On Sunday mornings at WCC we’re in the middle of our Marriage & Family Series looking at the instruction for husbands, wives and children in Ephesians 5:22 to 6:4. All the instruction flows from the command in Ephesians 5:18 to, “Not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” Considering the importance of this verse I wanted to spend a few weeks talking about what it means…and doesn’t mean…
- In Part I we saw that it’s not referring to the Holy Spirit indwelling us.
- In Part II we saw that it doesn’t mean speaking in tongues.
- In Part III we saw that it doesn’t refer to “being baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
- In Part IV we saw that it doesn’t mean experiencing something emotionally.
- In Part V we started discussing what it does mean: it means exhibiting godly speech.
Now we’ll continue discussing what else it means to be “filled with the Spirit”: it means producing the fruit of the Spirit and not producing the works of the flesh.
Think for a moment about the word fruit: it refers to something produced. We call apples and oranges fruit, because they’re produced from trees. We call children “fruit of the womb,” because they’re produced from pregnancy. If you work hard for something, it’s called the “fruit of your labor” because it’s produced from your effort. When we talk about the fruit of the Spirit, we’re talking about what the Holy Spirit produces in our lives; therefore, people who are truly filled with the Spirit should produce an abundance of the fruit of the Spirit…
Galatians 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
If you meet people who say they’re filled with the Spirit, their lives should be filled with these fruit.
Conversely, the flesh is the opposite of the Spirit…
Galatians 5:16-17 Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another.
If you’re walking in the Spirit you’re not walking in the flesh, and if you’re walking in the flesh, you’re not walking in the Spirit; therefore, being filled with the Spirit also means not exhibiting – or not producing – the works of the flesh. If you meet people who say they’re filled with the Spirit, their lives should be largely absent of the works of the flesh…
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.
The opposite of exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit is exhibiting the works of the flesh. If you want to know when you’re filled with the Spirit it’s when you’re producing the fruit of the Spirit, and if you want to know when you’re not filled with the Spirit, it’s when you’re producing the works of the flesh.