The Fullness Of The Holy Spirit
By James A. Stewart
God’s life is one of fullness. How could it be anything else? All God’s fullness is deposited in His beloved Son and is made experimentally ours by the Holy Spirit. “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him” (made full in Him) (Col. 2:9-10). “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16).
All our blessings are lodged in the Lord Jesus Christ, and there they meet as in a fountain. Now, faith is the drawing grace that draws out of this fountain for the soul’s supply.
By faith we are united in Christ, and by faith we receive from Christ all our supplies through our union with Him. All is from the Father. All is in the Son. And all is made experimentally ours by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Executive member of the Godhead to apply the redemptive blessings of Christ to the individual believer.
Each member of the Trinity has a distinctive ministry in the great plan of redemption. It is only as the believer allows the Holy Spirit to take full possession of his life – that he will be able to enjoy the riches of the grace in his beloved Redeemer.
The apostle prays fervently, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will” (Heb. 13:20-21).
The words, “make you perfect,” mean “to bring into its place a dislocated joint out of harmony with the Head.” There are many dislocated members in the body of Christ who need a spiritual crisis, wherein the Holy Spirit will adjust them to do the perfect will of God.
Fellowship with the Father and Son through the Spirit
The word salvation is the all-inclusive word of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16). All the redemptive words and blessings are incorporated in this great word salvation. Salvation is the three tenses: salvation past – deliverance from the penalty of sin; salvation present – deliverance from the power of sin; salvation future – deliverance from the very presence of sin.
We are all familiar with the past and the future tense of the Gospel, but what about our Christian life that we must live here on earth from the day of our salvation to the day of our translation?
Three quarters of the New Testament is occupied with the present tense of the Gospel. Romans 5:10 is an illuminating verse – “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
What life? His intercessory life at the Father’s right hand, as we read in Hebrews 7:25 – “He ever liveth to make intercession.”
This is the unfinished work of Christ. As our High Priest, He maintains us in fellowship with the Father; and as our Advocate He reinstates us into fellowship with the Father when we have sinned (1 John 2:1).
Untold Riches in Christ
Owing to a shallow conception of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, many believers are content to be saved from eternal damnation without going on to possess their riches in Christ (Phil. 3:1-14).
Owing to the shallowness of modern evangelism, too many young converts are content to follow the drift of a negative salvation instead of going into the deeper experience of a positive salvation – by possessing the Spirit’s fullness for their own spiritual equipment and for blessing to others.
Alas, as a result of not being filled with the Holy Spirit, we have many poverty-stricken saints being deprived of untold riches in Christ which the indwelling Spirit would minister to them were He but permitted to fill them.
The illimitable resources and immeasurable power which are potentially theirs in Christ lie idle and unused – waiting to be realized in the life by the infilling and controlling presence of the Spirit of Christ.
A Spirit-filled believer once testified, “Till now I have had only checks, but the Lord has changed them into cash, and now I hold the glittering gold in my hands. The Lord Jesus has come to mean more and more to me.”
Because of Unbelief
The pilgrimage journeys of the Children of Israel are full of spiritual lessons for the church today. It was the will of God to bring them into Canaan immediately after Egypt’s deliverance.
Because of disobedience and unbelief, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years before entering the promised land. They became wanderers instead of pilgrims; thus their wanderings are not mentioned in Hebrews, chapter 11, because it was not of faith.
The crossing of the Red Sea was salvation out of Egypt; the passage of Jordan, salvation into Canaan. Egypt pictures the world, while Canaan, the abundant life in the Risen Redeemer (Eph. 2:6).
Israel could have entered Canaan forty years earlier at Kadesh Barnea in the power of Red-Sea truth. They could have then learned that the salvation that delivered them from Egypt also translated them into the land of promise.
Romans is the Red-Sea epistle. Ephesians is the Canaan epistle, and in between we have the wilderness epistles of Corinthians and Galatians.
Perfect and Complete in Every Good Work
The normal experience of every New Testament believer is to be filled with the Holy Ghost at the threshold of his new life in Christ Jesus (Acts 9:17; 1:8).
If you read the autobiography or biographies of the holy men and women of God in the past, you will discover that almost every one had a second crisis in his life to which he attributed a real spiritual revolution in power and glory and knowledge.
We must try to keep to Scriptural terminology or else we will confuse young believers. However, let us be careful not to criticize others who do not pronounce our “shibboleth.”
If a believer is grieving and quenching the Spirit and not walking in Him, he needs to confess his sin and lay all upon the altar of dedication. This is a definite, new crisis in his life.
Just as at regeneration, one must have a definite dealing with the Lord Jesus for remission of sins, so there must be also definite dealing with the Holy Spirit for the Spirit-filled life.
A young convert who does not possess his inheritance in Christ at conversion – is left in the position of a potential backslider.
“Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
Dear reader, if your life is a disappointment to yourself and to God, and you know that it is a weak, anemic affair in contrast to the apostolic New Testament believer’s, then you need to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit
Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being
Fill with Thy Spirit
Till all shall see
Christ only, always,
Living in me!
The New Testament teaches that every Christian grace is attributed to the indwelling presence of the Third Person of the Trinity. Our Christian walk and warfare is an impossible task apart from the indwelling Spirit filling our hearts and lives.
A Mighty Tide of Love and Power
The Bible says, “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). Nothing can compensate the church – nor the individual Christian – for the lack of the Holy Spirit. What the full stream is to the mill wheel, the Holy Spirit is to the church.
We will stand powerless and abashed in the presence of our difficulties and our foes until we learn what He can be as a mighty tide of love and power in the hearts of His saints.
“Be filled with the Spirit,” is a positive command which we must obey and fulfill. If it is a sin for a Christian to be drunk with wine, then it is a greater sin for a Christian not to be filled with the Spirit!
It is not a luxury for a few spiritual aristocrats, but a necessity for every child of God – no matter what his position in life!
It is your God-given birthright, privilege and responsibility. I cry to God that you will not sell your birthright blessings for a mess of carnal pottage! You may go to heaven without being filled with the Holy Spirit, but you will be ashamed at the judgment seat of Christ.
You will never fulfill God’s plan and purpose for your life unless you appropriate this blessing.
Dear reader, are you enjoying this fullness? Lay this message down, and say to yourself aloud, “If I am not filled with the Holy Spirit to the utmost measure of my God-given capacity, then I am living in sin.”
The church will continue to be a caricature of her wonderful Lord until pastors and evangelists stop being complacent with the low spiritual living of carnal believers today, and preach repentance and judgment to them.
The sin of the church is the rejection of the fullness of the Spirit. This fullness is an integral part of God’s plan of salvation. Why preach half a Gospel? Christ died that you might be filled with the Spirit’s fullness (Gal. 3:13-14).
He That Is With You Shall Be in You (John 14:17)
The tragedy is that few believers seek the fullness. For example, there are always two classes of believers in every church. Both have eternal life, but only one class has abundant life.
There are no degrees in death, but there are degrees in life. See the contrast of bodies wracked in pain in hospitals and the overflowing life of children at play!
Christ says, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). You can only have abundant life in your risen Lord – by being filled with the Holy Spirit.
All believers have the Spirit as the Spirit of sonship, but not all have His blessed fullness (Rom 8:9; John 7:38-39).
We mean by the fullness of the Spirit – that a Divine Personality controls and dominates a human personality. Never forget that it is a Divine Member of the Holy Trinity who seeks to possess you entirely!
The steps into this blessed experience are simple:
A definite confession of the need of being filled.
A real longing to be filled.
A candid dealing with all known sin in the life.
An absolute surrender to God.
Receiving from the nail-pierced hands of the blessed Redeemer this glorious fullness.
The manifestation of the fullness of the Spirit is two-fold; first, a life of holiness; and second, a life of spiritual power in service. The manifestation of the fullness must differ according to the temperament of the individual.
A fullness that belies a holy, Christ-like life is a counterfeit from Satan.
The Spirit Glorifies Christ
The Holy Spirit will keep Himself in the background while He makes Christ real and precious to your heart (John 16:7-15).
The mystical union between each member of the Trinity and the mystical union of the believer in Christ dawns with great glory on your soul. John 14:20 takes on a new meaning: “At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.”
What a blessed reality these words now become! No longer are they just a Bible truth. “Ye in Me, and I in you.” Keep repeating this, and marvel and rejoice experimentally over this wondrous fact.
Nothing is too hard for you and your Lord. Remember, Christ is your life, and as you feed upon Him in the energy of the Spirit, you will be conformed to His glorious image (Col. 3:4; Rom. 8:29).
– Used by permission of Revival Literature, P.O. Box 505, Skyland NC 28776. revivallit.org