking said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’” Acts 2:12-13 ESV

But Peter came to the defense of all who were filled with the Spirit, and he explained that they were not drunk, as some supposed, but what was happening was a fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

“And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” Acts 2:17-18 ESV

God Pouring Out His Spirit

Now, let me state here that the way in which the followers of Christ received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost is not the norm. The reason that is how they received the Spirit was because the Spirit had not yet been given. But once all the former believers had received the Spirit, any who received the Lord Jesus as Lord and Savior since then are automatically filled with the Spirit of God. But I believe this being filled with the Spirit is a continual process involved in daily dying to sin and yielding control of our lives over to the Lord and being empowered of the Spirit in our daily walks of faith.

Let me also state here that it is clear that the apostles and the other followers of Christ who were filled with the Spirit that day were indeed speaking real languages that were of the people present so that the people heard them telling them the mighty works of God in their own native languages. So, in this case, the gifting of the tongues was for the purpose of spreading the message of the gospel to the people who were present in the languages that they spoke and could understand. For the apostles, et al., were to be the Lord’s witnesses when the Holy Spirit came upon them.

And to prophesy is not just future telling, but it is speaking forth the word of God. It is preaching. It is proclaiming the Word of the Lord to the people. And who were those prophesying? They were both men and women. And they were young and old. For this wasn’t just the apostles. Those who were waiting for the Holy Spirit to be given were the apostles, but also some women and Mary the mother of Jesus and Jesus’ brothers. So the preaching of the Word is not limited to just men. Women can preach, too.

Now I will add here that women are not to be in positions of spiritual authority over men nor are they to instruct men in such positions of authority over them. So women should not be pastors and elders unless there is a shortage of biblically qualified men to be pastors, like on the mission field, or like there is right now in America where so many Christian men do not meet the spiritual qualifications of an overseer because many of them are still walking in sin and/or they are teaching lies.

But women can prophesy (preach, proclaim) the works of the Lord, and the gospel of our salvation. And we should. And we should be given opportunity within the body of Christ to prophesy (preach, proclaim) the Word of the Lord. And I know that there are Scriptures which seem to indicate that women are to remain totally silent within the gatherings of the church, but I don’t find that understanding consistent throughout the Scriptures. And Jesus sent women to tell his male disciples of his resurrection, and he sent a woman at a well to tell the males of her town of what Jesus told her.

Then there are all those passages of Scripture which are intended for the whole body of Christ, not just for men, which encourage males and females to exhort and encourage and urge and stir up one another to walks of faith and obedience in the Lord, and to not be led astray by false doctrines and the deceitfulness of sin. And we are encouraged to teach and to admonish the body of Christ and to speak the truth in love, one to the other, as every body part does its work. And we are to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into his light. So women are not to be silenced.

And, honestly, with so many men (and women) today preaching lies to the people, we need more godly women to be speaking forth the truth of the word of the Lord so that the people of this planet can hear the truth spoken. For the lies are gaining much ground, and the multitudes of those professing faith in Jesus Christ appear to be following after the lies and they are rejecting the truth. But when we speak forth the truth of God’s Word we can expect to be persecuted and rejected, even by others claiming faith in Jesus Christ who are not following the truth of the gospel.

And the truth of the gospel can be summed up in the words of Jesus when he said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily, and follow him. And since Jesus taking up his cross meant death to sin, our taking up our cross daily means daily dying to sin and to self. And to follow Jesus is to obey him and his commands (New Covenant). For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we die to sin and live to his righteousness, then we have eternal life (see Luke 9:23-26; 1 Peter 2:24).

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Blessed Be Your Name

by Matt Redman

In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness

When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering

Blessed be the name of the Lord

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name
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3 thoughts on “Being Filled with the Spirit

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