Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Ephesians 5:18 says: “And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Most folks quote this with respect to the drinking half of the analogy, but today let’s focus on the second half. We have been looking at one of the most misunderstood teachings in the New Testament; that of the Holy Spirit’s role in the life of a believer, and on a more personal note, our responsibility toward Him. Some things we have already established are: 1) The Christian life is impossible to live in our own power. 2) The filling of the Holy Spirit is a command, not a suggestion. 3) In order to stay drunk, you have to keep drinking? 4) God won’t fill what we haven’t given over to Him. 5) We must be a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1), and a sacrifice has no vote. - ouch- and 6) Thirst always precedes drink.
Some denominations will indicate, or even insist that the “indwelling” is an end. A goal to be striven for. Some think it is reserved for the “super spiritual”, and not for everyone. But the Bible clearly teaches that it is something that every believer has, and that it is not an end (to bring glory to ourselves) but a means to enable us to bring glory to God. We are never commanded to be baptized into the Spirit, because it has (for Christians) already happened. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”- Rom. 8:9.
The Question isn’t of our possession so much as His control. Clear as mud? Consider this. A few years back in Chicago, some religious leaders were planning a city wide revival. They met to consider who should be the speaker. Many names were considered, but they always came back to D. L. Moody. Perhaps out of jealousy, a young pastor quipped: “D. L Moody, D. L. Moody. Does he have a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?” A senior pastor replied: “No, but the Holy Spirit seems to have a monopoly on him”. You see, when you are drunk with wine, you are “under the influence” of alcohol. Conversely, to be filled with the Spirit, is to be controlled (under the influence) of Him. He controls your speech, your temper (even on the road), your time, your desires, — are you beginning to see why the Christian life is impossible apart from His leading? I can try to edit my tongue all day long, but I don’t have any success till I let Him have control. If you belong to Jesus, His Spirit is there with you. You can Quench Him, or Grieve Him, but He is still there. If you don’t, I’m praying for you. God Bless.