Intoxicated by the Holy Spirit
18 Oct 2003, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
TITLE: Intoxicated by the Holy Spirit (Or Our Personal Pentecost)
Scripture Reading : Ephesians 5:1-2 15-18 " do not be drunk with wine, (that is intoxication of excess) but be filled with the Spirit"
This a final presentation on matters dealing with the person of the Holy Spirit. Previously we dealt with :
1. The Personality of the Divine Holy Spirit as a member of the Trinity - Godhead. We also dealt with heresies associated with the Biblical doctrine - both ancient and current. (12 Jul 2003)
2. The Work and Mission of the Holy Spirit for and in the believers (9 Aug 2003)
3. The Holy Spirit's Mission for the unbelievers. (23 Aug 2003)
Today we will bring our discussions about the Holy Spirit to a climax by talking about the following topic.
OUR PERSONAL PENTECOST
Today I wish to talk about our personal infilling of the Holy Spirit. Our own personal Pentecost. This is the most important issue that we as Christians have to deal with. In Ephesians Pastor Paul warned about being intoxicated with alcohol. He said "not to be drunk", with the "excessive " consumption of the offending liquid. Alternatively, Paul recommends the necessity of being "filled", (intoxicated if you please), with the Holy Spirit of the Godhead.
Is this important. Well back in Acts 19 we find Paul arriving in Ephesus and meeting "certain disciples" and immediately asking them if they had "received the Holy Spirit." After baptizing them in the name of Jesus Christ, Paul laid hands on them and "the Holy Spirit came upon them." A personal Pentecost. God gave the gift of His Son to pay the debt for our sin and Jesus Christ gifted the Holy Spirit to us for our ongoing salvation and service for Him. Scripture makes it very clear that we need the ongoing infilling of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Getting back to Ephesians 5:18, What does it really mean to be filled (intoxicated) by the Holy Spirit? Firstly, the grammar of the text makes it clear that it is a passive present continuous experience. It is not something that we can do for ourselves. The Spirit must do it for us. All we do is consent to be "filled". To be intoxicated is to be totally under the control of alcohol. Paul stresses the need for us to be constantly, daily under the control of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. This is imperative if we are to be exemplary Christians.
To correctly understand the Biblical meaning of being filled with the Holy Spirit, intoxicated or controlled we need to look at the context in which Paul places his statement.
TO BE FILLED
Ephesians spends the first three chapters dealing with the theory of the Trinity's role as Godhead in our salvation. It must be by faith alone in the free gift of the grace of God to those who accept the offer. The final three chapters deal with practical Christianity. They outline for us the Spirit preferred lifestyle of those who claim to be Christian.
In his transition from Theory to Practice Paul says in 3:17 "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith,… know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge(theory), that you might be filled with the fullness of God…. According to the power that works within us."
It all starts with the mind. 4:23 "be renewed (made new) in the spirit of your mind;" This can only happen if we, verse 22 "put off the former life style of the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts." That leaves a vacuum. Beside "putting off", we need to, "put on the new man (life style) which is created Godlike in righteousness and holiness" verse 24. The results of the new creation in our minds results in being "followers of God." Acting and behaving like His " dear children." As Paul points out in 4:1, we should "walk worthy" of our Christian "calling" and "vocation." This means being completely meek and humble and patient with each other "in love", verse 2.
Being filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit brings "unity of the Spirit" which in turn gives peace and "unity of the faith", which equips the saints for mission. The entire goal and result is that all come to "the stature and fullness of Christ." See verses 3-14. The Holy Spirit controls our tongues so that we "speak the truth in love." This is a continually growing and advancing process empowered by the indwelling of Christ through the Holy Spirit. If we are like Christ and the Spirit we will be "kind to one another", forgiving one another , just as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you", verse 32.
Chapter 5:2 carries on with the theme of "walking in love". Verse 1, says, "walk circumspectly". It means with caution, strictly, accurately, diligently or carefully. Walking in love and circumspectly means to live and behave according to the accurate instructions of the Holy Spirit in control of our minds. We are not to "walk" as those who do not know the Spirit. See 4:17.
The results of the mind controlled by the Holy Spirit will produce the "fruit of the Spirit" which is "goodness and right living."
IT TAKES TIME
If we are to be effective in our Christian practice the filling of the Holy Spirit is imperative. To effect this outcome we must take time out each day to ensure His success in us. Paul makes it clear 5:17 that we are to redeem (get back) time lost and get on with a relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit. That is the best way to understand the "Lord's will." Practical application of being controlled by the Spirit is outlined by Paul in 5:19 to 6:9. It is all inclusive as it covers our families and our Church family.
To accomplish this Christian life we are admonished "not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God," because He is the one who "seals us for final redemption".
Chapter 6:10-17 warns us that it is a continual battle to continually be controlled by the Holy Spirit. The spiritual weapons are outlined but the punch line is in verse 18 where Paul appeals for us to "Pray continually,"… "in the Spirit". Effective Prayer can only come if we are filled with the Spirit and He controls our mind and emotions.
Be intoxicated - totally controlled by the Holy Spirit, then we will please and not grieve God, nor shame ourselves. Pray for your own personal Pentecost.
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