Acts 2:3-8, Acts 4:31; and Ephesians 5:18
Acts 2:3 and there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying, Behold, are not all these that speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we, every man in our own language wherein we were born?
Acts 4:31 After they had prayed, the meeting place shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and bravely spoke God's message.
Ephesians 5:18 Don't destroy yourself by getting drunk, but let the Spirit fill your life.
When we are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our lives from then on. (1Corinthians 3:16) “All of you surely know that you are God's temple and that his Spirit lives in you”.
At times after new birth, our lives may be repeatedly filled to overflowing by the empowering presence of the Spirit. The testimony of the early disciples illustrates this.
On the day of Pentecost, the 120 followers of Jesus were filled with the Spirit. "Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire . . . And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit." "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them." After this encounter, Peter joined the other disciples for a prayer meeting. "And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit." In this event, those who had been filled with the Spirit at Pentecost were filled a second time. Peter, who had been so filled twice before, was filled a third time. Therefore, it is evident that the filling of the Spirit is not a once for all time matter. Subsequently, the Apostle Peter, who was originally filled on Pentecost, was again filled as he stood before the religious hierarchy of Israel.
Furthermore, being filled with the Spirit is not automatic or universal for Christians, as is the indwelling of the Spirit. This fact can be clearly seen in the instruction given in Ephesians 5:18. "And do not be drunk with wine . . . but be filled with the Spirit." Since this is a command and not a description, it only becomes a personal reality to those who respond properly. God will not force you to obey a command – He wants to see your heart. This is the power of God’s Kingdom – those who are truly His will respond to Jesus no matter what is in the way.
Additionally, the form of this command contains tremendous insight concerning the fullness of the Spirit and God's desire for us. The injunction to "be filled with the Spirit" is in the present tense, indicating an ongoing condition. It could be translated "be always being filled." This imperative is a call to a way of living, not merely certain events as they happen. It is the will of God that we actually live, day by day, more and more, by the fullness of the Spirit's empowering work. We should humbly pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit as we face each day, each challenge and each opportunity of life.
Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.
When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, what will the results be in his life? What evidences will develop to validate the work of the Spirit in fullness? In some church traditions, which give considerable attention to the fullness of the Spirit, limited evidences are stressed such as those often mentioned in Acts: tongues, prophecy, or boldness. As important as these are the full biblical picture is much larger than this viewpoint.
Ephesians 5:18-21 is a classic example of the scriptures broad perspective on this subject. In Ephesians 5:18, the command is given to "be filled with the Spirit." The subsequent verses (Ephesians 5:19-21) list the spiritual consequences that will follow in a life that is characteristically Spirit filled.
When a believer in Jesus Christ is living in the fullness of the Spirit, he will be led and empowered to fellowship with, and minister to, brothers and sisters: "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." These words fit those times when believers gather together for spiritual celebration and one example is like this time tonight. Some of the music of the church is directed toward other believers in the form of exhortation and edification. A Spirit filled Christian will be involved in "one another’s life" in the body of Christ.
Closely related to this, however, is the essential presence of a worshiping heart: "singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Genuine fellowship and effective ministry flows out of a life focused in adoration upon the Lord Himself. A Spirit filled Christian will be a worshiper of the true and living God.
Further, when a disciple of Jesus is filled with the Spirit, his life will typically overflow with thanksgiving: "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." The world and the flesh produce complaints and dissatisfaction. The Spirit of the Lord stirs gratitude and appreciation. It shows a life lived in the spirit.
Additionally, servant hood submission is a common attribute of one who is Spirit filled: "submitting to one another in the fear of God." Natural humanity wants to control people and exercise mastery over them. The Spirit of Christ, the servant of all (Matthew 20:24 - 28), brings forward humble service from those who revere and honour the Lord. It is the will of our Father to know and witness with the power of Holy Spirit - Jesus addressed this in acts chapter 1 verses 7 and 8.