Filled with the Spirit
Last night I wrote about the two births of a Christ follower and I had some response to that post asking about the filling of believers with the Holy Spirit after their confession of faith and acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Interestingly, the original idea of being “filled” came early on in the book of Genesis.
In fact, the theme of Genesis is all about forming and filling. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. During the first three days of creation, God “formed” the world and and during the last three days of creation God “filled” his creation. And we are told in the story of Adam that God created him from the dust of the earth and then “breathed” life into him – in other words, God filled Adam with breath and Adam was brought to life. The exact Scripture reference is Gen. 2:7, “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
This was the “birth” of Adam, created as a fully formed being in the image of God. To be sure, this was a physical event. But when a person goes through life and makes a decision to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, that person is indwelt with the Holy Spirit. In other words, rather than God the Father being “above” us, as in the Old Testament accounts of the pillar of fire, etc. or Jesus, the Son, walking “among” us as He did in the first century, God, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, actually takes up residence in each believer.
Now this seems difficult to believe, but the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is actually the second “filling” event that we go through if we have been “born again.” Additionally, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit fills our “naos” or inner “temple” of the body, making it impossible for Satan to take up residence in any Christ follower. This is why we are told that as believers we can enjoy eternal life. We have committed ourselves to God and that means we fall under the protection of Christ as our advocate in heaven and also by the Holy Spirit taking up residence within each of us.
So, any believer is assured that they have community with God the Father, Jesus the Son and also the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) has a ministry that is distinctly separate from the other two parts of the Godhead, or Trinity. I have always rested in the fact that the Holy Spirit petitions God on our behalf when we are too tired to even know what to pray for. How’s that for God taking care of us? So, hopefully, you can see that the agency of the Holy Spirit is very important to each of us. And by the indwelling of the Spirit, we are assured that we will always be in the presence of God – forever.
The idea of forming, and subsequent filling, is a recurring theme throughout Genesis and also in the New Testament when it comes to the promises of God. The verse for this evening is from John 20:22, “And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”…”. After the resurrection, when Christ returned to meet with the disciples, he charged them to go into the world and preach the Good News. He “sent” them. During that exchange, notice that Christ breathed on the disciples and charged them to “receive” or “be filled with” the Holy Spirit. Note the similarity to what happened with God and Adam in the Garden of Eden. Pretty cool, eh?
My encouragement this evening is that God wants each person on the face of the earth to be “filled” with the Holy Spirit, and that includes you. If you haven’t yet done this, I hope that you will consider this eternal offer. And if you have already accepted this gift from God, then my prayer is that you will appreciate the magnitude of what it means to have God Himself take up residence within you. It’s a very special thing, and among other things, it means you will never, ever, be alone again. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…