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Thursday, November 7, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 23

"Out of His Belly Shall Flow Rivers of Living Water" (continued)

"Sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise"

Now, most of us may wonder, and even despair at times, at the seeming impossibility of our being "filled up to the measure of all the Fullness of God." But God in His mercy has given us the Holy Spirit, and it is the work of the Holy Spirit "to fill us up to the measure of all the fullness of God." In Ephesians 1:13 and 14 we are told that, "after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation - having also believed  [in Christ], you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of Promise, Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory".

Thus, when we believe in Christ, when we are saved by His grace, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. This seal not only assures us of our full redemption in Christ, but this seal is also God's pledge of our inheritance in Christ - and as His Church, our inheritance is to become the fullness of Christ. The Word says that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise; let us remember, the Holy Spirit of Promise, which is the Eternal Promise of the Father to the Son, was given upon the Day of Pentecost after Christ was glorified. The Holy Spirit of Promise was given in order that the Church be empowered to become the Fullness of Him. Therefore, God has given the Holy Spirit to each one of us as His seal, His pledge, His guarantee that we each have our portion in the Fullness of Christ.

John 1:12-16 tells us that each believer in Christ is given a portion, a measure, of the Fullness of Christ: "And of His Fullness, out of His Fullness, have all we received, and grace for grace" - grace in place of grace; new grace, continuous, and unintermitted. Ever fresh grace according to the need. These glorious words indicate that through God's ever-increasing grace, our measure of Christ's fullness, along with all the other measures of His fullness, will be forever increasing; for God's fullness in Christ is limitless - boundless - endless - fathomless - exhaustless - measureless.

So each of us receive a measure of His fullness when we are saved by His grace; and it is the Holy Spirit's work to bring forth the increase of each and every measure, in each and every Christian, "unto all the fullness of God." This is the preeminent meaning of our Lord giving each one of us this command: "... be filled in the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18) - be being filled, be filled up, be fulfilled, be made complete in the Spirit.

There is a sense of urgency in this command of the Lord, and this urgency emphasizes that being filled in the Spirit is essential if we are to fulfill our part in the Full Purpose of God in Christ. So, beloved, since the Lord commands us to "be filled in the Spirit," then we must willingly commit our life to His command. We must willingly choose to allow the Holy Spirit to do His Work in our lives. In Ephesians 5:18, the Holy Spirit's use of the word "filled" (pleroo in the Greek) is by Divine Design; for the word "filled" is from a family of words which, especially in Ephesians, relate to Christ's fullness.

"That in the dispensation of the fullness (pleroma) of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him" (Ephesians 1:10).

"And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the fullness (pleroma) of Him that filleth (pleroo) all in all" (Ephesians 1:22, 23).

"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled (pleroo) with all the fullness (pleroma) of God" (Ephesians 3:19).

"He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill (pleroo) all things" (Ephesians 4:10)

Till we come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness (pleroma) of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).

"... but be filled (pleroo) in the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18).

Fullness. The Fullness of God! The Fullness of Christ! The Fullness of God in Christ! The Fullness of God in Christ in the Church, the Body of Christ! Oh, beloved, the Fullness of God in Christ in the Church has always been God's Desire, God's Will, God's Determined Purpose.

Therefore, the Fullness of Christ is the purpose and goal of the Holy Spirit as He works in each of our lives. So we are commanded to "be filled in the Spirit." We are commanded to be immersed into the Realm of the Holy Spirit where He is always bringing forth a greater increase of Christ's Fullness.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 24 - "I Was In the Spirit ... And Heard")

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