Be Filled with the Spirit

Recently I heard someone describe some religious services he had attended. He told me of the bizarre and chaotic assemblies in those churches in which the churchgoers seemed almost out of control. Those caught up in this behavior would attribute their actions to being filled with the Holy Spirit. But are these outbursts the result of the Spirit’s influence, or are they an overexcited, emotional release on the part of these people?

Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus and said, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The contrast is made between being filled with the Spirit and being intoxicated. Both being drunk with wine and being filled with the Spirit will affect ones behavior. So how does being filled with the Spirit affect us? Does it result in spontaneous, uncontrollable action? Let us notice the context.
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What is the Bible?

[This article was written by Tim Haile.]

Though this fact is ignored by some and denied by others, the Bible is the word of God. Being such, it is Truth (John 17:17). Those who are honest cannot deny the indisputable evidence in favor of the Bible’s claim of divine authorship. The Bible is the only book known to mankind that was written by forty different men while having only one author: The Bible claims to be authored by God. Proof of this single authorship is seen in the fact that the Bible really contains only one purpose and plan, and is the development of one scheme of redemption. We are redeemed by the blood of Christ (Revelation 5:9), but the Lamb of God is also identified as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” and the “Root of David” (Revelation 5:5). Thus, traces of the scheme of redemption can be found throughout the Bible. In fact, Revelation 13:8 identifies Jesus as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
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A Famine in the Land

Drought

How much importance do we place in the word of God? Do we appreciate the seriousness of our responsibility to know God’s word? God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). There are many passages we can read to show the importance of knowing God’s word. In this article we will notice one such passage that shows the importance of God’s word and the results of being without it.

‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord God, ‘when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and from the north even to the east; they will go to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. In that day the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint from thirst. As for those who swear by the guilt of Samaria, who say, “As your god lives, O Dan,” and, “As the way of Beersheba lives,” they will fall and not rise again’” (Amos 8:11-14).

This passage begins with a parallel between the word of God and food in order to make the point that His word sustains us in our spiritual life in the same way that food sustains us in our physical life. This comparison is also made in the New Testament when the word of God is referred to as “milk” and “solid food,” or “meat” (1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:12). Those passages teach that the word of God is designed to cause us to grow and mature as Christians. Other passages also show the importance of the word of God. Without the words of Christ, we cannot obtain eternal life (John 6:68). Without the gospel, we cannot be saved (Romans 1:16). In the same way that food nourishes us physically, God’s word nourishes us spiritually.
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They Think It Strange

The Christian life is different from the life of one in the world. Paul told the Christians in Rome: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). While Paul was giving his defense before Agrippa, he used that opportunity to try and “persuade” the king “to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28). The statement by Agrippa showed that he realized that Paul was trying to convince him to become a Christian. The very fact that he had to be persuaded to become a Christian shows that living as a Christian requires one to be different from the world. In writing to Christians, Peter said that the ones who knew them before they were Christians would “think it strange” that they do not live in the same manner that they lived before (1 Peter 4:4). Why would they think it strange? What is it about the Christian life that is different from the world? We will notice a few points from the context surrounding 1 Peter 4:4.
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Great Plainness of Speech

2 Corinthians 3:12

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12, KJV).

Paul told the Corinthians that he deliberately made his words and his message clear and understandable in his work as a minister of the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6). The new covenant Paul referred to is the gospel. He used “great plainness” as he preached. Why use such plainness? It is because of the hope we have under the new covenant. Those who obey the gospel have the hope of heaven because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. But why is “great plainness” necessary in preaching the gospel? Let us notice a few reasons.
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