The Holy Spirit Book: The Fullness of the Holy Spirit
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow
they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:4
Jesus experienced the power and the filling of the Holy Spirit in His own life and ministry (Luke 4:1). He also promised the power and the filling of the Holy Spirit to His followers. We need both the Scriptural understanding of Jesus’ promise as well as the personal experience of receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit.
There are many ways the Scriptures present the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise of spiritual power and the fullness of the Holy Spirit. The Bible uses a variety of words and phrases to describe this fulfillment. Two of these phrases are, “the baptism with the Holy Spirit” and “the filling with the Holy Spirit.” In Acts 2:4 we read that all the believers who were baptized with the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost were also filled with the Holy Spirit at the same time. The experience of the baptism and filling with the Holy Spirit is God’s will for us. It should not be a mystery to us. It should not be a “guess so” or a “hope so” attitude, but rather, and “know so” reality, just as it was for the first believers.
When we read the account of Jesus baptizing His followers with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, we discover that two things happened simultaneously. One is that the Holy Spirit came upon them *outwardly* (Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-3); the other is that the Holy Spirit filled them *inwardly* (Acts 2:4).
Although the baptism with the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit happened at the same time, each represents a different aspect and ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This two-fold ministry represents the work of the Holy Spirit in power and fullness. It is vital to our spiritual witness and our spiritual walk. The Holy Spirit coming upon us is for the purpose of anointing and empowering; the Holy Spirit filling us is for the purpose of enabling us to walk as Jesus walked and being conformed to his image. (I John 2:6, Romans 8:29).
When the Holy Spirit is poured out *upon us*, it is a one-time experience that does not need to be repeated. The filling of the Holy Spirit within us is a life-long process, where we keep on being filled. Another way to say it is, “One baptism and many fillings.”
“Be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18
This verse can be translated from the original Greek text to mean, “Be filled, *and keep on being filled,* with the Holy Spirit.” The reason God’s will is so clearly stated in this passage is because this is God’s way of doing His work in us and through us. God is glorified in our lives when we have been emptied of ourselves and filled with Him.
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© 2023, 2017 Roy Lessin, “The Holy Spirit Book”. Used with permission, all rights reserved.