Be a spirit-filled christian

In an earlier article to mark Pentecost Sunday, we posed the question: Do you know the Holy Spirit? “Do you know the Holy Spirit as God and as your paraclete (parakletos) divine? – regenerated by Him; infilled by Him to live a victorious and effective Christian life; gifted by Him for service to the church and society?”


In this article, we raise a follow-up question: “Are you being filled with the Holy Spirit?” What is at stake is the issue of victorious Christian living. 

Why is it that some Christians grow in Christ to become mature, well-balanced, fruitful Christians, while others spend most of their lives defeated, frustrated and unproductive?

The Apostle Paul instructs Christians as follows:

Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.  

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:17-21 NIV).

We are not to get drunk with alcohol: akpeteshie, palm wine, pito, gin, whisky, etc. The medical authorities tell us that getting drunk or drinking too much on a single occasion or over time can lead to very serious health problems: affecting brain function, damage to the heart including stroke and high blood pressure, liver and pancreas diseases, and even increase the risk of developing certain cancers. 

When pregnant women drink alcohol, it is the developing foetus within that suffers the most and this may lead to physical deformation of the baby and affect its proper mental functioning. 

Matthew Henry laments, “drunkenness is a sin that never goes alone, but carries men into other evils”.

We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit and continue being filled in the Holy Spirit.

When we experience new life in Christ, it must lead to a new lifestyle; a different lifestyle (Ephesians 4:16-31). New life must show in a person’s behaviour. 

Dr John Stott comments on Ephesians 5:18-21: "Paul has already told his readers that they have been 'sealed' with the Holy Spirit, and that they must not 'grieve' the Holy Spirit (1:13; 4:30). 

Now he instructs them, ‘be filled with the Spirit’. ‘Be filled’, is not a proposal, but an authoritative command. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is obligatory not optional. All of us believers are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. All of us are to be Spirit-filled Christians. In fact, we are to go on being filled with the Holy Spirit”.

Dr John Stott adds that there is no greater secret of consecration and holy living than the infilling with the Holy Spirit, whose very nature and name are Holy. 

If you are regenerated or born again through the agency of the Holy Spirit and you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will definitely have God-given capacity to live a victorious, holy, fruitful Christian life. 

As the Ghanaian adage goes, “ckctc énwo anoma” (a crab does not give birth to a bird). 

The Holy Spirit-filled person is under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul then lists four benefits that result from being filled with the Holy Spirit:

• Speaking: addressing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (teach and counsel one another with all the wisdom the Holy Spirit gives you – Colossians 3:16). Spirit-filled people promote genuine godly fellowship and building up the faith of the community of believers.

• Singing: making melody to the Lord in music, worshipping the Lord with all your heart. Spirit-filled Christians engage in true worship. They are enabled to truly worship the living God.

• Giving thanks continually to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The grumbling spirit is not compatible with the Holy Spirit. Spirit-filled people are grateful people, to God and others; they are effective praying men and women.


• Submitting one to another: Spirit-filled believers live in such a way as to maintain the unity of believers in the church and promote order and harmony in the home.

Does your Christian life show these four outcomes of the Spirit-filled life and in increasing measure? 

We are to continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to live a sustained, victorious and effective Christian life and service.


(The author is a Leadership Development and Cross-cultural Ministries Consultant, an international conference speaker and formerly General Director / CEO of Scripture Union Ghana. 


Email:  [email protected] / [email protected] )

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