THE FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
When I was a young preacher the truth of the filling of the Holy
Spirit came to be the most meaningful truth in all of the Bible to me
aside from the truth about salvation. I came to know the Lord Jesus
when I was a nine-year-old boy. At the age of 16 the Lord Jesus called
me to preach the Gospel and I surrendered to that call. At 18 I was a
pastor in a Baptist church for the first time. I came to understand how
absolutely essential it was for me as a pastor and a preacher of the
Gospel to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I had to come to the truth by
a study of what the Bible has to say about the subject because in the
atmosphere in which I grew up there was a great deal of misunderstanding
about the Holy Spirit. There was a lot of extremism and fanaticism when
it came to this whole area of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of
a believer. Because of that atmosphere and the deep desire in my heart
to be everything God wanted me to be I was driven to the New Testament.
There I found the precious, blessed truth of the filling of the Holy
Spirit. I do believe this message tonight might be the most important
message you as a believer will ever hear. I believe that the truth that
the filling of the Holy Spirit is the truth that is vital to your growth
as a believer in the Lord. It is also vital to your success as a
servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I do believe that if you are filled
with the Holy Spirit you will be effective, you will have the power of
God in what you do for the Lord. If you are not filled with the Holy
Spirit then anything you do is done in the energy of the flesh.
When the Holy Spirit fills us and we work in His power we
produce spiritual life. But when we work in the energy of the flesh
depending upon our own abilities and our own strength everything we
produce will have about it the smell of spiritual death.
I believe also this is the truth which makes the difference
between the carnal believer and the spiritual believer. I believe there
are people who are saved and yet they have never yielded themselves to
the control of the Holy Spirit. For this reason they live defeated
lives. They are carnal; the pull of the world seems to have stronger
strength upon them than the things of God. So, in their carnal state
they never know the joy and the liberation and the abundant power that
is available to every born-again child of God.
When I began to study the truth of the filling of the Holy
Spirit I found that a number of characters in the Bible had this
experience. I found that the disciples of our Lord Jesus, on the day of
Pentecost, had that experience. In Acts 2, the Bible says that the
Spirit of God came as a mighty rushing wind. The Spirit of God came as
tongues of fire ard rsted- upon them and the Bible says they were all
filled with the Holy Spirit. The disciples of Jesus were filled.
On that same occasion whe ...
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