The Church of God is going to celebrate the annual Holy Day of Pentecost on Sunday, June 8, 2008, remembering the unique event when God poured out the Holy Spirit on the New Testament Church in 31 A.D. (Acts 2:33). When Christ’s disciples received the Holy Spirit on that day, observers mocked, thinking that they had become “full of new wine” (Acts 2:13). The Bible tells us, however, that they were “all FILLED with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). And so must we be today–on a continuous basis.
Before our conversion, the following description of the carnal human mind applied to us as well: We were “filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness…” (Romans 1:29).
But now, with the mind of Christ in us (Philippians 2:5; 1 Corinthians 2:16), we must be quite different. We are now to be “FULL of goodness, FILLED with all [Godly] knowledge” (Romans 15:14) and “FULL of mercy and good works” (James 3:17). In other words, we must be full of God’s Holy Spirit.
When Jesus was here on earth, He was “FILLED with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1), and therefore, He was “FULL of grace and truth” (John 1:14). We read about some of His disciples being described in similar ways. In Acts 6:3, Peter asked the brethren to “seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, FULL of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.” One of the men chosen was “Stephen, a man FULL of faith and the Holy Spirit” (verse 5). He is also described as a man “FULL of faith and power” (verse 8)–characteristics which are all part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Timothy 1:7). Even at the time when he was facing certain death, Stephen was “FULL of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7:55). Likewise, Barnabas was “a good man, FULL of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24).
This does not happen automatically. We can become and continue to be full of God’s Spirit, but it takes effort. We must persistently and daily strive to become filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us that our “inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16)–through a continuous and daily “supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:19). We need to draw near to God daily, and then God will draw near to us (James 4:8), by granting us His Holy Spirit ABUNDANTLY (Titus 3:4-6).
How often do the affairs and cares of this world, the deceit of riches and the pleasures of life take top priority over our relationship with God? We must be careful that we do not–slowly but surely–grieve and, in time, even quench the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). In the famous parable of the five wise and the five foolish virgins, ALL of them had begun to slumber and sleep (Matthew 25:5). When the “midnight cry” was heard, announcing that Jesus Christ, the bridegroom, was coming, they all trimmed their lamps (verse 7). Unfortunately, the five foolish virgins had to realize that their lamps were going out because they did not have enough supply of oil (Matthew 25:8). They were not filled with or full of the Holy Spirit.
None of us should want to be in that category when the day of Christ’s return arrives. The time to prepare is now. 2 John 8 encourages us to look to ourselves, “that we do not lose the things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.” Being filled with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis, our reward will be full, and “an entrance will be supplied to [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11).