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The Filling of the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 5:18-21
March 2, 2014

One day last April, a couple in northern California that owns a few acres went for a walk on their property.  It seemed innocuous enough.  After walking for a while they stopped by a particular tree and noticed something that made them dig around the tree.  There they began unearthing old, rusty, metal cans.  But the cans were heavy.  And when they peered inside the cans they saw something that was anything but rusty.  They saw gleaming gold shining back at them.  In total, they found 1,427 uncirculated, mint-condition gold coins dating from 1847-1894.  The face value of the coins was about $27,000.  But the value will obviously well exceed that number.

Coin dealers have said, “We’ve seen shipwrecks in the past where thousands of gold coins were found in very high grade, but a buried treasure of this sort is unheard of.…I’ve never seen this face value in North America and you never see coins in the condition we have here.”  The estimate is that these coins are worth around $10 million. [“Saddle Ridge Hoard: Buried gold coin stash ‘worth $10m’” accessed 2/26/14.]

Can you imagine?  How often did they walk near that tree and while perhaps appreciating its beauty as a tree not realize the worth that was hiding just beneath the surface of the ground around that tree?

There are believers who live the same way — there have been treasures provided for them so they might live godly and holy lives, but they just wander aimlessly through life, struggling and not knowing what has been made available to them — what a rich treasure there is for living in Christ and for Christ.  Having been given the immense treasures of heaven, too many of us are living like paupers.

That is, in part, what is in the topic before us this morning.  Two weeks ago we began a short series on the Holy Spirit.  It sprang from what John says in 1 John 3:24,

The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

We can be sure of our salvation when we recognize the work of the Spirit in our lives.

But who is this Spirit?  We gave answers to that question two weeks ago.  And then last week we began answering the question, “What does the Spirit Do?”  Specifically, we looked at the monergistic works of the Spirit — some of the things that the Spirit does independently of the believer.  These are His works in every believer, beginning at the moment of salvation:  His baptism, indwelling, and sealing.

This morning we are going to begin looking at the synergistic works of the Spirit — what does the Spirit do in cooperation with the believer, in that believer’s life?  And today we want to examine just one of those works, the filling of the Spirit.  There is much confusion about this work of the Spirit, but the Scripture is quite clear about how He fills us and how we are filled with Him.

And Ephesians 5 is the clearest statement of this work of the Spirit —

To be filled with the Spirit means to consciously live under the control of the Spirit.

  1. What the Filling of the Holy Spirit Is Not
  2. What the Filling of the Holy Spirit Is  (v. 18)
  3. What the Filling of the Holy Spirit Looks Like (vv. 19-21)
  4. How One is Filled with the Holy Spirit (Col. 3:16-17)

Download the rest of this sermon on Ephesians 5:18-21.

The audio is posted on the GBC website.