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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

Filled with the Holy Spirit

Without the filling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, how could the apostles have faced the superhuman task ahead? They needed supernatural power for their truceless warfare against the devil and hell (Luke 24:29; Ephesians 6:10–18).

To be filled with the Spirit means simply that the Christian voluntarily surrenders life and will to the Spirit. Through faith, the believer’s personality is permeated, mastered, and controlled by the Spirit. The meaning of filled is not to “pour into a passive container” but to “take possession of the mind.” That’s the meaning found in Luke 5:26: “They were filled with awe.” When we invite the Spirit to fill us, the Spirit’s power grips our lives with this kind of strength and passion.

To be filled with the Spirit is to be

The Christian leader’s mind, emotions, will, and physical strength all become available for the Spirit to guide and use. Under the Spirit’s control, natural gifts of leadership are lifted to their highest power, sanctified for holy purpose. Through the work of the now ungrieved and unhindered Spirit, all the fruits of the Spirit start to grow in the leader’s life. His witness is more winsome, service more steady, and testimony more powerful. All real Christian service is but the expression of Spirit power through believers yielded to Him (John 7:37–39).

J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership, Spiritual Discipleship, Spiritual Maturity Set of 3 Sanders Books (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2017).

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