The filling of the Holy Spirit the quintessential adornment of the Christian walk

Ephesians 5: 18-21

Dr. G. Ernesto Johnson

Rio Grande Bible Seminar

Again we pick up the thread of Paul's logic in this master epistle. After drawing in Ephesians 1-3, the magnificence of the grace of God displayed in the Trinitarian doxology in which the motto resounded three times: "to praise the glory of his grace (1: 6,12,14), followed of an anointed prayer that "may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him" (1: 17-19), Paul introduces the Great Design of the Triune God already consummated: "to create in himself of the two a alone and new man, making peace through the cross to reconcile with God both in one body, killing in it the enmities "(2: 15,16).

End the first half of the epistle in a great crescendo, taking us to the glorious future frontiers with a deep prayer and another magnificent doxology: "And to Him who is able to do all things more abundantly than we ask or understand, according to the power who acts in us, to him be glory in the church in Jesus Christ, for ever and ever, Amen "(3:20 21).

In the second half of the epistle follows the same theme but from a very different but equally key point of view. We begin with the believer, Jew or Gentile, united to Christ leading the same resurrected life of Christ in the Church. "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). It is a walk of the new man in the full power of the Holy Spirit.

From this new beginning, Paul appeals: "I, therefore, prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthy of the vocation with which you were called, with all humility and meekness, bearing with patience one another in love" (4). : 1) This new walk as a member of the Church, the Body of Christ, is perfected in the home, in marriage being a reflection of the function of the Three Persons in One. The last crescendo is seen in this resurrected life transforming believers in the image of Christ and culminates in standing the believer in the full victory of Christ over the wicked hosts (Ephesians 4-6).

The fullness of the Spirit in the believer the adornment of the grace of God

The theme of Christian walk, then, is the heart of the apostolic burden. About seven times the word "walk" appears: in love, walk as children of light and, finally, "be well filled with the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit is the executive that makes possible the wonders of God's grace in the Believer's life

Grammar focuses on the imperative mode, a mandate and in the present tense, a progressive and constant condition. It is not an experience to achieve but a walk being a constant fulfillment in daily life from the point of view of God's provision.

There may be a falsified experience

Sadly, the filling of the Holy Spirit has sometimes been treated as if it were an emotional experience achieved after a fervent and sometimes very sincere search. The brothers are defined as having or not having said "baptism". So others do the struggle and if they do not achieve that experience, they get frustrated. The worst is that some achieve a psychic "so-called baptism"; it is not the fullness of the Spirit that always results in humility, love and helpful spirit, the true marks of the Spirit.

I remember years ago that a new Baptist charismatic leader came to the Texas Valley who told us he could teach us to speak in tongues: "Leave the mind blank; relax the tongue; try to make some sounds. At first you can achieve nothing, but if you continue, you will be able to speak in tongues. "In no way did the Spirit fall in the house of Cornelius. On another occasion in Canada I dealt with a sister who was looking for the experience. A so-called evangelist put his hands on it, but it turned out to be a diabolical experience. God then delivered it. I am an eyewitness to these cases.

A review of how to achieve this glorious walk

It has been said that: "A text out of its context is a pretext." That is why the context of our text (Ephesians 5:18), describes the true walk in its classic definition: "Even when we are dead in sin, we He gave life together with Christ (by grace you are saved) and together with him raised us up, and also made us sit in the heavenly places with Jesus Christ? "(Ephesians 2: 5-10). It comes being the work of God himself from the regeneration by the Spirit. It is the new permanent position (justification) that by faith arrives at a new pudoroso / ethical condition of holiness (sanctification).

Romans 6-8 defines more broadly the same walk made by God himself on the Cross; He did it merienda. "Knowing (knowing) this, that our old man was co-crucified with him, so that the body of sin may be destroyed (canceled, canceled), so that we no longer serve sin" (Romans 6: 6). now corresponds to us: "So also consider yourselves (cousin) dead to sin (the Adamic nature), but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

On this basis set by Christ what next touches us in faith is not to let sin reign, nor be presented our members to sin. It turns out that "sin shall not rule over you" (Romans 6: 11-14). Such is the daily walk that is defined as being filled with the Spirit. If we believe, the Spirit does the work that belongs to him alone. He is faithful.

A word of caution

God is sovereign in times of great revival as in that of Wesley and Whitfield; It may have allowed extraordinary experiences to our way of thinking. It is better to never try to duplicate them. We let history give evidence of holiness that is or is not long term.

In Wales in 2005 there was a true movement of the Spirit that spread to Africa and India. God manifested greatly; Don Evan Roberts was the man God used. The motto that resonated was: Obey the Spirit. It started well, but the limits and authority of the Word were not taken into account; the devil soon falsified the motto by sending false and evil signals. The revival was distracted.

God raised a very Biblical teacher, Mrs. Jesse Penn-Lewis who with Evan Roberts wrote the great book, "War on the Saints" (War on the Saints). The strong expository emphasis was the purely biblical teaching of Romans 6-8, our death to sin, Satan's own territory and evil spirits. Our union with Christ frees us from his power and influence.

Personally this teaching brought a liberation in our house so many years ago. I have been treasuring those liberating truths and sharing them in all my teaching in the classroom and in books in both languages.

I want to recognize several authors who have greatly impacted my spiritual life. I owe them my gratitude and I recommend them to my readers: FB Meyer, English Baptist, Andrew Murray of South Africa, Mrs. Penn-Lewis, Watchman Nee, LE Maxwell, Founder of Prairie Bible Institute and Dr. FJ Huegel, outstanding missionary of Mexico .

The great value of the renewed human spirit in regeneration

Jesus himself said "What is born of the flesh is flesh; and what is born of the spirit spirit is (note the lowercase in the biblical text). Do not marvel that I said to you: It is necessary for you to be born again "(John 3: 6,7). Paul reaffirms the same: "He saved us, not for works of righteousness that we would have done, but for his mercy, for the washing of regeneration and for the renewal in the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3: 5).

A very wise teaching is that the Holy Spirit communicates only with our renewed spirit, not directly with our body, sometimes very subject to alien forces and unstable emotions. The Bible affirms it several times. "But the one who joins the Lord is a spirit with him" (1 Corinthians 6:17). "The Spirit Himself bears witness to our spirit that we are children of God" (Romans 8:18). In short, Paul says it: "For we are circumcised, we who serve God in spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus, having no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3: 3).

Jesus himself said: "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture says, from his inner self will flow rivers of living water." 'This he said of the Spirit that those who believed in him were to receive, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come, because Jesus had not been glorified' "(John 7: 38,39). John's commentary gives the historical perspective of the great Day of Pentecost and the inauguration of the church and the new outpouring of the Spirit.

Even in the true experiences that God gives to the spirit of the believer, there may be human emotions that overflow, but the permanent work of God is done in our spirit and not in the emotions that come and go. We must never look for a physical "thrill" or go looking for a new feeling.

The unclean spirits are always so close to deceive and capture the body. Demons have a great attraction to the body, which the Spirit of God does not have. We walk by faith based on the Word of God and always vigilant against the alien and even, the demonic.

The divine order of regenerated being is given to us in the doxology: "The same God of peace sanctifies you completely; and your whole being, spirit, soul and body, be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he who calls you, who also will do it "(1 Thessalonians 5: 23,24).

James gives us another perspective of walking in wisdom in Christ

In Proverbs 8: 22-31 wisdom is personified with an oblique reference to Christ who was to come. Since Christ dwelling in the believer, his wisdom must be our characteristic mark. Santiago puts in sharp contrast the two antagonistic sources of wisdom, the one below and the one above. "For this wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but earthly, animal (human), diabolical. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, kind (willing to yield to the other-in English the version of NKV), full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or hypocrisy "(James 3: 15.17). It is another inspired perspective that describes our walk in Christ.

The fullness of the Spirit is manifested in the joy that Christ gives Ephesians 5: 18-21

Through Ephesians Paul has taught through sharp contrasts (Ephesians 4: 17-32). In this way the truth of the error is clearly highlighted. Introduce the filling of the Holy Spirit by the negative: "Do not get drunk with wine, in which there is dissolution (debauchery); rather to be filled with the Holy Spirit "'If it is said differently: if there is debauchery or lack of control in drinking wine, in the opposite way, in being filled with the Spirit there is holy control, the discipline of holiness. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, temperance (self-control); against such things there is no law "(Galatians 5: 22,23).

Christ in the Upper Room in front of the Cross said: "These things have I spoken, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11). Nehemiah had said: " . . holy day is to our Lord; do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength "(Nehemiah 8:10). This is the inheritance of every believer who abides in Christ. The joy and peace of God govern life.

Bishop H. C.G. Moule, my favorite exegete, describes the filling of the Spirit with the "excess with calm" (calm excess); It seems to be contradictory, but it embraces both things-divine energy but under serene control. In that way extremes are avoided, but there is great power with pudoroso discretion. That's how Christ was when he walked on earth; He worked miracles, but always with the purpose of authenticating himself and glorifying his Father.

By means of four gerunds (a progressive and always increasing verbal action) it describes the walk full of the Spirit (as a grammar teacher for 60 years I appreciate the precision of thinking) The fullness results in a constant stream of the own building; "Speaking among yourselves with psalms, with hymns and spiritual songs, singing and praising the Lord in your hearts; always giving thanks for everything to God and Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. "

A genuine joy and deep gratitude arises as evidence of the victory that the believer lives. Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey thus left the disciples of Antioch of Pisidia: "they were full of joy and of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 13:52).

But in a very parallel passage, Paul adds "the word of Christ" accompanying the joy, so characteristic of the fullness of the Spirit? "And the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were also called in one body; and be grateful. The word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him "(Colossians 3: 15-17).

After all, the Word of Christ is the sword of the Spirit according to Ephesians 617. The filling of the Spirit is not an emotional experience but rather a deeper knowledge of the Word of God. How apt and precise are these descriptions of the walk of the Spirit-filled life-neither the Spirit nor the sword of the Word are ever divorced from each other!

Another accompanying truth – submission as evidence of biblical fullness Ephesians 5: 21

It really does not start a new paragraph. Follow with the same thinking. The fullness of the daily walk results in great joy, but it is seen in the way that the Spirit keeps unity, the believer submitting to one another in the fear of Christ. The text is clear and balances the previous joy: "Submit yourselves (Submitting) one to another in the fear of God (best of Christ). Pablo continues with another progressive present gerund that sometimes has the force of a mandate.

We do not associate joy with submission. On the contrary, it is very common to want to be in control, to assume the position that we have achieved in our opinion. In Latin American culture the infamous machismo round everywhere. The pride so prevalent among us does not want to give in to the other. Each one wants to defend his supposed terrain by giving his carnal damage everywhere.

Paul is faithful in rebuking the Corinthians: "Because you are still fleshly; Since there are jealousies, strife, and dissensions among you, are you not carnal, and do you walk like men? (1 Corinthians 3: 3) How sad the quarrels between Christians and even between the entire churches too! Pride destroys unity. The good will toward submission manifested in humility unites the brothers and covers a multitude of sins in the name of who came as the servant par excellence.

But the essence of humility is good and voluntary submission to one another in the fear of Christ. " . . Whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant, whoever wants to be first among you will be your servant; as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many "(Matthew 20: 26-28).

Even before his heavenly Father Jesus had said: "Most assuredly, I say to you: The Son can not do anything for himself, but what the Father sees doing; because everything the Father does, so does the Son "(John 5:19).

Jesus said regarding the Third Person of the Trinity: "But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, because he will not speak of his own account, but will speak whatever he hears" (John 16:13). ).

Thus the Trinity itself behaves towards itself; each one of good will yields to the other in recognition of the proper function that corresponds to him. How much more must we be submitting in all our relations! With the Triune God there is power, order, mutual love and supreme unity. Paul will emphasize these truths when dealing with the text that comes with marriage and home.

Gordon JohnsonAuthor: Gordon Johnson

is recognized in Latin America as a lecturer. He has served as a professor at the Rio Grande Bible Seminary, Texas since 1954, being president of the institution for many years as well. He has several degrees among which he received a Masters in Latin American Studies and a PhD in Missiology.

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