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Filled with the Spirit (Part 3 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
February 2, 2022 3:00 am

Filled with the Spirit (Part 3 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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February 2, 2022 3:00 am

Most of us go to the gas station to fuel our cars. We can’t drive on an empty tank—so we fill ours up! Likewise, Jesus’ followers are to be “filled with the Spirit.” But where do we go to be filled? Find out on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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When we need to fill up the car gas station driving on an empty tank so we fill it up Jesus followers are commanded to be filled with the spirit so where do you go for that. How can you tell if your heart is full today on Truth for Life. Alastair Begg tells us where to look and what to listen for.

We said this morning that alcohol is in itself pharmacologically at least a depressant and not a stimulant, as it is often represented as being those of us or those of you. Those who have found ourselves tempted to go down that road in search of fulfillment will have discovered along with many that it is at least a bypass meadow. It is a dead end street. It is a sad place to find ourselves in distinct contrast, the Holy Spirit is if you like the ultimate stimulant and wet eyes in drunkenness. Our minds are distorted, our wills are confused. Our hearts are confused when the spirit of God fills our lives then it impacts our minds are intellects our hearts, our desires are devotions and will Notes Paul in this letter has already described his readers as those back in chapter 1, who have been sealed with the spirit of God. You see that back in verse 13 of chapter 1 in him you also, when you hear the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit and that was commensurate with their profession of faith in Jesus and coming to rest in his love in chapter 4 and towards the end down in verse 30. He has made further mention of the Holy Spirit.

And I said to his readers. Make sure that you do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption and one of the ways in which we would of course grieve the spirit of God is by tracking into the realm that marked our life's before Christ saved us, and so the reference here to the ongoing work of the Spirit is equally clear that we noted this morning that this is one of the imperatives of the New Testament. You will see that there do not be foolish understand the will of the Lord, don't get drunk with wine, but be filled with the spirit. At the same time, you will notice that it is in the present tense. It is in the present tense. Why is that significant because he is not describing a once for all event. But he is describing an ongoing reality. And thirdly again in terms of language.

It is passive or what were saying and that is simply this, that we don't fill ourselves rather we are commanded to receive God's fullness. So how can you be active in something that is actually passive. What are we supposed to do. Is this a call just as it were. Sit quietly for a while and wait for something to happen to us. Is this an expectation to go away on our own to have an experience by ourselves. No, it's not.

Some members would do well to go away on our own and to meditate on things and we had have only encouragement along those lines, I found it most helpful to return to what is essentially a parallel passage in Paul's letter to the Colossians in chapter 3 in order to answer that question for myself what is it mean, then how does it happen that I may be filled with the Holy Spirit on an ongoing consistent basis for when you read the acts of the apostles, you realize that there were occasions where it says of those who had been baptized in the Holy Spirit that they were filled sometimes were filled for a special function for peculiar responsibility, but it speaks of it in that way and clearly the anticipation on Paul's part here is that we will then as the believers in the Lord Jesus live in such a way as to experience what it is not to be out of control. As a result of our desire for other things but to be brought under control and God's word. As we have said to each other routinely God's word is God's work by God's spirit and when you read Colossians 3 and you may want us to turn there to have it in your gaze as I speak to you, it becomes apparent that spiritual fullness is discovered on the path of obedience and the path of obedience is obedience to the word of God. So the very direct and distinct parallel is in the 16 verse of Colossians 3 where it says let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, and then teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom and singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. The parallel is straightforward and clear it is, as the word of God dwells in is richly that the spirit of God consistently and continually fills us in other words, we should not think for a moment that somehow or another to be filled with the Holy Spirit on an ongoing basis, somehow or other divergences from the Scriptures, but it is rather directly in accord with the Scriptures that we discover the Spirit's fullness our minds then are transformed by the truth of God's word. Our hearts are then stirred by the teaching of God's word and our wills are subdued by the consistent explanation of God's word so another words as I come to the Bible on a daily basis as I realize that the Scripture speak to me as I come to it. Not looking for the blessed thought, or a peculiar experience but in order that my mind might be trained by it, in order that my heart might be stirred by it.

In order that my will might be subdued by then and in that context, I discover that the spirit of God is at work to fulfill the purposes of God in and through me as his child. Sometimes we read our Bibles and we don't really know what to do with a little I have people come and say to me, and I read it, but it didn't really mean very much to me and I often sit and what you expected them into did you apply the normal processes of thought to the reading of the Bible as you would to reading the newspaper reading journal in your area of expertise on or never occurred to me to do that.

I thought you just read it and waited for it to hit you. Well, something they hate you but it's a it might not be the most helpful thing possible. So it is in submission to the word of God that life than in the spirit impacts the totality of life. You will notice fascinatingly that the immediate impact of this filling of the spirit is to be found in the fellowship and worship of God's people is not what he says don't get drunk with wine.

This debauchery are accessible be filled with the spirit and here's the first expression of it addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. JB Phillips let the spirit stimulate your souls express your joy in singing among yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

In other words the context. First of all is in public worship. When Calvin writes the preface to the Genevan Psalter.

He quite graphically says we know by experience that singing has great force and vigor to move and inflame the hearts of men, to invoke and praise God with a more vehement and ardent zeal. So it is that we are not to be surprised. The spirit of God is a stimulant to us in that direction. We know he says that this is the case now there is a horizontal dimension to this which he mentions immediately.

You will notice addressing one another as it is in the ESV or speaking to yourselves. I think the ESV helps us here addressing one another in Colossians 3. Remember, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another and this of course is whether psalms are a tremendous help because when we turn to the sounds that we discover that the psalmist is addressing himself while you cast down my soul while you disquieted within your so he EC he sings a song to himself.

He encourages himself and others to sing to one another column, let us worship and bow down letter saying to the Lord our God, our maker, that is on a horizontal base so that when the people of God gather it is incumbent upon us to exhort and encourage each other and it will be an expression of our spiritual fullness. If you remember that there him.

We are marching to Zion. Beautiful, beautiful, Zion is a rather archaic hymn is a good one. But if if you recall it at all. You know, it has a verse let those refuse to sing, who never knew all God by children of the heavenly King must speak their joys abroad misrepresents other people come the church is addressing the songs let those refuse to sing, who never knew our God said to one another again and again purposefully so that first spiritual praise to be genuine amongst the people of God number one we have to be spiritually alive because dead people don't sing. Secondly, we have to be spiritually assisted. Hence the importance of the filling of the spirit of God.

And thirdly, we have to be spiritually active in other words, we have to actually open our mouths and use them and saying because it is the duty and the privilege of all of us. There is only one group of singers were altogether. We may be led from the front.

Encourage from the front, but we are not responding to that, except to respond in our own hearts and to say I am committed to this, along with each other so is absolutely clear that Paul anticipates the fact that the church will sing at will sing and the singing and the melody is straightforward. Incidentally, I've grown older, having people explain to me what Paul means by psalms and then by hymns and by spiritual songs.

None of them have been very convincing to me at all and so I haven't chosen to delay on that in any way.

Clearly, the content of the songs of Paul would've been the Psalms of David that that the hymnbook of the church of your life hundred and 50 songs provided by the spirit of God to the people of God in order that they may take them up and use them to sing his praise that within the framework of the apostolic church. We find this in the epistles that are songs that are hymns or modes of worship to God that have begun to be there. We often wonder whether Philippians 252 11 fit within that category. And when we think in terms of spiritual songs. I think that the adjective spiritual relates to all three areas and I think perhaps primarily what Paul is saying is the songs that the spirit filled person will sing will be spiritual songs. Unlike the songs that they used to saying in their pre-converted days. Calvin he goes on to say there is a great difference between music which one makes to entertain men and women in the Psalms, which are song in church, in the presence of God and his angels so spirit filled life's leads to spirit filled praise that is not simply horizontal but actually is. Ultimately focused on the vertical axis so that we are singing and making melody to the Lord with our hearts melody iTunes matter.

June's matter or iTunes matter. As you might prefer.

But it the they do matter and it it is it it it's unusual for us to take grand words and trivialize them with less than substantial melody and we know and recognize the difference and it is important that we do so again, sprinting his is very very clear on this. He says simple melodies are the best on the most sublime. Very few of the more intricate. June's are really musical your twists in your feuds and your repetitions and your rattling's up and down the scale are mostly barbarous noisemaking's fitter for babble than for Bethel.

If you wish to show off your excellent voices. Why not meet at home for that purpose by the Lord's day in the Church of God must not be desecrated to so poor an end. You want to tell us how you really feel Charles so you will notice that the singing and this melody making is directed to the Lord and from the heart with your heart, or perhaps in your heart. Reminding is the true praise is hard work. True praise is hard work and I didn't look to this it comes to my mind right now but in his reflections on the sounds.

Spurgeon Lewis, CS Lewis has has a wonderful little section on the nature of praise itself and he talks about how genuine praise is what happens when somebody says did you see that sunset would you look at that. Isn't she beautiful, isn't that attractive is doesn't it doesn't come from anywhere except from deep within and it is then an expression of the heart and therefore it is an encouragement to others to consider the reality of it to so that it is that it arises. If you like like incense from the coals of of a devout affection. It's a good reminder to because not all of us are very melodious. If we are quite honest, some of us could do well to go and have some singing lessons. But the essence and life of praise does not actually lie in the voice but lies in the heart in the heart. Our voices are the vehicle for the expression of the heart, but it is the heart in which this happens. Know this of course leads to all kinds of questions. Some of us grew up in and you know the first Church of Christ Frigidaire where any expression of the any expression of emotion at all was frowned upon someone come and tap you on the shoulder and suggest that you sit down, sit on your hands or whatever might be others.

Others were brought up on the other end of that spectrum and we could do well with sitting down and on our hands, perhaps from time to time. There is a difference between spirit filled emotion and superficial emotionalism and I think we probably know the difference. We might not always recognize it in ourselves.

But I have to remind myself and perhaps you do to that my emotional response to a piece of music to the singing of a hymn or song my emotional response is not necessarily an indication of the work of the spirit of God within my heart right so if I if I am singing you see her song and I don't like the melody, or as unfamiliar to me than if I use as the point of adjudication as to whether this is useful, effective and meaningful, and so on my own emotional response to it than I will inevitably go wrong and if I am tempted to look around and see others who are apparently deeply emotionally involved in it. Now I have no way of knowing exactly what that mean what I do know is this that it is about truth, and is not about our taste's about truth and is not about our taste. True worship, says David Wells is clearly to express the greatness of God, not simply defined inward release or still less amusement worship is theological rather than psychological theological rather than psychological element that sucked. It is then making melody to the Lord in my heart with my heart to the Lord and so quick.

Here is where where is all this going where you've exalted above all things, your name and your word so we stay with the psalmist not to was a Lord but to your name be the glory for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. This then is the explanation again of the words of the Psalmist that was some hundred and 15.

This is Psalm 84 where the psalmist is expressing how he longs for her. She longs to be amongst the people of God's wonderful expression of anticipation and you're familiar with the sun polemical to you exactly how lovely is your dwelling place or Lord of force my soul long just famous. The courts of the Lord, my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God, even the sparrow finds a home. The swallow a nest. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise.

In other words amongst the gathering of the people of God. The heart of the spirit filled pilgrim gives expression to the wonder of God's love. So says Paul, don't be foolish, be wise, don't waste your time make every good use of the time and don't get drunk be filled with the Holy Spirit and when you come together and those who are leading you in worship say let us worship God than do wholeheartedly engaged. I like the children doesn't matter if it's true, sing about. And if your tone deaf have your husband help you at home and remember that it is about your heart and your 40s. If you have the combo and be thankful for.

We are to lift our voices and sing out in wholehearted praise to God that is Alister Bragg with the final message of the series titled love like wisdom. This is Truth for Life and Alister will close today's program with prayer in just a minute, so please keep listening the book we want to tell you about today. The book were recommending is one you don't want to miss the titled little pilgrims big journey. This is a children's version of John Bunyan's classic book, the Pilgrim's progress. We were thrilled to come across this new adaptation of the classic book.

This book is beautifully illustrated, your kids will love listening to the adventures in the story meeting the various characters. Most of all, however, your children will learn about the importance of faithfully following God even when there tempted to head down a different path. Look for little pilgrims big journey on our website and request your copy when you give to support this ministry. Visit Truth for or click the book image in the now, here's Alister are guarding our father, we thank you that the Bible is a constant guide to his in every facet of our lives and we praise you for the clarity of Paul as he addressed those dear folks in Ephesus so long ago, many of them had come out of a background of just heathen nonsense, silly songs and and sensual lyrics and emptiness and futility and then they had been raised up with Christ and seated in the heavenly places where they had a new song to sing songs of praise to God. He had a melody in their hearts, and in Christ you have granted this to us as well and so grand that we may then on this horizontal level sing out as it were, to one another and encourage one another and at least make it in with our hearts melody to use our Lord and King.

For we pray in Jesus name above Lapine. Tomorrow we launched a brand-new study in first Samuel join us as Alister takes us back to a time 3000 years ago, will meet the prophet Samuel, you'll learn how God used him to establish Israel's first monarchy point forward to an everlasting King vector series is titled give us a king. The Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life learning

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