“Be Filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18

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I. Introduction. A. Orientation. This morning, we saw That Jesus gave you His Spirit, Not only to save you, But to equip you to do His work.

What He did, He did by the Spirit, And so He gives you His Spirit To help you to do What He calls you to do as well.

Without the Spirit’s fullness You’ll make little or no progress Because you won’t want to strongly enough: The Spirit gives you the desire – And as we saw, When you want something badly enough You will pursue it Until you have it.

It shouldn’t surprise you That He’s looking for this kind of person

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Because these are the ones Who will actually carry out His will. The more you have Of the Spirit’s influence, The more you will pursue The things of the Lord, And the more He will be glorified. B. Preview. It also shouldn’t come as surprise then That the Lord commands you To be filled with His Spirit – So that you will be this kind of person.

This evening, let’s look at three things: 1. What it means to be filled with the Spirit, 2. How you can know you are filled, 3. And finally, be exhorted to be filled. II. Sermon. A. First, what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? Is the Spirit some kind of spiritual liquid That you can have more or less of, That can be poured into your soul?

No, He’s not a liquid

3 Or a quantity, But a person Who wants to have influence in your life, Who wants to control you.

To be filled with something Means to be under its control. Paul says don’t get drunk with wine Because that will lead to dissipation – Reckless, immoral behavior. To be drunk Means to be filled with wine/alcohol – To be under its power, To have so much in your system That you lose the restraint You might otherwise have. It’s to put yourself Under its control.

There are many others things That can control you – Not just chemical substances/drugs. Whatever fills your heart Can and will control you.

4 The Pharisees desired power – And so their lives were controlled By that desire. One of the reasons They betrayed Jesus And handed Him over To the Romans for crucifixion Was that they didn’t want to lose The authority and influence they had Under the Roman government.

The rich young ruler’s heart Was controlled by his possessions, And so he couldn’t let go of them When Jesus told him To sell all he had, Give the proceeds to the poor, And follow Him.

There are many things That can control your heart, But shouldn’t – Bitterness, anger, fear, The things of this world.

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The only thing That should control you – The only thing That the Lord wants to fill your heart – Is His love, Or, as you have come to know Him, The Spirit of God.

Paul says this isn’t an option, It’s a command; And you know Whenever God commands something It’s always the best for you. If you don’t see this, Then you need more of His Spirit.

B. How can you get more? We’ve looked at this before, And we will look at it again tonight, From a slightly different perspective. But before we do, Let’s consider how you can know Whether you are filled with the Spirit – What it looks like –

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So that you can know Whether you need More of His influence.

Most Christians measure their spirituality By their personal zeal – They “feel” zealous for the Lord, They do things out of that zeal, Therefore they are filled with the Spirit.

The problem is These are usually the ones Who end up doing more damage To the church And to the name of Christ Than anyone else – Who divide the church with their “zeal,” Who wound everyone That doesn’t agree with them, Or isn’t willing To go the same direction They believe you should go.

As Paul writes,

7 They have a zeal for God, But not according to knowledge (Rom. 10:2).

If zeal isn’t an indicator, What is? How can you know Whether you’re filled with the Spirit? Most simply put: You can know When you have a single heart To glorify Him. When your love for Him is so strong That it swallows up your life In worship, devotion and service to Him. When you can say, It is no longer I who live, But Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20).

That’s easy to say, But what does it look like? It looks very much the same As what Jesus would do, If He was faced with your choices. After all,

8 He is the One who lives in you.

What you do Is the best indicator Of who you really are – Not so much the feelings you experience, Or the good intentions you might have, Though these need to be there as well – In the end, We all do What we really want to do – No more and no less.

And so how can you know You’re filled with the Spirit? By what you do – And, of course, why you do it.

You can know You’re filled with the Spirit, When you dig into the Word, Because you want to learn more about Jesus, Because you want to know Him and His Father, Because you want to do what honors Him.

9 You can know When you devote yourself To seeking Him in prayer Because you want to find Him, Not only for the things you want, But because you want Him, To know Him, To be like Him.

You can know, When you get excited about public worship And spending time with your brothers and sisters in Christ, So that you arrange your schedules And take care of your business beforehand, So that you can devote yourself to it entirely, Because you want to honor Him And build and be built up by His people.

You can know When you keep the promises you’ve made Because you know it honors the One Who tells you to do so.

You can know When you love your husband or wife,

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With the love He has given you, Even when they’re not loveable; The same applies To your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Children, you can know When you’re able cheerfully To obey your father and mother, Even though they ask you to do something You really didn’t want to do, Because you love Jesus.

You can know When you see someone who’s hungry And you reach out to feed them, Or when you see someone who’s lost And bring the Gospel to them Because you know This what your Savior would do, And because your heart Is moved with the same compassion.

You can know When you’re able not to conform to this world

11 And turn your back on it, When you’re willing to identify with the Lord And with His people, And to confess Him before others, And by doing so, Sacrificing your hope of gaining The popularity so many want from this world; When you’re not concerned what it thinks about you, Because you want to honor the Lord And gain the honor He has promised to give you.

You can know When you see things As they really are, As the Lord tells you they are in His Word, Rather than as the world sees them; When the thought of hell frightens you, And thoughts of heaven Draw you forward.

You can know When Jesus Christ really is precious to you, When you are offended that He is dishonored,

12 And are happy when He is honored.

You can know When you really do care Enough about your enemies To pray for them And reach out to them That they might know the Lord.

You can know When you’re willing To obey the Lord, No matter what it might cost you personally.

You can know When you’re willing to humble yourself And serve others; When you’re willing To confess Christ before others, Even before those who hate Him, Because you love Him And because you love them.

All of these things – And many more,

13 All of which simply describe Jesus, as He is formed in you – Will be true of you to some degree Because you are a believer.

But when these things Are the strongest desires of your heart, And you know That in spite of these desires You are still unworthy Even the least of His mercies – When you are still humbled By your imperfections – You can know You are filled with His Spirit.

Jesus came To give you His Spirit, To equip you to do His work By making you more like Him.

He commands you to be filled with His Spirit So that you might advance His kingdom. When you see yourself Doing His work,

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And advancing His kingdom, You can know You have the power of His Spirit.

C. Finally, be exhorted by this to be filled with the Spirit. This isn’t an option, but a command. It’s a command based on a promise Because you need it. But because it’s a command That also means there’s something You must do.

You need to use the means of grace: You need to read His Word, Spend time with Him in prayer – Seek Him for this blessing – Sit under the preaching of the Word, Participate in the Lord’s Supper, Fellowship with your brothers and sisters, And exercise the faith You’re already capable of Because you already have something of the Spirit.

You also need to avoid losing His influence:

15 Every time you compromise the truth By believing something that’s wrong, Every time you do something Against His Law of love, You grieve and quench the Spirit’s work And become spiritually weaker. Buy up that grace, And hold onto it.

But consider as well what a blessing It is to be filled with the Spirit, And how difficult it is When you have so little.

The very best times of your life Have been when You have been the most filled With the Spirit of love and joy – When you’ve been the most like Jesus, When you’ve had the same love in your heart That is in His.

When you’re filled with the Spirit, You’re sure the Bible is true, You know you belong to Him,

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You know you’re going to heaven, You care about others And want to reach out to them, And you do, And some of them are saved. It’s wonderful! As one of the Puritans said, It’s like enjoying heaven While you’re still on earth.

You also know How difficult and miserable it is To be in the opposite condition: Filled with anxiety, Despair, Wondering whether the Bible is true, Or whether you’re a Christian at all, Turning your thoughts in on yourself, While those you care about Leave this world without Christ Because there is no one To minister the Gospel to them.

Think about which condition

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You’d rather be in, And then do what you know you can do – What you must do – To be filled with the Spirit.

Not only will your life Be a blessing to live, But you will be the kind of person Your Savior can use. Amen. http://www.graceopcmodesto.org

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