Filled with the Spirit

Ephesians 5:18

Be filled with the Spirit

  • The word used to describe being “filled with the Spirit” is number 4137 in Strong’s system (πλεροω), which appears about 90 times as fill, fulfill, full, accomplish, end, expire, perfect, and supply.
  • Variations on the same Greek word are used an additional 43 times.
  • At least 36 times, the word is used in connection to Old Testament Scripture (fulfill). This word is often misunderstood to mean that a prediction had been satisfied.  That is not the case.  This word is used in connection with Scripture to indicate that an Old Testament scene that had been inserted into Israelite history by God was being used as an illustration in order to teach the church something important.  The historical event was being “filled to overflowing” through its use as an illustration concerning the time of the Messiah and the establishment of the eternal kingdom.  (See the Fulfill handout)
  • Many times, the word is used in its literal sense, as in filling a boat with fish (g., Matthew 13:48)
  • In a figurative sense, Christians are to be filled with other things
    • Romans 15:13 Filled with all joy and peace
    • Romans 15:14 Full of goodness
    • Ephesians 3:19 Filled with the fullness of God
    • Philippians 1:11 Filled with the fruit of righteousness
    • Colossians 1:9 Filled with the knowledge of His will
  • In all the other places in which a Christian is to be filled with some positive attribute, the point was that the attribute should be apparent to the observer. The figure of speech, “fill,” implies that the container (the Christian) was to be filled to overflowing, not just to some internal level.  The overflow was to be visible.  The Christian had more than could be contained, so it spilled over, not that the Christian was giving away what was inside, leaving emptiness.
  • So, to be “filled with the Spirit” implies that the Spirit who dwells in each Christian overflows and can be observed by others.
    • Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
    • Romans 8:9 – 14 Putting to death the deeds of the body
    • 2 Corinthians 3:18 Transformation
    • Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying “Abba, Father.”
    • Galatians 5:5 Through the Spirit we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness
    • Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is…
    • Ephesians 3:16 That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.