Infilling of the Holy Spirit: Unveiling Its Meaning for the Believer
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Infilling of the Holy Spirit: Unveiling Its Meaning for the Believer

In a nutshell, the article explores the concept of the infilling of the Holy Spirit in Christian life, emphasizing its significance as both a promise from Jesus and a continuous experience for believers.

It discusses how this spiritual empowerment leads to personal transformation, characterized by the fruits of the Spirit and spiritual gifts for ministry. The article also highlights the communal impact of the Holy Spirit’s infilling, fostering unity among believers and contributing to broader church growth and revival.

The term “infilling of the Holy Spirit” is a significant concept within Evangelical and Charismatic Christian circles. It carries with it the weight of our identity in Christ and our walk with God.

In essence, to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to allow our lives to be entirely led and empowered by the Spirit of God, instead of our human strength and wisdom. But what does this actually mean for us as believers in our day-to-day lives?

In today’s post, we are going to explore the theological underpinnings, scriptural evidence, and practical applications of the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

We’ll delve into how this profound experience shapes our spiritual vitality, ministry, and fellowship with God. As a fellow traveler on this journey of faith, I invite you to join me in understanding this essential aspect of our Christian walk.

Key Takeaways

  • The Promise of the Spirit: The infilling of the Holy Spirit is a fulfillment of a promise given by Jesus to His followers.
  • A Biblical Command: Being filled with the Spirit is not just a one-time event but a continuous experience for the believer.
  • Transformation of Life: The infilling leads to a transformed life, evident through the fruits of the Spirit.
  • Empowerment for Service: It equips the believer with spiritual gifts for ministry and service.
  • A Communal Experience: The infilling of the Holy Spirit often has implications for both personal and community edification.
Infilling of the holy spirit: unveiling its meaning for the believer

The Promise of the Spirit

The Foundation in Scripture

The infilling of the Holy Spirit is rooted in the promise Jesus gave His disciples. Before His ascension, Jesus said to them, “And 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 NKJV).

This promise is pivotal, shedding light on the expectation Jesus set for His followers: a life immersed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The Day of Pentecost

The initial fulfillment of this promise is vividly recorded in the second chapter of Acts. The day of Pentecost marked a turning point in the lives of the disciples. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4 NKJV).

This momentous event is not just historical but also instructive, illustrating what the infilling looks like in a tangible way.

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The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Believer

The New Testament repeatedly emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The Spirit is the Comforter, sent to guide us into all truth (John 16:13), and it is by the Spirit that our very bodies are classified as temples of the living God (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Understanding the role of the Holy Spirit is essential to grasping the full extent of the Christian life.

What is the Infilling of the Holy Spirit?

A Continuous Command

The Apostle Paul gives a clear directive in his letter to the Ephesians: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18 NKJV). The Greek term used here for “be filled” is in the present imperative tense, indicating an ongoing action.

This suggests that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is not intended to be a solitary event but a recurring, continuous experience in the life of the believer.

Distinguishing Between Indwelling and Infilling

It is crucial to distinguish between the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit, which occurs at the point of salvation, and the “infilling” of the Holy Spirit, which is an ongoing process.

All believers have the Holy Spirit residing within them; however, being filled with the Spirit implies yielding to His control and guidance on a daily, moment by moment basis.

The Manifestation of the Spirit’s Fullness

To be filled with the Spirit results in visible fruits. We see this in the life of Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, whose life bore witness through powerful signs and wonders (Acts 6:5, 8).

Similarly, believers today are expected to exhibit spiritual fruit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

The Transformation That Comes with Infilling

Spiritual Growth

The infilling of the Holy Spirit leads to spiritual growth. As we yield to the Spirit’s leading, we are sanctified and gradually become more like Christ. This process involves conviction, repentance, and the adopting of a new lifestyle aligned with God’s will.

Power Over Sin

“Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16 NKJV). Daily infilling of the Spirit grants the believer power to overcome sin and fleshly desires. As we live by the Spirit, we engage in a victorious battle against our sinful nature.

Empowerment for Ministry

Spiritual Gifts

One of the most compelling aspects of being filled with the Holy Spirit is the endowment of spiritual gifts. Paul tells us that to each one, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7). There’s diversity in these gifts, yet it is the same Spirit who works all of them in all people.

Boldness to Witness

The disciples were transformed from fearful followers into bold proclaimers of the gospel through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Peter, who once denied Christ, stood up on the day of Pentecost and declared the wonders of God, leading about three thousand souls to salvation (Acts 2:14-41).

This boldness is not reserved for the early church alone but is available to all who are filled with the Spirit.

Guidance in Service

As we serve in God’s kingdom, we need the Holy Spirit’s guidance to operate effectively. The Spirit-filled believer can be led to people and places where the gospel is needed most, and can discern the best ways to minister to others.

The Communal Aspect of Infilling

Building the Body of Christ

In the book of Ephesians, Paul paints a beautiful picture of a Spirit-filled community. He talks about speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, making melody in our hearts to the Lord, submitting to one another, and edifying the church (Ephesians 5:19-21).

The infilling of the individual believer contributes to the health and growth of the body of Christ at large.

Unity Among Believers

One remarkable outcome of the Holy Spirit’s work is unity among believers. The Spirit creates a bond of peace that transcends individual differences (Ephesians 4:3). When believers are filled with the Spirit, they are more inclined to work together harmoniously for the furtherance of God’s kingdom.

Revival and Awakening

Historical revivals have often been associated with a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. When God’s people collectively seek the infilling of the Spirit, the results can ripple outwards in waves of spiritual awakening that transform entire communities and nations.

How to Seek and Maintain the Infilling of the Holy Spirit

Purity of Heart

The Psalmist David knew the importance of purity before God when he said, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10 NKJV). Before we can be filled, we must confess and forsake our sins to present ourselves as clean vessels for the Holy Spirit to fill.

Prayer and Fasting

Prayer and fasting are often associated with seeking a deeper filling of the Holy Spirit. By setting aside our physical needs and earnestly praying for the Spirit’s fullness, we demonstrate our dependence on God and our desire for His work in our lives.

Obedience and Surrender

To be filled with the Spirit requires a life of obedience and surrender. As we align our will with God’s and obey His commandments, we open up our lives to the Spirit’s full control.

Regular Feeding on God’s Word

The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to transform us, convict us, and guide us. Therefore, regular immersion in Scripture aids in maintaining the infilling of the Holy Spirit, as we allow God’s truth to renew our mind and spirit.

Encounters and Testimonies of the Infilling

Personal Stories of Transformation

Throughout the centuries, countless believers have testified of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit’s infilling. These are stories marked by drastic life changes, deliverances, healings, and newfound purpose in God’s kingdom work.

The Impact on Church History

Movements such as the Azusa Street Revival and the Welsh Revival stand as historical testimonies to the impact of the Holy Spirit’s infilling on a large scale. They were times when the Spirit moved powerfully, resulting in widespread conversions and societal changes.

Conclusion: Living a Spirit-Filled Life

Living a Spirit-filled life is not optional for the serious Christian; it is the essence of Christian living. The infilling of the Holy Spirit is not just about personal spiritual experiences; it’s about empowering us to live out the Christian life with authenticity and power.

It’s about walking in step with the Spirit, bearing fruit that lasts, and making an impactful difference in our world for the kingdom of God.

As we’ve examined the meaning, significance, and impact of the Holy Spirit’s infilling, may we each aspire to be continually filled with the Spirit. It is my prayer and hope that we will not settle for a mediocre faith journey but will seek after the fullness of life that Jesus promised—a life brimming with the Holy Spirit.

May your walk with the Lord be enriched as you pursue the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and may you experience the beauty and power of life lived fully surrendered to Him.

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Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.