How do we practice being continually infilled by Holy Spirit?

Discussion in 'Pneumatology' started by Dachaser, Jan 7, 2017.

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  1. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Do we pray and talk to Him to keep empowering, enabling us to live as we should? And does abiding in Christ refer somehow to walking in the Spiit then?
  2. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Begin with the "means of grace." The primary means of grace is the Word of God, both written and preached. So if you want to be led by the Spirit, be attentive to the Word the Spirit has given and the preaching of it.

    Add to that the blessings we can expect when we attend to the sacraments (ordinances), which extend from the preached word. And although some Reformed theologians categorize it differently, I think of prayer as a means of grace as well. The Father has promised to give the Spirit to those who ask him (Luke 11:13).

    There are many disciplines that proceed from these things, like Christian fellowship (the Spirit's community) and Christian meditation (thinking on the Word) and repentance from that which is non-Spiritual. These are part of "walking in the Spirit."
  3. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Thank you for your reply. So the mans by which God applies His grace towards us are in the ordiances, church fellowship/worship/praying etc?
    Do you ever "ask" Him to empower you now to be a good witness, to know what to say to someone else?
  4. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I ask for help in what to say almost daily. But I spend most days writing Christian teaching materials, so that probably makes me more aware of my need for that specific sort of prayer than I otherwise would be. In general, I would do better if I prayed much, much more than I do.

    Spend time in the Bible and in prayer, and go to church. That sounds awfully old-fashioned, I know. But it's the Spirit's typical method for Christian growth. And to pray whenever one feels challenged or concerned is an excellent habit to develop. I wish I could lean it.
  5. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    If we look at the expression in Ephesians 5, the participles which follow the imperative to be filled with the Spirit can be understood as the means of carrying out the action, and these are all related to the communion of saints. The same applies in chapter 4 to the grieving of the Spirit, which comes in the context of being members one of another. Both seem to be drawing from the essential truth stated in 4:3 that the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace is something believers must endeavour to keep. In this light it can be seen that the infilling is of a corporate rather than an individualistic nature, and it is carried on by means of speaking to one another, singing together with a gracious melody, giving thanks, and submitting to one another.
  6. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    I must depend on Christ in my daily walk. I am a "little" bi-polar, on very few meds, and I just can't make it on my own. This is a blessing. I find I need at least two hours of Bible and prayer each early AM. Two-and-a-half to three hours if I have a tough day ahead, or had one the day before.
  7. Daniel M.

    Daniel M. Puritan Board Freshman

    Praise God, Ed. That is deeply encouraging to me. I've battled depression, anxiety and ADHD since I was 20 years old (2011).

    May the Lord grant me the same diligence and reliance upon Him through prayer!!!
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Are you stating here that Paul was addressing that to be done ehen the church gathers together? As My understanding, and from what I was taught since saved, has been that Paul in his command to be continually refilled in th Spirit refers to us on an individual basis?
  9. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    It is not necessarily limited to when the church gathers together, although that would be the prime time for expressing the glorious blessing of the Spirit which God has poured out on the church; and certainly the reference to singing has a particular application to the church coming together; but the other directions have a relevance in every connection where believers are dwelling together in mutual society with one another, and the next section looks directly at familial relationships. I would affirm that the exegetical evidence is against taking the infilling of the Spirit individualistically, although there is an individual responsibility included within the imperative. As noted, the previous uses of "Spirit" are speaking to the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and healthy relationships within the body of Christ, and the following imperatives are directed to believers in social context. There are also some considerations in the Greek, but it will be difficult to explain those where the Greek is an unknown tongue.
  10. Matthew Aaron

    Matthew Aaron Puritan Board Freshman

    I'd also like to thank you! Being a "little" bi-polar myself, I can understand where you are coming from. I have always believed that it was God's grace that I'm bi-polar, but I'm already getting off topic.

    As to the OP, I find myself continually praying for the Spirit to give me strength throughout the day. I often find it when I'm listening to/reading the Word or listening to a preacher. Sometimes I am strengthened through prayer itself. Whatever the case, as Ed said, I would never make it on my own.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  11. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Interesting! So the Apostle is grounding the infilling of the Spirit to be part of the community of faith that we are part of, in e local church, Body of Christ in families, so basically, He is ehortng us to make sur ethe Holy Spirit is in the center of all of our associations?
    And from the Greek construcion, why would he not be applying that also towards us being daily refilled by Him in our walk?
  12. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Do you talk directly to Him, such as "Holy Spirit, Help me now to witness?" Know that we are to pray to the Father, in the name of Jesus, is it OK to talk to Him also?
  13. Matthew Aaron

    Matthew Aaron Puritan Board Freshman

    It was rather late for me when I posted this. I believe I misspoke.

    I pray to the Father for strength/courage/words to speak in Jesus name. I wouldn't directly address the Holy Spirit, as that would be unorthodox, at best. I should have said something along the lines that it is the Father to whom I pray, in Jesus name, not directly to the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that will work in me to give the strength, et al.
  14. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    The most common pattern in Scripture is to pray to the Father, by the authority we have in the Son, with the help of the Holy Spirit. But there are examples of praying to Jesus also: Stephen in Acts 7:59, Ananias in Acts 9:10-16, Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:22.

    So it seems prayer is not exclusively directed at the Father. And since the Spirit is God, and a person, praying to the Spirit would seem appropriate. When we understand the Spirit as a person who is with us, working in us and helping us, it makes sense that we might sometimes speak to him. And to say we may not interact this way with our constant Counselor and Comforter seems to relegate his ministry to the equivalent of an impersonal force, when in fact his work is the personal care of someone who knows us and is our eternal companion.

    Now, I see no reason to think a prayer directed to the Spirit is any more helpful than a prayer directed to the Father. Both are God; both have the power and the desire to respond for our good. So we would not want to start thinking of prayer directly to the Spirit as a preferred option in some situations that will do a better job of drawing out blessings from God. This can be where our minds want to go, and then we start using prayer formulas superstitiously, as if by certain forms we can make God do what we want. I say, watch out for this. But otherwise, prayer to the Spirit is allowed (though not the most common form) and may make one more aware of his personal presence.
  15. Grafted In

    Grafted In Puritan Board Freshman

    As to the question of how to be filled with the Spirit, I believe that the fullest explanation of it comes from Paul in Ephesians. Prior to exhorting the brethren to be filled with the Spirit in Ephesians 5:18, he has already spoken about believers being "filled with all the fullness of God" in 3:19, which is the result of God granting, "according to the riches of His glory, [believers] to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ might dwell in [their] hearts through faith" (3:16-17). The work of the Spirit, causing Christ to dwell in their hearts through faith, is the work of believers being "able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height--to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge" (3:18-19).

    This filling of the Spirit and having Christ dwell in our hearts by faith, as we are given a believing comprehension of Christ's wide, long, deep and high love, Paul also reveals, is shown to be accomplished by the Spirit as God's called messenger preaches "the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ" (3:8ff.). It is the heavenliness of this ministry given to Paul that, as he contemplates it, causes him to pray for the saints to experience the power of God and work of the Spirit through preaching (see 3:14, "for this reason I bow my knee to the Father").

    In Ephesians at least, being filled with the Spirit happens as the Spirit powerfully works through the preaching of the the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ, causing Jesus to dwell in a believers heart through faith. And it is worth pointing out, as we can see here in Ephesians 3, it is a Trinitarian work. Truly glorious!
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