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May 28, 2020 10:00 pm
Dr. Jon Daulton continues a doctrinal series entitled “Breath of Life” This series is about the Holy Spirit. Today’s scripture passage is Ephesians 5:18.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled breath of life, which is a study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Today's message will be preached by John Dalton from the office of student development and discipleship. So we come to our theme for this week, a filling of the spirit and we really do build on the shoulders of the man who preached the previous messages as we look at one of the most personal aspects of our theme.
The way the Holy Spirit of God intersects our daily lives ever look at the book of Ephesians this morning. Ephesians 5 verse 18 is probably the most common passage in the New Testament that deals with this topic and that very short verse says, and be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess but be filled with the spirit of some of said that this is the central command of the book of Ephesians even the focal point of the entire New Testament for believers.
Well, maybe even more so intimidating.
If you're the one doing the preaching.
Whether or not you hold that particular opinion I trust. By the time we finish the study of our topic will have a better understanding of this brief but powerful command now today like no other day in our chapel series on the Holy Spirit to be confronted with the question, are we really interested in living every day in a way that pleases Jesus Christ. Are we willing to let the third member of the Godhead intersect our lives in such a way that what we practice is really the spiritual life.
I'm assuming that especially since viewing chapel is not required. You're probably tuned in today because you really are interested in practicing the spiritual life. But maybe you're really discouraged today and even home for about three weeks now. Maybe a little more and maybe you've begun to struggle with some of your old ways. Maybe you're struggling with that whole academic transition in your kind of being tempted to just quit and give up. Maybe your squandering your free time. Maybe you had a major fallout with mom and dad or your siblings, and you're really not happy about that. You went home with good intentions, you made plans to cultivate good habits and study hard and take time for the spiritual disciplines and be a blessing to your family and but it really hasn't worked out that way.
And so as a result, you kinda become more convinced than ever that the Christian life is really hard and you're worn out and frankly disgusted while your conclusion isn't completely right see the Christian life isn't really hard. It's actually impossible, impossible without the daily ministry of the Holy Spirit of God. So really, my heart is that today's message will be encouraging to you as we examine this teaching about the spirit that truly does make the Christian life possible. So as we come to chapter 5 verse 18 and we read this brief first verse. It it almost seems to brief, maybe even a little cryptic response to be filled with him with the Holy Spirit that all that's the key to the spiritual life was in Maine.
Well first this morning. Let's look at what Paul does not mean when he says be filled with the spirit. First of all, this is not to be confused with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Paul says in Romans chapter 8 verse nine it. If anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he is none of his all Christians have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion.
So Paul is not giving us a command to receive the indwelling spirit that goes without saying that's assumed he's referring to something that actually should be happening after the Holy Spirit indwells us. It's also not to be confused with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Olinger preached a very clear message to weeks ago explaining the baptism of the Spirit is also something that happens to us at the point of conversion through the ministry of the Holy Spirit were placed into the body of Christ, so again in Ephesians 5, Paul is referring to something that should happen after we have been baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the spirit should also not be confused with some kind of sudden ecstatic or or mystical experience which might somehow elevate me to a greater level of spiritual understanding or knowledge.
Many people have been very confused thinking that somehow the filling the spirit of credit accompanied by an emotionally powerful experience produces Christian maturity. You know you do, you get zapped. See those bug zappers that that is what they call them. I googled it this morning. Okay again on talking about an unsuspecting mosquito races toward the bright lighting get zapped.
He is immediately transformed into a pile of nothing, or, or, like when you play Mario cart II sometimes play with my kids. I'm absolutely awful at it. They have a good time laughing at me but but you know when your play Mario cart and you and you drive over one of those translucent psychedelic boxes with the? Unit and you get to become the bullet.
That's my favorite one is the bullet you you pass every trap you navigate every curve in the road you pass up all the other people course and I get the bullet I still don't pass any other people, but but some of the some people think that that's how a Christian reaches maturity. There there looking for the bullet while sad to say, there is no bulletin there is no bug zapper when it comes to filling of the spirit which is so crucial to our sanctification, our growth in holiness or maturity in Christ likeness.
So we really need to deal with the misconceptions that sometimes get in the way of getting a true understanding so that is not why these are not what the filling of the spirit means, let's look at Ephesians 518 and just quickly unpacked the verse itself, so we understand what the passage is saying, be not drunk with wine, where in is excess now. No doubt Paul is warning Ephesians about the dangers of drunkenness that certainly they are.
Have you ever seen a man or woman given over alcohol, their behavior what happens with any changes. Many times doesn't really become unruly or weepy or irrational or boisterously, they lose control of their natural inhibitions and do things they would never normally do.
If they were in control of their mental faculties sort of valuable warning we have here about the dangers of alcohol. However, Paul's primary concern here is not necessarily drunkenness but the characteristic results of drunkenness, carelessness and unrestrained board access here in Ephesians 5 comes from the same root word Jesus used to describe the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15 some you may watch site and sounds presentation of Jesus over the weekend to watch that along with living galleries presentation. What a blessing.
Those were but that depiction of the prodigal son Jesus telling that story and got fresh in my mind as I'm even getting this message today, but the prodigal son. He he went into a far country. He wasted his substance with excessive riotous living same word, possibly saying that since the Ephesians have been supernaturally redeemed. They are not to live the life of the natural person that is wasteful and ruinous.
That's the primary point that he starting with here but they should instead be filled with the spirit be kept being filled is the awkward literal translation translation of that idea. Filled is the same word used to describe the reaction of the disciples when Jesus told them he was going to leave them in John chapter 16, they were filled with sorrow by whoever the Pharisees were filled with anger. When Jesus healed the man with a withered hand on the Sabbath.
After seeing his miracle. Some people work were filled with fear.
In each case, the people were controlled they were controlled by the particular emotion evidenced in their reaction great sadness over Jesus departure great anger due to Jesus violation of the Sabbath. Great fear in response to Jesus miracles and so when we speak of being filled with the spirit we are speaking about the necessity of being controlled by the spirit wants to just think through very quickly. A little grammar here as we think of this idea being filled because I think it helps us understand this concept to leave a little bit more. The idea being filled is a present action. Therefore, it demands regular application consistent attention.
It's ongoing it's not a simple past action like the indwelling spirit of the baptism of the Spirit that comes at salvation as a Christian, there is an ongoing need for me to give attention to the filling of the spirit, but it's also the passive voice. Therefore, it it comes from outside of me being filled with the spirit is not filling with the spirit. It's being filled and you know what some of that may be why you're having some struggles back home, he went home with good intentions. The things you want to accomplish and after three weeks or just Frustrated your empty. Maybe that's because you never sat down before he ever went home and prayed Lord, what are the things that you really want me to accomplish during this time I got academics to accomplish. I need your grace. I got a family to learn to live with peaceably. I need your grace. As a result of not even prayerfully playing those out. You're not only not getting his help to make the right plans are for about the outcomes but then you're not getting his grace to help you on a daily basis, filling the spirit comes from outside of me.
I must learn to practice dependence on the Lord the Christian life was not designed to be lived in the power the flesh on my own good efforts and gritting of teeth, but lastly it's in the imperative mode maybe goes without saying, but it's imperative so it's a command so therefore it requires obedience. So being filled with the spirit, whatever that is is going to require faithful attention. It's going to keep demand dependence on God, not self, and it's going to require submission. Being willing to place myself underneath.
So while on the surface there is a comparison being made here in this verse between the control of alcohol in the control of the spirit. There is a much deeper contrast that's going on between living a life of carelessness versus living a life of spirit control. That really is kind of what things boil down to the control is an and is kind of an interesting concept is in it. Most of us like the word control, especially when we have it when were the ones that are in it and that's what makes it difficult for the believer to grasp this truth. You and I cannot be in control if were going to know this feeling of the spirit. We've got to let God the Holy Spirit have control and I just encourage you know you many of you who have been here and have drunk the philosophy and the and they the teaching of God's word here through chapel and Bible classes and and good relationships with other people, yet you still struggle with this concept of surrender and I encourage you to lay down your weapons to be still and know that God is the one on the throne and not live a life at your own bidding with yourself on the throne you will not be filled with the spirit, if you demand to remain in control and in control over what it may not be that you want to tell people what to do. It may mean that you refuse to let go of the hurt that has been done to you, God is asking you to surrender that and to as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you to go and freely forgive the one that is hurt you. So the filling of the spirit.
What is it not well what is it what is it actually mean will keep in mind that this is not a fully developed concept in this text.
Ephesians 518 doesn't say everything there is to say about the filling of the spirit. In fact, we simply have these very simple combined commands. Don't be drunk with wine to be filled with the spirit was at mean more gaining a basic understanding for both the verse in the context of Ephesians 5, which will return to right at the end but I believe we need to consider a couple of related concepts first is terminology of being filled with the spirit is is peculiar to Luke for this reference. Here in Ephesians.
Luke is the synoptic recorder who records in his gospel or in the book of acts what it means to be filled with the spirit and innocence of Paul uses the phrase in Ephesians. It's first applied to believers at Pentecost and ask chapter 2 beginning of the church age and so groups of believers. The first believers. The first Deacon Stephen Peter Paul all displayed the results of being filled with the spirit that praised they prophesied.
Often they spoke the word of God with boldness.
That's an interesting fruit of being filled with the spirit. These passages are certainly worth noting, and considering none of them fully developed the concept of the filling of the spirit. I think a second concept that's important understand is is the whole concept of the spirit of truth references in John's Gospel, especially use this terminology. You see those reference there.
Dr. Newton. You might remember his message on conviction made this powerful point that the spirit convicts us not on the basis of the motion but on the basis of truth and where do we find truth while John 1717 says Jesus is the father sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth. Let us be very clear that the filling of the spirit does have everything to do with the word of God. In fact, the filling of the spirit will always be according to the truth of God's word.
Therefore, people who are filled with the spirit do not conclude that in order to pay their bills. They need to cheat on their income taxes or conclude the because they're already engaged. They might as well take liberties with each other with each other because really married anyway.
Or suddenly conclude that it's time for me to leave my spouse and go find another one by because those are filled with the spirit make decisions according to the truth of God's word. So again, what are you doing with your Bible right now you have a plan for regularly taking in the word Dr. Pettit often speaks to us about the importance of that daily discipline and how he began that in college that was really were mine started to an and it becomes a part of your life, one that you can't live without.
If you can develop that now Christian maturity doesn't happen through osmosis. It doesn't Happen because you go to Bob Jones. It happens through diligent attention in the enablement of the spirit of God through the idea of walking in the spirit is an important concept to keep in mind as well.
Galatians 516 to 25. Give us the understanding of this and just year and 1/2 ago we had a theme in our own chapels about walking in the Spirit in Galatians 5 when architect time. We don't have the time to go through that whole chapter but among other things.
You remember that. Galatians 5 Paul there is teaching the Galatians to display their Christian liberty by serving one another, liberty, Christian liberty is not for serving self.
Finally I can get away from with doing whatever I want. No, actually I am liberated to serve others in love. But the problem was it was just as tempting for them to bite and devour one another, pulse get you to consume each other given to these temptations left to their natural proclivities. They would not love each other they would harm each other. So Paul tells them to walk in the spirit so that they would not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. The fleshly tendencies to harm each other and course.
Then he goes into a litany of of the works of the flesh, the fruits of the spirit so like being filled with the spirit walking in the spirit is in the present tense. He demands continuous attention. It's like two people running a three legged race, you've got to pay attention to your partner. You can't run it by yourself. You have to keep in step so believers must keep in step with the spirit so that they will not fulfill their fleshly desires. So I believe that there is a a is a supplemental helpful concept here that we can incorporate into our understanding of the filling of the spirit that if we are filled with the spirit truly it will enable us to deal decisively and convincingly and victoriously with the flash and if you're like me, you will need to be reminded that you have one.
One flesh that unredeemable part of you that you will never get rid of until your glorified it's there, it's present, it's every day and so in order to deal with that, the pride, the selfishness, the conceit degree the lost all those things. There must be something regularly, moment by moment I look at him, moment by moment, giving attention to the spirit of God and his plans which are truth according to God's word so the degree that I'm filled with the spirit that same degree. I will not fulfill my fleshly passions. So here is an attempt at a definition. What is the filling of the spirit mean simply needs to be completely submitted to the control of the Holy Spirit so that I may understand and fulfill the father's will he say boy you know II really started out this break wanting to do that. Or maybe I started at college wanting to do and it's been three years.
I'm in my last semester. That's really what I wanted but I've drifted far from that she come to the point where I want to run my own life owner do my own thing. My plans even seniors maybe are are controlled by the passions and the urges that I have for myself, I've shut out wisdom and an counsel for my parents and from from godly teachers and pastors in my life. I'm doing my own thing to live that way as a Christian has to be one of the most unpleasant experiences imaginable. It's as if you're living in the wilderness without water and constantly searching and seeking for what you can find a satisfying suit to to be filled with the spirit means I've given up my own plans. I've submitted myself to the spirits control so that he can help me understand what God's plan is for me and not only to understand what it is, but as the spirit of truth speaks into my heart through the word I can actually do it. Philippians 2 God is the one working within me both the willing and the doing of his good pleasure. I got work on my own salvation with fear and trembling.
Yes, but God is doing the enabling or beautiful thing.
I think it's a wonderful way of capturing what the spirit of God does as we are filled with him.
So what's the result.
One of the results of being filled with the spirit here. I think we go back to Ephesians 5 if you study this at all you know that this passage breaks down very neatly very evidently to help us see that there are at least three and Paul's words in her inspirational book of Ephesians results that come automatically as a result of walking about being filled with the spirit. First of all we sing to each other, speaking yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, you may not be a great singer. None of us are great singer mother a few pewter great singers but not all of us are great singers but you can't help but saying when you're filled with the spirit because a spirit filled believer is a joyful believer. For the joy, the Lord smiles often cross his face, not only when he's talking with others, but when he singing giving thanks to God.
In verse 20 giving thanks always for all things no one has been kinda hard for some of us may be as we've had to hope deal with this whole interruption to our semester remember my dad telling me John. There are no real interruptions in the ministry there actually Holy Spirit ordained opportunities right but we've looked at this is an interruption week on a gravel and groused and complained and the spiritual believer gives thanks for all things unto God and the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because we understand Psalm 8411 that God doesn't withhold any good thing from those of us that walk up rightly Roman state that all things work together for good, that all of God's plans are good for me and so by faith. I give thanks and finally, we learn to submit to each other, submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God and then we have those beautiful relationships that are enumerated then in chapter 5 and then into chapter 6 husbands loving their wives, wives, learning to submit to their husbands, children obeying parents. Parents, dads, especially not provoking children to anger, servants, being obedient to masters and masters treating service with thoughtful consideration. All of this is possible so you don't know my husband or you don't know my dad or my mom or or you don't know my boss granted. But God says if you're filled with the spirit you can submit to each other in the fear of God in each of these relationships were.
Yet today, where are we today I trust that this may just spark our attention so that we can we can start praying and asking God to give us a greater understanding of the spirit to give us a greater appreciation for the filling of the spirit and to willingly go to him today even in completely unreservedly submit to him and to his control, knowing that doing so will give us an understanding and ability to do the father's will.
Father, thank you for your precious word. These themes are so huge they can't be done justice in 25 minutes and there even beyond her understanding which we can't fathom all that's involved here, but Lord we want to be living spirit filled lives want to be spiritual people and so much of that is up to us and what we will do with our choices. Even today may today may we be about acknowledging our great need for you dealing with our sin, their sin in our lives, and that some of us need to repent of getting cleaned out claim the blood of Christ in your promises and then get into a regular relationship with you giving constant attention to your plans and your will for your glory in Jesus name, amen.
You been listening to a sermon preached by John Dalton from a chapel service at Bob Jones University. Join us again tomorrow as we conclude this series on the Holy Spirit here on The Daily Platform