A Guide to Christian Theology - Lesson 25

Filling of the Holy Spirit

In this lesson, you will gain insight into the concept of baptism of the spirit and its relationship with conversion. The lesson emphasizes that there is agreement regarding the incorporation and dwelling of the Holy Spirit at conversion, as well as empowering experiences that can occur afterward. It highlights the use of various terms in Scripture, such as baptism, filling, pouring out, and receiving. The lesson also touches on the idea of filling, distinguishing between momentary fillings for special ministry tasks and ongoing fillings related to one's character and personality. It concludes by emphasizing the importance of believers continually being filled with the Holy Spirit as a command.

Gerry Breshears
A Guide to Christian Theology
Lesson 25
Watching Now
Filling of the Holy Spirit

I. Baptism of the Spirit and Conversion

A. Incorporation and Dwelling at Conversion

B. Empowering Experiences after Conversion

C. Terminology and Naming the Experience

II. Scriptural Study on Spirit Baptism

A. Comparison of Terms (Baptism, Filling, Pouring, Receiving)

B. Unity of Conversion and Spirit Baptism

C. Acts 19 Exception and Pentecost

III. Role of Spirit Baptism

A. Linkage to Becoming a Christian

B. Empowerment for Growth and Ministry

C. Non-Controversial Nature of Spirit Baptism

IV. Filling of the Spirit

A. Filling for Special Ministry Tasks

1. Momentary Fillings (e.g., Acts 13: Paul)

2. Ongoing Fillings (e.g., Stephen, Deacons)

B. Filling as a Character Trait (e.g., Barnabas)

C. Imperative for Believers (Ephesians 5:18)

1. Continuous Passive Imperative

2. Relationship with God and Community

V. Conclusion on Filling of the Spirit

A. Continuous and Receptive Nature

B. Grieving the Holy Spirit

  • In this lesson, explore the significance of systematic theology, blending academic insight with personal devotion. Learn to interpret biblical texts, understand how theology shapes beliefs, and fortify your faith against deception. This study fosters personal, biblical, and responsible theological growth, vital for spiritual development and discipleship.
  • Learn diverse ways to tackle theological questions, focusing on Holy Spirit baptism. Understand deductive, inductive, and retro-abductive methods. Acts 17:11 and Acts 15 show how community perspectives contribute to nuanced theological discussions, promoting unity amidst differing viewpoints.
  • This lesson provides insights into theological certainty levels, categorizing beliefs into "die for," "divide for," "debate for," and "decide for," highlighting essential doctrines, divisive issues, passionate debates, and less crucial matters, while underscoring the significance of understanding diverse perspectives and theological terms across different Christian tribes.
  • Explore general revelation through creation and conscience (Psalm 19, Romans 1). Responding leads to God, though not salvation alone. Special revelation possible. Diverse salvation views, favoring knowing Jesus. Seared consciences don't always void salvation.
  • Gain deep understanding of special revelation: history, divine acts, and communication revealing God's character and redemptive plan via Messiah. Lesson highlights Bible's key role, conveying God's nature, guidance, and transformative power, emphasizing ongoing divine-human communication.
  • This lesson delves into the concept of divine inspiration in Scripture, citing 2 Timothy 3:15-16 and 2 Peter 1:16-21. It explains "God-breathed" as a term highlighting God's creative influence on words, rejecting mere concepts or dictation. Inspiration involves human authors, their personalities, and styles, conveying God's message to the entire church.
  • In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of God, including their definitions, biblical support, and implications and applications.
  • In this lesson you will gain insight into the Bible's clarity, sufficiency, and authority, and the Canon.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp a deep understanding of God's character. His foremost quality is compassion, like a mother's love. He's gracious, patient, loving, faithful, and forgiving, extending favor even to the undeserving. Yet, He's just, not sparing the persistently rebellious. This lesson dispels misconceptions, urging contemplation of God's profound blend of love and justice.
  • This lesson delves into holiness via Isaiah 6, emphasizing dedication over separation from sin. It challenges misconceptions and calls for church reform.
  • This lesson delves into the fundamental characteristics of God, particularly the Trinity, emphasizing God's essential relational nature within Himself and its biblical implications, while also addressing theological controversies and highlighting the complexity of the Trinity.
  • This lesson explores different approaches to knowing God, inspired by Thomas Aquinas, discusses the doctrine of immutability, and highlights how God can change in his attitude and actions based on biblical evidence, emphasizing the value of in-depth Bible study and open dialogue in understanding God's nature.
  • This lesson covers key theological concepts: sovereignty, election, and free will. It explores differences between Calvinist and Wesleyan-Arminian views on God's sovereignty, impacting God's plan and human responsibility. Emphasis on defining terms to prevent disputes. Speaker is a "Calminian," blending Calvinism and Arminianism for a balanced perspective. Valuable insights into theological complexities and scripture interpretation.
  • Exploring various theological views and problematic issues surrounding the concept of providence, we will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of prayer in providence, as well as the compatibility of God's sovereignty and human responsibility.
  • You will gain knowledge about anthropology and its biblical foundations, creation of human beings and the image of God in humans, fall and sin and their implications on human nature, redemption and sanctification, and human destiny and eschatology, including views on heaven and hell and the return of Christ.
  • This lesson offers valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of providence and its profound implications for our comprehension of God's role in the world.
  • The lesson touches upon various types of suffering, categorizing them into six different types: moral evil (e.g., rape), natural evil (e.g., cancer), persecution, sharing the suffering of another, punishment for sin, and suffering caused by the devil.
  • Learn to discern God's will by cultivating a Christ-like character, living by moral principles, seeking counsel, embracing uniqueness, and praying. It's about aligning with your long-term happiness and godly desires, offering a balanced approach to life decisions.
  • Explore Jesus' nature and incarnation. Learn how He balanced divine and human attributes, challenging traditional views. Reflect on His mission and ours, empowered by the Holy Spirit, bridging divinity and humanity.
  • This lesson delves into the incarnation of Jesus, explaining his dual nature as both God and man during his earthly mission, supported by Old Testament, Gospel, and epistle references. It acknowledges the complexity of his divinity and humanity, even after his ascension.
  • This lesson explores Jesus' dual nature, divine and human, delving into emotions, knowledge, sin, and his role as the Second Adam, offering theological insights.
  • Learn about Jesus' life and mission, challenging traditional beliefs like the virgin birth. Explore his spiritual journey, resurrection, and more, fostering critical thinking and alternative perspectives.
  • This lesson provides a comprehensive examination of atonement, its various dimensions, and the theological concepts surrounding it.
  • Learn about the Holy Spirit, baptism, and its role in Christian faith. Understand diverse perspectives on its workings in believers' lives, emphasizing its incorporation at conversion and empowering influence, supported by biblical insights.
  • Gain insight into the relationship between spirit baptism and conversion, the various terms used in Scripture, and the importance of ongoing fillings with the Holy Spirit for special ministry tasks, character, and as a command for all believers.
  • This lesson explores the role of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. It challenges traditional definitions, proposing that any ability empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in ministry is a spiritual gift. The primary gift is the Holy Spirit himself.
  • Learn about the theological debate on spiritual gifts like prophecy and miracles. Explore four perspectives: cessationism, continuationism, functional cessationism, and word of faith. The instructor, a continuationist, emphasizes discernment and scripture while promoting respectful dialogue among believers with differing views.
  • This lesson explores the Bible's view of humanity, emphasizing humans as God's unique creation, made from dust and breath, in His image. It delves into human origins, our role as covenant partners, and the interaction between spirit and body, supported by biblical passages, offering a holistic perspective on being human in God's eyes.
  • This lesson redefines humans as image-bearers of God, emphasizing the role of reflecting divine attributes in all work, gender equality, and growth in Christ-likeness. It promotes dignity for all, with potential for deeper reflection as faith matures.
  • In this lesson you will explore the origin of sin, rejecting dualism in favor of a Christian perspective where sin arises from the choices of morally responsible creatures. The lesson introduces the idea of a pre-creation rebellion by Satan, emphasizing that humans are called to engage in spiritual warfare by doing good and promoting Shalom in the world.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the nature, marks, purpose, structure, and sacraments of the Church and learn about the different views and definitions used to define it.
  • This lecture discusses the leadership offices of a church, including eldership, deacons, and church members, and how they function according to biblical principles of polity, which prioritize following what the Bible prescribes, closely following what it describes, and using wisdom and being Spirit-led in matters it is silent about, all with the aim of effectively sharing the Gospel and achieving unity and focus.
  • In this lesson, you will explore baptism's significance, modes, and theological perspectives, and learn its role in church membership, unity, discipleship, and spiritual growth.
  • This lesson provides an overview of the historical, biblical, and theological aspects of Communion, including practical considerations for its practice.
  • You will gain a good understanding of death and its theological implications, including the biblical view of death, consequences of death, and resurrection and the afterlife. The lesson covers the definition of death, cultural views, and the portrayal of death in the Old and New Testaments. You will also learn about the physical and spiritual consequences of death, as well as the Bible's teachings on resurrection and the afterlife.
  • From this lesson, you gain insight into the biblical concept of God's Kingdom, its significance in Christian theology, and its impact on eschatology, social justice, and the Church's role.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into eschatology, examine biblical perspectives, explore key events like the Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium, and Final Judgment, and learn the significance of eschatology for today's believers.
  • By studying the eternal state, you gain insights into the new heaven and earth, resurrection, judgment, and eternal life, deepening your understanding of Christian hope and assurance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial role of church leaders, their essential qualities, and the challenges they face, while discovering the importance of support and encouragement for their growth and effectiveness in ministry.
  • In this lesson, you gain an understanding of the nature of Scripture and learn to interpret the Bible within its historical, literary, and canonical contexts while addressing challenges in biblical interpretation.
  • This lesson delves into the structure and authority of a church, examining different leadership models and emphasizing the overarching role of scripture as the final authority, while also highlighting the need for congregational involvement in decision-making processes and the unique nature of the apostles in early church leadership.
  • Learn Dr. Breshears' local church leadership principles: focus on equipping, inspiring, empowering, unifying, exemplifying, caring for, overseeing, and shepherding members. Rooted in biblical teachings, emphasizes servant leadership. The lesson discusses congregational decision-making, women in church leadership roles with respect for differing views.
  • Learn about church leadership principles, roles of elders and deacons, active membership, mutual commitment, gift utilization, and clear processes in this comprehensive lesson.
  • This lesson explores sacraments, focusing on baptism and diverse theological views. Baptism signifies a profound commitment to Christ within a believer community, emphasizing understanding and promptness post-conversion.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp the essence of baptism, its questions, and debates. Discover belief's role, its confession, and the link to repentance and faith. Explore diverse views on baptism performers, methods, and locations. Gain insights and wisdom for informed baptism decisions in your faith community.
  • From this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of Communion, also known as the Lord's Supper or Eucharist. It will provide you with insights into the controversy surrounding its terminology and the theological background of Communion, primarily focusing on 1 Corinthians Chapters 10 and 11. You will learn about various theological perspectives on the real presence of Christ in the Communion elements and explore different viewpoints on the frequency, leadership, eligibility, and practical aspects of Communion. Overall, this lesson will equip you with the knowledge to better understand and participate in the Communion meal.
  • This lesson delves into two ends: individual death and the end of the age. It explores human death, material and immaterial aspects (Ecclesiastes 12:7, Genesis 3), fear, loss of autonomy, cremation, death determination, rewards, and urges preparation to meet Jesus, facing the undeniable reality of death.
  • Learn about the Kingdom of God, its aspects, Christ's return interpretations, and key concepts like inaugurated, Messianic, and millennium kingdoms. Emphasizing humility and mission in theological debates, it prepares you for insightful discussions on Christ's return and tribulation.
  • Learn about Christian views on heaven and hell. Hell is punishment for those who reject Jesus; heaven is eternal bliss with Him on a renewed Earth. Explore differing views respectfully.

Understand the core topics of systematic theology, from what we know about God to the future state of humankind. Special emphasis is given to such topics as Christ, salvation, the church, and the future.

A Guide to Christian Theology
Dr. Gerry Breshears
Filling of the Holy Spirit
Lesson Transcript

Well, boy, that was a tough line to go through there with baptism spirit and all that chart. I left all that stuff empty there in the blanks. I want you to do your homework, okay? If you haven't done it, you're a bad boy or girl, go do it. Go do your homework. To summarize what we said there in terms of baptism of spirit, there is a full agreement that there's an incorporation and dwelling that happens at conversion. There is a full agreement that there's empowering experiences that happen subsequent to conversion, and they can be very, very dramatic sometimes, but what to call it is a big deal.

When I look at the scriptural study on where different terms you use, baptism or filling or pouring out or receiving, there are a number of different words. What I find out, and this again is on your notes, nowhere are conversion and spirit baptism separated significantly.

You say, well, what about Acts 19? Well, these are guys who have not experienced Pentecost yet. The same thing that happened at Pentecost at Acts chapter two. First time it was poured out on the group. These guys are a long ways away and they have not experienced Pentecost yet. When they hear it, oh, okay, now that's a place where it's separated, but there's a reason for it. It's an extraordinary thing. The Ephesians dozen are off Twitter apparently and just didn't get the word.

The spirit baptism, again, the term baptizo is linked with the basics of becoming a Christian. Spirit baptism is linked with the basics of becoming a Christian. Then we all want to say, I hope even if you're kind of an anti Pentecostal oriented, and there are, I mean some of you're there, I'm not criticizing this reality. The spirit empowers people for growth in Christ's likeness and doing the work of the ministry.

Again, this should be non-controversial, but it's amazing how people get touchy about things. Well, if you say this and there's a slippery slope that leads to that. We're not talking the slippery slopes, we're talking biblical things. Acts chapter two, spirits brought on everybody. 3000 people receive the spirit. There's an subsequent empowering Acts chapter four. You find Ephesians chapter five, where Paul says, keep on being filled and the results that come out of that.

I want to talk a little bit about filling, and this is a biblical term, and when we talk about filling, I want to talk about some examples. First of all, what I see happening is what we see happening, well, actually let me take it in my favorite passage for filling. I love it. Acts chapter 13 is Paul, and it's Paul in a, it's kind of an unusual sort of thing, Acts chapter 13.

They're headed down to Cyprus. When you get to Cyprus, verse six, they met Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Barjesus, attended the council Sergius Paulos. Now, Sergius Paulos, intelligent man, he sent over Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of the Lord. Okay, so here's the regional governor who wants to hear more about Jesus.

Now you can't imagine anything but Barnabas and Paul are excited to be there. This guy Limus the sorcerer, verse eight, for that's what he name means, opposed them and tried to turn the pro council from the faith. Okay, so we come down to verse nine, then Saul, who's also called Paul, by the way, don't make the silly mistake of saying Saul's name is changed to Paul. He has two names, a Jewish name Saul and a Roman name Paul, just like John and Juan would be today.

Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit. There's the word, looked straight into Limus. I love this. You're a child of the devil and enemy. Everything is right. Your fall comes to deceit. You never stop pruning away the Lord. Now the hand of the lord's against you. You're going to be blind for a time. Now, I'm just curious, do you think Paul has the spiritual gift of blinding folk? I don't think so.

I want that gift by the way. I really do. All my friends say no. No, Gary, I could handle it. No, Gary, no, no, no. This is not a spiritual gift. It's not an enduring ability. He's filled with this Holy Spirit for special momentary tasks. That's the first thing I want to do is fillings are for special ministry tasks. Sometimes they're done very quickly like this one. Sometimes they're done very quickly like this one, same kind of thing you find back with Stephen and end of chapter seven where Stephen is being stoned.

Then verse 55, Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit looked in heaven, saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand and said, I see the heaven open and the son of man standing right hand of God. This is a momentary filling where he does something extraordinary. I think that is often the case with a filling. You're filled for the moment. That empowering for a special ministry task could be for a momentary task or it could be for a long-term task.

If you look back in chapter six, as we go backward here, they propose that they pick some men from among them who are full of the Holy Spirit in faith. They chose in verse five, they chose Steven, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and they presented these men. Then down in verse eight, now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power performed great signs and wonders.

This is a filling where they are full of the spirit and therefore equipped for special ministry tasks. That's a key point of filling is an anointing for special ministry tasks. I've got a whole list of these in here that's true for prophets, that's true for Jesus, as we saw back in Matthew chapter three where the Holy Spirit comes on him and anoints him for the special task of mission of the Messiah.

First idea of filling, you're fill could be for a brief moment or it could be for a long time, is being filled for special ministry tasks. A key thing there is prophets and kings in the Old Testament, but we see these deacons and I think others are anointed for special ministry tasks. I think that's true today. I think that an elder of a church, when we install elders at our church, we give them a towel to represent, they're going to wash dirty feet and it's going to be stinky. We give them a goblet with, in our case, juice. Should be wine, but it's juice representing the power of the Holy Spirit to empower them to do the work of being an elder at our church.

In front of the whole congregation, they drink it in full and then we pray over them to install them in this office. That's one thing. If you look at Acts chapter, let's do another Acts 11:24. Acts 11:24. This is talking about Barnabas. By the way, Barnabas is an outstanding pattern of what we want for pastors in our churches. Go through and do a study of the characteristics of Barnabas. He is an amazing guy.

He's the guy who arrives at Antioch. Verse 23, when he arrived and saw the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. Now here's the character of Barnabas, verse 24. He is a good man full of the Holy Spirit. There's the filling and faith and a great number of people brought to the Lord. This is defining not an anointing for a special ministry task, but the basic character and personality and his character and personality, he's a good man full of the spirit and faith.

That's not something particular for a ministry. That's his character, that's his personality. I think this is another thing where you see the filling of the Holy Spirit, and that's an ongoing filling that's related to who he is as a person. Then finally, and this is Ephesians 5:18. That's a key passage. Ephesians 5:18.

Paul is talking about how you, becoming a beautiful bride for his precious son. He says, don't get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery, but instead, and here's the phrase, keep on being filled. Keep on being filled with the Spirit. Again, it's a filling, but now it's a command. This isn't a statement, this isn't a fact. This is a command. Keep on, so it's an enduring, being filled.

It's passive if something is done to you, but you have receptive peaks of it. Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit. What comes out of this feeling is a speaking to one another. It's a thankfulness, it's a singing and making music, and it's a submission. It's a speaking to one another, singing to God, giving thanks to God and submitting to one another.

It characterizes a relationship with God on a relationship with the community. The three dimensions of filling, I'm suggesting to you in the note, filling for special ministry tasks, filling is a basic personality or character, and then an imperative for believers. Keep on being filling. You find it parallel in Colossians 3:16.

It's a continuous passive imperative. It's to command all believers, keep on being filled. The idea is you can be more or less filled, especially in pair. This is being grieving the Holy Spirit. Filling of the spirit. Short lesson, but this is worth pondering a lot because that's a command for all believers.


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