How are you getting ready for eternity? We are all going to die one day. That is a sure thing. The mortality rate on this planet is percent. You are born, you live, and then you die. That is the way of all the earth. So here is the question that I want to pose to you in this article: How do you prepare for eternity? How do you use this small, short life that you have and make yourself ready for the life that never ends?
What should you fill your life with? The Apostle Paul answers that question in the Book of Ephesians. It appears in Ephesians 2: You put one foot in front of the other and you travel to a destination. In this letter, Paul tells these First Century Christians how to do just that. He tells them how to walk with the Lord. He tells them how to travel with Him through life. He tells them how to draw near to Him and have a relationship with Him.
With that in mind, in Ephesians 5: And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit. Here is how to answer the question: Here is how you live like Jonathan the Turtle instead of the infamous gastrotrich. Here is how you are supposed to use your precious time on earth: But just by reading this verse, you can tell that there is a lot that needs to be explained. So let me ask and answer three questions about this passage. This is a very misunderstood verse in the Bible.
Charismatics and mystics take it to mean all kinds of things 5 but what is it not saying?
What is Paul not telling us in this passage? If you notice, verse 18 has two commands in it. They are not recommendations. Paul is not suggesting something here. Both of the verbs are in the command tense. To disobey them is to sin. Paul is not saying that you can get to this whenever you feel like it.
Be Filled with the Spirit
This is a command. It is an order from on high. If you want to walk with God and prepare yourself for eternity, you must not get drunk with wine but instead be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is not for the super-spiritual or for those who want to be extra holy. This is a command for every child of God: You may have never thought about this but most of our sports and business practices in America are based on percentages.
Basketball players can win a game and only make 40 percent of their shots. Football players can drop 6 out of 8 passes and still score touchdowns. Salesmen can have a successful day and get turned down on 70 percent of their presentations. Farmers can do well and only yield 90 percent of their crops. However, Paul is not talking about a percentage in Ephesians 5: He is not saying that you can walk with God with a 40 percent attempt. He is not saying that you can prepare for eternity with only half your life invested. He is saying that if you want to walk with God then you must be percent filled with the Holy Spirit.
If you want to know the Lord and love the Lord and please the Lord, then you must be saturated with the Holy Spirit. Not dipped in Him. Not touched by Him. Not moved by Him. Not covered in Him with up to 50 percent of your soul. Now this does not mean that there is not a place in your life for other things. It does not mean that you have to pray or fast or read your Bible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and do nothing else with your time. It does mean that you should seek the Spirit of God above everything else. It does mean that He is your top priority at all times.
I love my wife and, because I love her, she has the only place in my life. There are no other women. It is the same way with the Holy Spirit of God. If you want to prepare for eternity, you must fill your life with Him. If you want to live for the long cord and not the plug, you must saturate yourself with Him. He is everything to you and He tells you where the other things in life should go. He sets your priorities. He tells you where all of your precious time belongs.
Specifically, being filled with the Holy Spirit does not refer to an emotional experience. It does not refer to a warm-fuzzy moment when the preacher tells you a touching story that comes out and grips you.
You can have an emotional response to the things of God and not be filled with the Spirit. This does not refer to your emotions. In fact, that is actually the opposite of what this verse is referring to.
Be Filled with the Spirit | Desiring God
In the First Century, pagans would often worship their gods by escaping reality. Greek gods like Dionysius and Aphrodite, and Caananite gods like Baal and Ashera were worshipped by engaging in lewd acts of drunkenness or sexual immorality. The idea was that, by doing these things, you could lift your soul closer to God.
You could get to a higher level spiritually. As a matter of fact, the lead singer of The Doors was a self-proclaimed follower of Dionysius, the Greek god of drunkenness. Paul tells the Ephesians not to worship God like that. He tells them not to fill themselves up with alcohol or drugs or sex. It lifts you up, but then you come down and feel awful and have to go and find another high.
The same principle applies to getting drunk. That is how the pagans worshipped their gods in the First Century. They worshipped with whatever felt good. They worshipped with whatever gave them a good experience, but Paul warns the Ephesian Christians not to do that. Notify me of new comments via email.
- Should I Attend the Wedding of a Couple Already Living Together?.
- How Do I Teach ‘Christian Hedonism’ to My Kids??
- Core Clinical Cases in Psychiatry: a problem-solving approach;
- La Celestina;
- Introduction to Potable Water Treatment Processes?
- Jesus the Winemaker: Satans Most Effective Lie?
Notify me of new posts via email. Posted on September 27, by Wisdomforlife. Becoming drunk is a choice Being filled with the Spirit is also a choice. But what does it mean to be filled? The idea of permeation or domination is envisioned.
Grouchy or grumpy Ungrateful or discontent Rebellious or arrogant Central to living a life that is pleasing to God is the personal presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Steve Cornell Audio link: About Wisdomforlife Just another field worker in God's field.
April 16, at Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here He says in 1 Corinthians Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
Once we were alienated from God, cut off from Christ Ephesians 2: This is a once-for-all event. It is never repeated, and nowhere does Paul or Luke ever admonish a Christian to be baptized by the Spirit. But Luke seems to mean something different by the phrase, namely, something essentially the same as being filled with the Spirit, which is not a once-for-all event for Luke and for Paul but an ongoing or repeated occurrence. The evidence for this comes from the book of Acts. But when Pentecost comes in chapter 2, listen to how Luke describes it:. When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Jesus promises in chapter 1 that they will be baptized by the Spirit, and Luke describes the fulfillment of that promise in chapter 2 in terms of the filling of the Holy Spirit. Yet we know from Acts As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. So this later outpouring of the Spirit on the Gentiles in Acts Therefore, Luke sees what happened at Pentecost as both a baptism with the Spirit and a filling with the Spirit.
Since Luke refers later on to the disciples being filled again Acts 4: And that is different from Paul who, I think, uses the phrase to refer to regeneration new birth or moment of conversion. Now we are right at the heart of the charismatic controversy, and I want to try to sort out some things and let you know where I stand and why I think this stance is biblical. What is clear so far is at least this: Suppose the definition they gave was this: What would our answer be, then? And Paul teaches plainly in 1 Corinthians I want to stress here, though, that I do not reject the validity of the gift of tongues for our own day.
It is wrong to insist that they are a necessary part of the baptism of the Spirit; it is not wrong to insist that they are a possible part of that experience today. When I was in high school, I listened to Mr. DeHaan on the radio. I was standing in my bedroom one morning, listening to him try to argue from the New Testament that the so-called sign gifts, like tongues and miracles and healing, were intended by God to come to an end at the close of the apostolic age, so that they are no longer valid today.
DeHaan, those arguments are not valid. All you are able to show is that if there are no tongues today, you can see some possible reasons for it. But nothing that you have said proves that God intends for these gifts to end before this age closes. But now back to the person who is asking if you have been baptized with the Spirit. The apostle Paul taught that there is such a thing as a babe in Christ, and he contrasted with the babe in Christ the person who is spiritual 1 Corinthians 3: Now, both Luke and Paul would have agreed that what this new, faltering babe in Christ needs is a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit into his life.
Perhaps one other clarification of some Pentecostal teaching should be mentioned. Two things need to be said. What we should seek and this applies to all Christians is that God pour his Spirit out upon us so completely that we are filled with joy, victorious over sin, and bold to witness.
Related What Does It Mean to Be Filled with the Spirit?
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved