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FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT // RICHLY INDWELT BY THE WORD

September 2, 2012


Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying,

If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.

But this He spoke of the Spirit, Whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. — JOHN 7:37-39

Do you desire a life characterized by the Spirit supernaturally enabling you to live in such a way that your life would be characterized as “rivers of living water flowing from your innermost being?” If your answer is yes, then good, because that is the Father’s desire for each of His children, for He knows that as others see our supernatural Spirit energized lives, He will be greatly glorified (Mt 5:16-note). Below are some thoughts to help you “tap into” the power of the Spirit which Jesus says will be like “rivers of living water.”  

Colossians and Ephesians are parallel epistles in a number of respects and Ephesians 5:18-6:9 presents a very interesting parallel with Colossians 3:16-4:1 as summarized in the following table. First, take a few minutes to pray (Ps 119:18-note, Eph 1:18-19-note) and read through both sections of Scripture, especially observing the similarities. Then observe the following chart to see if you agree with the parallel comparisons.

Ask yourself, what parallel truths is God teaching us in these two great sections of Scripture? Which of my interpersonal relationships do these passages address? How can we apply these truths to our personal life, our marriage, our family, our workplace, etc? What might transpire in each of my relationships if (under grace not law) I applied these truths?

Ephesians 5:18-6:9 Colossians 3:16-4:1
BE
FILLED
(
present imperative)
LET…DWELL WITHIN
YOU RICHLY

(present imperative)
THE
SPIRIT
THE
WORD OF CHRIST
SPEAKING TO
ONE ANOTHER

Eph 5:19-note
TEACHING & ADMONISHING
ONE ANOTHER
Col 3:16-note
IN PSALMS
and
HYMNS
and
SPIRITUAL SONGS
Eph 5:19-note
WITH PSALMS
and
HYMNS
and
SPIRITUAL SONGS
Col 3:16-note
SINGING AND MAKING MELODY
WITH
YOUR HEART
TO THE LORD
Eph 5:19-note
SINGING WITH THANKFULNESS
in
YOUR HEARTS
TO GOD
Col 3:16-note
Always GIVING THANKS for ALL things
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
to GOD EVEN THE FATHER
Eph 5:20-note
Do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus,
GIVING THANKS through Him
to GOD THE FATHER
Col 3:17-note
WIVES
BE SUBJECT
to your own husbands
Eph 5:22-24-note
WIVES
BE SUBJECT

to your husbands
Col 3:18-note
HUSBANDS
LOVE your wives
Eph 5:25-33-note
HUSBANDS
LOVE your wives
Col 3:19-note
CHILDREN
OBEY YOUR PARENTS
in the Lord
Eph 6:1-3-note
CHILDREN
BE OBEDIENT
TO YOUR PARENTS
Col 3:20-note
FATHERS
DO NOT PROVOKE
YOUR CHILDREN to anger
BRING THEM UP
in discipline & instruction of the Lord
Eph 6:4-note
FATHERS
DO NOT EXASPERATE
YOUR CHILDREN
Col 3:21-note
SLAVES
BE OBEDIENT to those
WHO ARE YOUR MASTERS
according to the flesh
Eph 6:5-8-note
SLAVES
in all things
OBEY those
WHO ARE YOUR MASTERS
on earth
Col 3:22-25-note
MASTERS
DO the same thing to them
(slaves)
Give up threatening
KNOWING that both their MASTER & yours
IS IN HEAVEN
& there is no partiality with Him
Eph 6:9-note
MASTERS
GRANT to your slaves
justice and fairness
KNOWING that you too
have a MASTER
IN HEAVEN!
Col 4:1-note

A few observations: Remember that what fills us, controls us. If I am filled with wine, it will control the way I speak, act, walk, etc. As Jesus (Who not surprisingly was filled with/contolled by/empowered by the Spirit – see Lk 4:1, Lk 4:14, Lk 4:18 – giving us the perfect Example of the only way believers can be enabled to live supernaturally!) was teaching in the synagogue, “all in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things and they rose up and cast Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.” (Lk 4:28-29) Notice that the emotion (rage) that filled them, controlled them and resulted in an action (attempt to kill Jesus!). (As an aside notice that the Sword of the Spirit [Eph 6:17] rightly divided and deftly wielded will produce one of two effects – it will comfort the afflicted or afflict the comfortable!) So we clearly see that the idea that what fills us controls us! Now what is the first effect in a person who is filled with/controlled by the Holy Spirit? (Eph 5:19-noteSpeaking to one another. In short, our tongue (cp Jas 3:8) is an indicator of whether we are controlled by power of the Spirit or by the natural power of our fallen flesh. Given the vital role that our words have in all interpersonal relationships, it is not surprising Paul emphasizes speaking first. In Col 3:16-note while the parallel is not exactly identical “teaching and admonishing one another” involves speaking.

Note that every verb in bold red font signifies the Greek imperative mood (a commands, not just a good suggestion!). Notice that every command in this list is in the Greek present tense which signifies continuous action, habitual practice or one’s “lifestyle.” Present tense speaks of our general “direction” and not perfection, a state which will not be attained in this life!

Now pause for a moment and ask yourself…

Can I keep even one of these commands in my own strength?”

If you think you can, just try it the next time your spouse “verbally insults/assaults” your intelligence! None of us can keep these commands in our “natural” strength. If we try to keep these commands in our own power, we fall into the subtle snare of self reliance and legalism. Too often we read Paul’s long lists of commands and forget to examine the context, which is critical for accurate interpretation and in this case crucial for real-life practical application! The context in this case clearly gives us the answer regarding how we can carry out the commands. These “holy” actions can only be energized or enabled by the Holy Spirit Who dwells in each saint. If we are filled with or controlled by Him, yielded to Him, depending on Him, casting off any semblance of self-reliance, then, and only then, can we successfully keep these commands. And as we do so, we are in effect also fulfilling Paul’s (present imperative) command to walk by the Spirit which effectively prevents us from carrying out the desires of the flesh (cp Gal 5:16-note).

Notice that Spirit filling SHOULD RADICALLY AFFECT ALL of our relationships – wives, husbands, children, fathers, slaves (think “employee” today), masters (think “employer” today)! Indeed, the secret of harmony in the home and on the job is fullness of the Spirit, which in turn is related to fullness with the Word! Every vital social interaction is to be impacted by the Holy Spirit! So let me ask you a rhetorical (for effect primarily) question —

How important is obedience to Paul’s command that we be continually filled with/controlled by the Holy Spirit? And can we even obey this command without the enabling power of the Spirit your Helper Who fills us? Meditate on that thought today! And then, as Ray Pritchard puts it, we need to express our need for power just like we do when we go to a full service gas station and cry out to the attendant “FILL ME UP!” In other words, we need to express our DEEP DESIRE and DESPERATE DEPENDENCE on the Spirit’s power to enable us to carry out God’s commands which are not burdensome (1Jn 5:3)! There is a modern worship song that  speaks of our desperation for His indwelling Spirit and Word…

THS IS THE AIR I BREATHE
(click to play)

Your HOLY PRESENCE living in me
This is my DAILY BREAD
Your very WORD spoken to me
And I, I’m DESPERATE for You
And I, I’m lost without You

As an aside, it is interesting that we see so many Christian marriages and families in various states of disturbance, dissonance (lack of agreement) and/or even imminent dissolution. Paul was written us a “prescription”, so to speak, for the balm (a soothing restorative agent) that can bring healing to families and marriages in dire (dismal, dreadful) straits! But like any medicine, the doctor can prescribe the best remedy, but the pill still has to be swallowed in order to effect a cure. What would happen to marriages and families that made an intentional effort (initiated by and energized by the “Spirit of GraceHeb 10:29-note) Who gives us “the desire and the power” (Php 2:13NLT-note) to study and meditate on Paul’s prescription? In Psalm 107 the Spirit says that when the disobedient and distressed children of Israel “cried out to the LORD in their trouble, He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” (Psalm 107:19-20). Beloved, His Name is Jehovah Rapha/Rophe -The LORD our Healer and He is the same yesterday, today and forever  (Heb 13:8-note) and His Word is able to bring hope and healing to the hopeless and broken hearted!

Notice that the “variable” in these parallel passages is God’s Holy Spirit in Ephesians and God’s Holy Word in Colossians. The effects of being filled with the Spirit and the commands to be carried out by Spirit filled saints are virtually identical to those seen in saints who are in a sense “filled” with the Word of God! And how can we discern if a person is filled with the Spirit as described in Ephesians? He or she is joyful and thankful (grateful). How can we tell if a believer is filled with the Word of God as described in Colossians? He or she is joyful and thankful (grateful)! It follows that clearly one of the keys to the “Spirit filled life” is to marinate our mind with the Word of Life (Php 2:16-note, 1Jn 1:1), the Word of Truth by which we are set apart (Jn 17:17-note) to walk (in the Spirit’s enabling power) in obedience to the Truth learned. The result will be a growing understanding and experiencing of the eminently practical Spirit filled life. So let me ask you – How’s your “appetite?”Are you eating His Word daily? How important does Jesus think this daily discipline is in Mt 4:4? Notice that the question is not are you reading your daily devotional, but are you spending time with Jesus, Who is the Word (Jn 1:1) letting His living and active Word dwell in you richly? (Cp Heb 4:12-note, 1Pe 1:23-25-note, 1Pe 2:2-note)? If not, then you need to decrease your “dietary intake” of other things and replace them with intake of solid food (Heb 5:14-note), the pure (unadulterated, no additives) milk of the Word, “so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, increasing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ to Whom be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (1Pe 2:2-note, 2Pe 3:18-note).

RELATED RESOURCES:
SEE RELATED FACEBOOK POST: A POWERFUL PAIRING: FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT & FILLED WITH THE WORD
IN DEPTH COMMENTARY ON EPHESIANS 5:18
IN DEPTH COMMENTARY ON COLOSSIANS 3:16

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3 Comments
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