How to Be Filled with God’s Holy Spirit, Part I

On one occasion the late evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, holding up an empty drinking glass, asked one of his audiences: “Tell me, how can I get the air out of this glass?” One man said, “Suck it out with a pump.” Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter the glass.” After many impossible suggestions, Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then went on to show that victory in the Christian life is not by sucking out a sin here and there, but rather by being filled with the Spirit of God.1

As genuine Christians if we are to live a successful Christian life—one that empowers us to overcome sinful ways, gives us a sense of inner peace, and empowers us to live a fruitful life that glorifies God—it is essential that we are filled with God’s Holy Spirit.

In fact it is God’s will that every Christian “be filled with the Spirit,”2 the evidence of which is P-O-W-E-R.  As Jesus said to his disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”3 So the question is: How can we be filled with God’s Holy Spirit? Following are five key steps:

P Present your life to Jesus Christ
OObey God on every issue
WWant sincerely to be filled
EEntreat or ask God to be filled
RReceive the filling by faith

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The Priorities of Righteousness

The Priorities of Righteousness

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

Often when we hear the word Pharisee, we are prone to think of terms like hypocrite, viper, or some other less than noble description. But the religious leaders of Jesus’ day weren’t completely devoid of virtue; they were doing something right. And for that “something,” they received the approval of Jesus Himself. Today, R.C. Sproul looks at this “something” and calls us to prioritize our spiritual walk.

Risks of an Atrophied Sanctification


If you’ve ever broken a bone, you recall something about that associated muscle; atrophy. Due to low attention and use, a muscle will become weak and emaciated, or atrophied. A muscle in this state is feeble and of less use to the body.

The same can occur spiritually in the lives of Christian. If we fail to give proper attention to the biblical process of sanctification, we can unnecessarily weaken our souls. And, when a church leadership shepherds with a weak approach to sanctification, they risk endangering souls in many ways.

With that, here are a few risks of taking an atrophied approach to sanctification:

  1. An atrophied sanctification risks confusing the definition of a church.

A NT kind of church is a glorious thing. It is a part of that one institution which Jesus promised to build and bless. Part of that building and blessing includes the shaping and maturation of spiritual newborns; sanctification.

However, an atrophied sanctification can turn the church into an evangelistic event, but not a shepherded flock. If souls are not cared for beyond birth, the majority of the church will remain in perpetual spiritual diapers.

But the local church is a not just a soul-birthing center. It’s also a nurturing family. The new birth is just the beginning. What identifies a church is not only people making professions, but professors maturing.

  1. An atrophied sanctification risks diluting and socializing the gospel.

The Person and finished work of Christ grants us the infinitely blessed gift of salvation from the penalty and power of sin. It’s a package deal, beginning at regeneration and justification. So, the process of sanctification is the logical continuation.

But if sanctification is put in the trunk, the gospel can be darkened a bit. It can morph into that which saves from sin’s penalty but not its presence, which is not the biblical gospel.

Instead, the gospel becomes something to display and imitate before it is something by which I am made acceptable to God. Often that something else is social cause. The death of Christ is to rescue us from our social needs instead of the wrath of God. The gospel which saves becomes the gospel which socializes.

Social causes are necessary. But, the work of God in Christ is about rescuing us from our personal penalty and power of sin. It will not do to reduce Christ’s substitutionary penal atoning death to a means of increased social awareness. A low view of sanctification can contribute to that confusion.

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20 Quotes from Sinclair Ferguson’s New Book on Sanctification

The Weapon of a Clear Conscience

Part Three in our Series “Demolishing Your Strongholds”

Sanctification and How to Pursue It – Mike Riccardi

Don’t Worry about Sanctification

Le Ann Trees:

“The good seed cannot flourish when it is repeatedly dug up for the purpose of examining its growth” (J. C. Kromsigt).

One of my favorite things about trees, especially mature ones, is the way they provide shade and shelter from the natural elements. Yet, everyone knows a seedling doesn’t give much of either. Trees need a consistent supply of sun, water, and nutrients over a long period of time to survive and thrive. In the Bible, Jesus uses the image of plants to describe spiritual growth (Matt. 13:1–32; 17:17–20; John 15:1–7).

Christians often wonder whether they are growing in holiness. Sanctification is a slow process of dying to the flesh (mortification) and living unto God (vivification). Just as it is impossible to know exactly what a tree seedling is going to look like in ten years, it is futile and frustrating to evaluate a person’s growth in Christ over the short term.

Throughout the New Testament believers are encouraged to grow in long-term community with each other in the local church (Acts 2:42; Eph. 4:11–13; Col. 3:16). The apostle Paul describes this dynamic of growth within the body of Christ in his letter to the Ephesians:

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Eph. 4:15–16)

Jesus describes this organic union with his people by using the metaphor of a vine and its branches:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4)

The Bible instructs all believers to gather regularly to hear the preaching of God’s Word, receive baptism and the Lord’s Supper (these are also known as Sacraments), and pray together (Heb. 10:25; 1 Cor. 10:16). Christ is present in these means of God’s grace through the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 18:20; John 14:16–17, 26).

While the Holy Spirit is not limited to using Word, Sacrament, and prayer in his work of sanctification, these are God’s ordinary means of grace. Christians should be diligent to attend a church where they are properly bathed and regularly nourished with sound biblical preaching and teaching. Supplemental Christian resources (like this website) can be helpful aids, but they are not meant to be substitutes for regular participation in the local church community.

Christians don’t have to worry about whether they are being sanctified. God has promised to conform all his children to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29), for “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). Christians do need to obey God’s command to gather regularly with their fellow saints under the oversight of a faithful minister (1 Pet. 5:2–3). This is the way God has ordered his church on earth so that his sheep are properly cared for and guarded from the snares of the evil one (Heb. 13:17). You can be confident about your spiritual growth in Christ, because God is in control (Eph. 1:11–12).

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