Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world

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[1] Filled with the Spirit – transforming but nothing added

A white dove with a red tick to say yes to being filled with the Spirit.
The dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

I’ve known people who obviously were filled with the Spirit (that is; the Holy Spirit) and yet they would not use the terminology: “filled with the Spirit”.
I’ve known others who can put tremendous pressure on getting filled with the Spirit and I have personally felt that.
It was something that should happen right NOW!
It all seemed to be really contrived.
Then there are other church-goers who seemed to be not at all Spirit filled!

A Biblical view on being filled with the Spirit:

It is easy to feel inferior when some Christians believe that they have been baptised with the Holy Spirit and others don’t.
But it is important to remember that nothing can be added to our salvation.
Why do I say that?
Well I’ll answer that by asking another question:
Why is the Holy Spirit given? The answer is found in this verse:

Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’”
Galations 4:6

(The term: ‘Because you are sons’ includes ladies in Jesus’ Kingdom. The firstborn Hebrew son is an important concept in Judaism, for one they are allocated a double portion of the inheritance! [1] )

So nothing can be added to our salvation, because the result of salvation is becoming God’s son and you can’t get more than that!
We are brought into His family and because of this, God sends His Spirit into our heart.

Being filled with the Spirit is a transforming event:

But why are some Christians aware of a filling of the Holy Spirit, and others aren’t?
Surely this is a transforming event?

If we know that we are forgiven and are trusting Jesus to save us, but we haven’t had any awareness of being filled, then the problem is generally down to us not knowing spiritual truth.

All spiritual blessings are given objectively and in principle at conversion.
Everyone who is converted (or saved, or born again, whatever the terminology) will be given all the spiritual blessings of being a child of God the Father.

But we only realise this in our experience when the Spirit is poured out.
For example, the disciples believed in Jesus before the day of Pentecost, but when the Spirit was poured out, they were made aware of their sonship, they received God’s seal of ownership * and they became more unmoveable in their faith.
* (This will be covered in article [10] Different Biblical terms, that describe the filling of the Holy Spirit.)

But nothing had changed their salvation, they believed in Jesus and were saved before Pentecost, now after Pentecost they still believed in Jesus and were still saved.

For many Christians the presence of the Spirit within them is hidden, but that does not mean that the Spirit is not there.
It is when we consciously receive the Spirit that we become aware of His workings, His various gifts, and His power.

Objectively and in principle all Christians are ‘in Christ’ and have all that there is in Christ, but in practice and in their experience, some Christians are unaware of the Holy Spirit.

Nothing is added to our salvation when filled with the Holy Spirit and yet it is a transforming event.

Next article: The filling of the Spirit was a blessing

[1] Wikipedia (opens in a new window)

Peter Reason

December 2011

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