One of the components of the Christian life is what we call the filling of the Holy Spirit. This occurs when one enters into a relationship with Christ — or salvation. When one repents of sin, accepts Christ into their heart and begins following Christ, the ministry of the Holy Spirit begins to function in that heart.
The Apostle Paul uses the metaphor of drunkenness when addressing the subject. He says, “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18. The effects of the strong drink totally change a person’s attitude and fortitude. A person will do things when they are drunk that they would not dream of doing while in a sober state.
When I was in submarine school in Groton, Conn. almost 50 years ago, a young sailor walked into our barracks one night, absolutely inebriated. Being small in stature didn’t hinder him from dragging a rather large sailor out of his bunk causing him to hit the floor with a loud thud. The large sailor retaliated with a not so calm reaction. The next morning I was standing behind the small guy in a line to get shots. I commented, “My, you were feeling your oats last night weren’t you?”
He promptly “shushed” me and pointed to the big guy who was a couple of people ahead of us in line. The boldness the alcohol brought him the night before was no longer evident.
Paul conveys the thought that, just as the drunkard is controlled completely by the drink, a believer is to be totally controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has many functions in the life of the believer and will enable one to do do what he or she would otherwise be incapable of doing.
1. He guides us into truth (John 16:13)
2. He guides our paths in life: (Romans 8:14)
3. He will convince one of sin. (John 16:8)
4. He helps us in our prayers by translating the groaning of our souls to God the Father; (Romans 8:26)
5. He endures the believer with supernatural power; (Luke 24:49; Acts 2) Jesus told the church that He would go back to His Father, but within less than two months, they would be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
6. He teaches us God’s Word: (1 John 2:27) I have had experiences of preaching from a certain passage, and a congregant afterward, tells me of a truth they learned in the passage, which did not come from my preaching. Every time I stand in the pulpit and try to preach, the Holy Spirit is on hand to translate the message to hearts. It is very comforting to know the preacher has helped in delivering the sermon.
7. He is our Comforter. (John 14:26) Often well-intentioned words from concerned friends ring hollow and bring little or no comfort, but the Holy Spirit truly knows how to comfort one’s heart.