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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Does a Person Become Filled with the Spirit?

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Don Stewart

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The Bible commands the believer to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

The Bible does not give any set formula for being filled with the Holy Spirit. There is not a series of stages which a person must go through. Nor is there a need to wait for the filling of the Spirit. The filling is available to every believer.

Some have felt the need to wait or tarry for the Holy Spirit based upon a statement of Jesus:

Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49).

But this statement of Jesus was directed at His disciples. They were told to wait in Jerusalem until the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit would descend in a permanent way upon all believers. This was a once-and-for-all occurrence. Once this had happened, there was no need to wait to be filled with the Spirit.


How, then, does a person become filled with the Spirit? He must obey the things God has commanded of Him in the Bible. The key to being controlled by the Holy Spirit is obedience.

The Bible instructs the believer to seek to please God. When he turns his life over to God he places himself in a position to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. The believer then can find out what God requires of him by studying His Word. Once he understands what God wants him to do he can be filled with the Spirit by obeying Gods commandments. When we sin, the fellowship between God and us is broken. We need to confess our sins and yield to Him so we may again be filled with the Spirit.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

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