If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit already dwells within you. When you purchase a mechanical item that runs on batteries, frequently the notice "Batteries Not Included" is printed on the box. The Holy Spirit -- your source of power for living -- is "included" when you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Therefore, you do not need to invite Him to come into your life. He came to live within you when you became a Christian, and Jesus promised that He will never leave you.
The moment you received Christ, the Holy Spirit not only came to indwell you, but He imparted to you spiritual life, causing you to be born anew as a child of God. The Holy Spirit also baptized you into the body of Christ. In I Corinthians 12:13, Paul explains, "We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body."
There is but one indwelling of the Holy Spirit, one rebirth of the Holy Spirit, and one baptism of the Holy Spirit -- all of which occur when you receive Christ.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit, however, is not a once-for-all experience. There are many fillings, as is made clear in Ephesians 5:18.
How to Be Filled Continually - Part I
Read Ephesians 5:18. In the original Greek, "be filled" means "keep on being filled constantly and continually." Living a godly life is a vital part of this process.
- What characterizes the life of the Christian who is "being filled" constantly and continually? (John 15:1-11, Galatians 5:16-25)
- Which two commandments do you think are most important to living the Spirit-filled life? (Matthew 22:36-40) Why?
- In your own words, explain the concept of Spiritual Breathing. Exhale: I John 1:9. Inhale: Ephesians 5:18, I John 5:14-15
- How can Spiritual Breathing enable you to live a godly life and be filled continually with the Holy Spirit?
- To be filled continually with the Holy Spirit, you must abide in Christ. Read John 14:21. How can you do that? (John 15:1-11, 15:10) What does the example of the vine and the branches in verses 1-8 mean to you in your Christian life?
How to Be Filled Continually - Part II
- Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Read Ephesians 4:25-32. How do you grieve the Holy Spirit? Which commandment in that list do you need to pay special attention to?
- How can you get rid of the sin in your life? According to Romans 8:13, what does the Holy Spirit want for you?
- Spend time daily in prayer and Bible study. What do these verses teach about the role of prayer in the life of the Spirit-filled believer?
Hebrews 4:15-16, James 5:16, I Samuel 12:23, James 1:5, Acts 4:31)
- What do these verses tell us about the role of God's Word in the Spirit-filled life?
(Romans 1:16, Hebrews 4:12, II Timothy 2:15, II Timothy 3:16-17)
- Obey God's commandments. According to these verses, what role does obedience have in the Spirit-filled life?
(John 14:15, 23-26)
- Witness for Christ. According to Acts 1:8, for what purpose was the Holy Spirit given?
The Spirit-Filled Life is an obedient and abiding life. It can be experienced daily as you:
- Love God with all of your heart
- Practice Spiritual Breathing
- Spend time daily in prayer and Bible study
- Obey God's commands
- Witness for Christ
How is the Holy Spirit's fullness and power evident in your life?
List any areas of your life in which the Holy Spirit is not in control.
List the areas where the Holy Spirit is in control.
What practical steps will you take this week to give the Holy Spirit full control of those areas that you have not surrendered to Him?
Have you realized a victory today over a sin you confessed yesterday? Describe.
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.