by J. Gerald Harris

The Spirit-Filled Life
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Ephesians 5:17-21

I love to speak on the Spirit filled life. The main reason is that it helps me so much. I believe every preacher needs to be filled with the Spirit -- and every staff member, and every deacon, and every Sunday School teacher, and, indeed, every church member.

You see, the command to be filled with the Spirit is not just given to an elite group of super Christians. It is a command which every Christian is to obey. In fact, our text expressly tells us that it is God's will that you and I are filled with the Spirit (read verses 17 and 18).

So you are either in the will of God, being filled with His Spirit, or you are completely out of His will -- and in a backslidden condition.

The supreme will of the Lord for you and for me is that we might be filled with the Holy Spirit. You ask me why it is supreme? Because every other effective and dynamic quality in the Christian life comes about as a result of this infilling -- urgency in prayer, power in preaching, boldness in witnessing, holiness for living. These things come through being filled with the Spirit.

There are three things I want us to see in this message.

First of all, let me mention some things that I do not mean. When I speak of being Spirit filled, I am not referring to a second blessing. Some churches teach a second work of grace, or a second blessing. But we do not receive the Holy Spirit in installments. The Spirit of God enters our hearts at the moment of conversion. We do not receive a new spirit at the infilling of the Holy Spirit. We simply surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit, which entered into our hearts at the time of the new birth.

And once you are born again, God's Spirit is in your life to stay. Now, you may experience the ebb and the flow of that Spirit within. Maybe your spiritual life is at a low ebb right now. But what you need is not a second blessing or a second ...

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