Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 54 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; is it an experience? 2Co 3:18.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 54 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; is it an experience? 2CO 3:18.


Announcements / opening prayer:  



EPH 5:15 Therefore be [take heed or discern] careful [carefully, accurately] how you walk [how you conduct yourself, how you order your behavior], not as unwise men, but as wise,


EPH 5:16 making the most of your time [buy up the time for yourself], because the days are evil [poneros: evil in active opposition to good].


EPH 5:17 So then do not be foolish [without reason, senseless, or rash], but understand [bring together] what the will of the Lord is.


EPH 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,


EPH 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;


This is speaking with joy, thanksgiving, and love to one another as opposed to complaining, gossip, maligning, self-pity, etc.


EPH 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;


EPH 5:21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.


The verb form in verse 18 is present passive imperative. The passive command could be translated "be being kept filled with the Spirit" [Chafer]; or "be constantly being filled with the Spirit" [Wuest]; or "keep being filled" [Walvoord].


It is the will of God that the Spirit constantly minister to the believer and that the believer let Him [passive].


The divine resources for a moment by moment triumph in Christ are limitless; but the utter need of the helpless creature never ceases.


It is important to note that the effect of strong drink is pitted against the Spirit filled life.


[Chafer] As strong drink stimulates the physical forces and men are prone to turn to it for help over the difficult places, so the child of God, facing an impossible responsibility of a heavenly walk and service, is directed to the Spirit as the source of all sufficiency. Every moment in a spiritual life is one of unmeasured need and super-human demands, and the supply of enabling power and grace must be as constantly received and employed.


JER 16:19

O Lord, my strength and my stronghold,

And my refuge in the day of distress,


[Walvoord] The contrast with the state of intoxication mentioned in the verse is obvious. Instead of being constantly in a state of being drunk with wine, the entire faculties of the body being subject to its power and influence, the Christian should be constantly filled with the Spirit.


No believer has more of the Spirit than another believer, it is rather a difference of filling or not filling. To be filled is not the problem of getting more of the Spirit; it is rather the Spirit filling us more often.


A spiritual person, then, is one who experiences the divine purpose and plan in his daily life through the power of the indwelling Spirit. The character of that life will be the out-lived Christ. The cause of that life will be the unhindered indwelling Spirit.


EPH 5:21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.


Hupotasso means to arrange under or to make oneself subject to.


As we are otherwise to be filled, otherwise to sing and rejoice, so also we are otherwise to behave — not blustering nor letting our voices rise in selfish self-proclamations such as most men do, — but subject to one another.


The next question we face: Is the filling of the Spirit characterized by a certain experience?  


The filling of the Spirit cannot be characterized as any one experience. Much error has been done to doctrines when believers seek truths in experiences apart from the teaching of the scriptures.


No experience could ever be true, or a complete representation of the full purpose of God for every Christian, and if it were, nothing short of the infinite wisdom of God could formulate its exact statement.


If spirituality was based on any one particular experience then it wouldn’t be of faith.


Apart from Bible instruction many have attempted to account for experience and have coined terms and phrases contributing to doctrines that are not Biblical and are therefore invariably faulty as any of the conclusions of a finite mind when attempting to deal with the divine realities.


Experiences that align themselves with Biblical truths can be counted on by the believer and will give him great joy and peace when he recognizes them in his life. If they lead him to formulate some doctrine that is not of the scripture than he has dealt with the experiences in a dangerous way. However, the spiritual man will experience the love of God, the peace of God, the joy of God, the gentleness of God, the goodness of God, the faithfulness of God, the kindness of God, the holiness of God both to him and through him and he will rejoice with such infinite wonders. Those experiences are to him and for him alone to enjoy. To other believers these experiences will come but in their own way. No doubt there will be many similarities, but to each believer is a very personal relationship with God that will not be mimicked in any other believer.


An unlimited field lies before us when we are told that we may be changed from glory to glory.


2CO 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.


2CO 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.


How this transformation comes about must be gained from the scripture only. We see immediately in this verse that the Lord the Spirit is the means.