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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Holy Spirit and Us

Don Stewart :: What Are the Results of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit?

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What Are the Results of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit and Us – Question 15

Once a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, what are the results in a person’s life? In other words, what outward changes do we see which indicates one has been filled with the Holy Spirit? Scripture lists a number of things that occur. They include the following.

Singing, Giving Thanks, and Submitting to One Another Are the Results of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

Paul wrote to the Ephesians concerning the results of being filled with the Holy Spirit. He explained what will take place.

Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:18-21 NRSV).

He mentions three specific things in connection with being filled with the Holy Spirit. They are as follows.

First, those who are filled with the Spirit will sing songs to the Lord. These include the psalms, hymns, and spiritual song. Believers make music in their hearts when they are filled with God’s Spirit.

Second, there is thankfulness in our hearts. When one is filled, or controlled by the Holy Spirit, there will be a thankful heart. Elsewhere Paul wrote.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV).

We are to give thanks in all things. Third, Paul also said that the filling of the Holy Spirit results in the mutual submission of believers to one another. We are concerned with the needs of others. Elsewhere he stressed this truth when he wrote.

Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others (Philippians 2:4 TNIV).

We are to be concerned with others and not merely ourselves.

These are three results of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Filling of the Spirit Is Always Connected with the Preaching of the Gospel in the Book of Acts

We find out something else important about the filling of the Holy Spirit. It is associated with the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, in the Book of Acts, the filling of the Holy Spirit is always connected with the preaching of the gospel.

On the Day of Pentecost, we read that the disciples of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit. Scripture says.

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability (Acts 2:4 NRSV).

Peter then preached the message of the risen Christ to the multitude. The filling is thus linked to the presentation of the gospel.

Simon Peter Was Filled with the Spirit

Later, when Peter was again filled with the Holy Spirit he proclaimed the message of Jesus before the religious rulers. We read.

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders” (Acts 4:8 ESV).

Again, he preached Jesus

The Believers Preached God’s Word with Boldness

When the early believers were filled with the Holy Spirit they preached the word of God with boldness. The Book of Acts says.

After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they preached God’s message with boldness (Acts 4:31 NLT).

Again, the filling of the Spirit is linked with the proclamation of the gospel.

Saul of Tarsus Preached the Gospel When Filled

When Saul of Tarsus was filled with the Spirit he immediately started to proclaim the message of Jesus. The Book of Acts tells us what occurred. It says.

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God (Acts 9:17-20 NIV).

Saul became the Apostle Paul. Later we find Paul being filled with the Spirit while in the midst of proclaiming the gospel to a man named Sergius Paulus. The Book of Acts records the event as follows.

But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Saul and Barnabas said. He was trying to turn the governor away from the Christian faith. Then Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked the sorcerer in the eye and said, “You son of the Devil, full of every sort of trickery and villainy, enemy of all that is good, will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? And now the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be stricken awhile with blindness.” Instantly mist and darkness fell upon him, and he began wandering around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him. When the governor saw what had happened, he believed and was astonished at what he learned about the Lord (Acts 13:8-12 NLT).

Paul had been proclaiming the message of Jesus to the proconsul when this false prophet attempted to interrupt. Paul then commanded this person be blind for a time. This caused the proconsul to place his faith in Jesus.

Therefore, we again find the close connection between being filled with the Holy Spirit and proclaiming the good news about Jesus.

People Believed in Christ from Those Who Were Full of the Holy Spirit

We are told that Barnabas, the traveling companion of Paul, was full of the Holy Spirit. The Book of Acts records the following.

For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord (Acts 11:24 ESV).

He brought large numbers of people to personal faith in Jesus Christ. This is another example of the Book of Acts connecting the filling with the Holy Spirit with preaching the message of the good news of Jesus Christ.

The Filling of the Holy Spirit Gave Believers Wisdom

There is another truth which we learn about the filling of the Holy Spirit; the granting of God’s wisdom. Those who were filled with the Holy Spirit were given wisdom to do the Lord’s business. The Book of Acts records the need to find men to run the business side of the church. The requirement was that the person be full of the Holy Spirit. We read the following.

Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith (Acts 6:3-7 ESV).

As was true in the other instances of the Book of Acts, the filling of the Holy Spirit is connected with the preaching of the Word of God and the fulfilling of the work of the ministry.

As He Was Dying Stephen Saw the Lord Jesus When He Was Filled with the Spirit

As the first martyr of the Christian church, Stephen, was being stoned to death he was filled with the Spirit. He was able to see the risen Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

We read in the Book of Acts of this taking place.

But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55 ESV).

This is a further example of how the Book of Acts connects the filling of the Spirit with the proclamation of the message of Jesus. Stephen was martyred for preaching the message that Jesus was the Messiah.

Some Spoke Forth Truth That Became Scripture

There are two instances where people who were filled with the Spirit spoke words from the Lord that became divinely inspired Scripture. The following is said about Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” (Luke 1:41-45 NIV).

Her words, which came from the Holy Spirit, testified to the child in which Mary was to give birth. She called Mary, “the mother of my Lord.” In doing so, she was recognizing the Lordship of Jesus.

Zechariah Spoke Forth Words Which Became Scripture

Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, also spoke forth words that became Scripture. We read the following in the Gospel of Luke.

And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:67-79 ESV).

Zechariah acknowledged that the child of Mary was to redeem the nation Israel. He would fulfill the promises that a Savior would come from the line of David. The Messiah would save the people of Israel from their enemies.

He also predicted about the ministry of his son, John.

John the Baptist Was Filled with the Spirit from Conception

We are also told that John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, was filled with the Holy Spirit from the time that he was conceived. The Bible says.

For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:15 NRSV).

While we are told that John would be filled with the spirit, we are not told of any specific instance in his life when the Holy Spirit filled him. We do know that the people recognized the hand of the Lord was upon him from his birth. The Bible says.

And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him (Luke 1:66 NKJV).

They realized that John was a special child.

We are also told that John the Baptist grew strong in the Spirit.

And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel (Luke 1:80 ESV).

The Spirit of God was indeed upon him.

Conclusion on the Results of Being Filled with the Spirit

Therefore, from a study of the Scripture we find that there are a number of results of being filled with the Spirit. Knowing this should cause us to look for these things in our own lives.

Summary – Question 15
What Are the Results of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit?

The Bible commands believers in Jesus Christ to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Scripture also speaks of some of the results which take place when this occurs. They include the following.

In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul said that being filled with the Holy Spirit results in singing songs to the Lord, giving thanks to Him, and submitting to one another.

Thus, when we are filled, or controlled, by the Spirit of God we should find ourselves singing to the Lord, displaying a thankful heart for what He has done for us, and looking to the needs of our fellow believers. These are some of the obvious results of being filled with the Spirit.

We also discover that being filled with the Holy Spirit is directly linked to the presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, on every occasion in the Book of Acts where people are said to be filled with the Holy Spirit there is the preaching of the good news about Jesus. This includes the specific examples of Simon Peter, the first martyr Stephen, and Saul of Tarsus. The filling of the Spirit in each of their lives is associated with the preaching of the gospel.

Consequently, among other things, the filling of the Spirit is closely linked with the preaching of the gospel. Thus, when we are filled with God’s Spirit, then we too will tell others the good news about Jesus.

We also find that the filling of the Holy Spirit grants wisdom to believers to properly perform the duties of the ministry. Therefore, the filling, or controlling of the Spirit, causes believers to obey the commands of Jesus. The Bible further says that when Zechariah and Elisabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, were filled with the Holy Spirit, they spoke forth truth that became part of Scripture. This demonstrates that the filling of the Holy Spirit allows the person to speak forth God’s words to others.

Thus, the filling of the Spirit will indeed have visible results in the lives of believers. These results will be continual.

How Does a Person Become Filled with the Holy Spirit? ← Prior Section
Is Speaking in Tongues Always a Result of Being Filled with the Spirit? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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