Tonight I want us to consider the three fillings of the Christian. I am sure that there are others that we could find in the Scriptures, but tonight I want to focus on these three.
Many of us got up from the table this afternoon and said something like this, "I am stuffed, I couldn't eat another bite!" But right now you are thinking about getting something to eat after we dismiss. It is because being filled is temporary. We reach the point of filling, but soon we look to refill. Some of us too often and too much!
The concept of being filled is also applied to our spiritual lives. When we discuss these three areas of filling tonight, remember that it isn't a once for all event, but that we must keep on being filled over and over again.
I. Be Filled With the Spirit. cf Ep. 5:18
A. What is it?
1. It is the expected normal state of the believer.
2. Paul compares it to being drunk.
3. A person is considered drunk when the alcohol in his body begins to influence what he does.
4. A drunk person walks different and talks different...they do not have to wear a sign to tell others that they are drunk!
5. A Christian who is filled with the Spirit of God is one who allows the Spirit to control what they do and say.
B. There can be no filling without there first being an emptying.
1. If I had a bucket that was filled with corn, I could not fill it with beans unless I first emptied it of the corn.
2. Before we can be filled with the Spirit of God we must empty ourselves of everything else.
3. If we are filled with pride, we cannot be filled with the Spirit.
4. If we are filled with self- satisfaction, we cannot be filled with the Spirit of God.
5. The principle of put-off / put-on applies here. cf Ep. 4:21-32 3.
C. There can be no filling without yielding.
1. God will never force you to be Spirit-filled!
2. We must yield ourselves to Him and ask for His filling.
3. Lk. 11:13, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"
4. Until we empty ourselves we will not have a desire to be filled with the Spirit of God.
5. But when we begin to hunger for God's power in our lives then we will begin to ask God to fill us with His Spirit.
6. Ps. 84:2, "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God."
7. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit!
II. Be Filled With the Word. cf Col. 3:16
A. We are to be filled "richly".
1. That means abundantly of filled to overflowing.
2. Someone has said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
3. That is certainly true concerning the Bible.
4. Satan used the Word of God to deceive Adam and Eve, and he and his ministers of light still work the same way.
5. Good people get sucked into cults and false religions because they do not know enough of the Word of God to protect them.
B. How we can be filled with the Word of God.
1. Read the Bible devotionally.
a. It is God's Word and we must read it and allow God to speak to us through it
b. Paul wrote, "...give attendance to reading..." cf 1Ti. 4:13 5.
2. Study God's Word systematically.
a. 2Ti 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
b. We need to study and be able to discern the Scriptures.
c. Too often we are willingly ignorant of God's Word.
3. Memorize the Word of God.
a. Ps 119:16, "I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word."
b. Ps 119:11, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
4. Meditate on the Word.
a. Like a cow who chews the cud, we must call the Word of God to our memories and think on them.
b. We will never get all that God has for us from just one casual reading. 6.
c. Joshua 1:8, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."
III. Be Filled With the Love of God. cf. Ep. 3:17-19
A. It is His love for us.
1. It is not our love for God that we are considering.
2. Rather it is being filled with His love for us and the world.
3. It goes beyond knowledge and is expressed in action.
B. What kind of love is it?
1. It is a love that was expressed to us "while we were yet sinners."
2. It is a love brought Christ down to an unlovely world to die for those who were the ungodly. (Ro. 5:6)
3. It is a love that denies self and bears one another's burdens.(Gal. 6:1)
4. It is a love that forgives seventy times seven. (Mt. 18:22)
5. It is a love that will cause us to want to share it with others.
C. How can we be filled with the Love of God?
1. Be filled, and keep on being filled with the Spirit of God.
2. Be filled, and keep on being filled with the Word of God.
3. Then we cannot help but be filled with the Love of God.
What about it tonight folks? Are we filled or are we fooled? Have we emptied ourselves of sin and self. Have we yielded ourselves to the Spirit of God having longed for Him? Are we busy reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating upon the Word of God. Does our lives reflect the Love of God to others?