Eph 5:17  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;


First off, my understanding is that being “filled with the Spirit” as per Ephesians 5:18 is not some mystical, or emotional, or ecstatic and/or supernatural experience involving the Holy Spirit. Nor is the ‘filling’ that Paul is talking about the same kind of ‘filling’ found in Israel’s program, which occurred with the prophets in general when they prophesied, or with the remnant of Israel when they were “baptized with the Holy Ghost” in connection with receiving “power from on high” in order for them to fulfill the prophesied signs, wonders, and miracles spoken about in connection with the arrival of “the last days” in God’s program with Israel. Instead my understanding is that Paul is talking to us about something that should characterize us in connection with our “godly edifying” when it has matured.


My understanding is that when Paul enjoins us in Ephesians 5:18 to be “filled with the Spirit,” this is something that should be the case with us when we like the Ephesians saints have doctrinally grown and matured in our “godly edifying,” and when we have a mature understanding, appreciation, and desire to act in full accordance with who we are as “members one of another” in the body of Christ. When we are exhorted to be “filled with the Spirit” we are being exhorted to provide for having the mature conduct and functional body life that we should have among us one with another as the members of the body of Christ that we are, which should naturally accompany the mature understanding we have doctrinally attained to regarding what it means for us to be a member of the body of Christ in God’s plan and purpose. And this mature understanding and appreciation is what we doctrinally encounter and attain unto when in our “godly edifying” we arrive at Ephesians and following.


1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

1Co 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many.


To be a little more descriptive, doctrinally speaking right from Romans when we are educated in who we are “in Christ,” and in particular when with Romans 12:1ff the renewing of our minds gets underway and we begin to learn to “think soberly” and to function as the “members of one another” that we are in the body of Christ; we at that time begin to “drink into one Spirit” by that doctrine, (as Paul described to the Corinthians in 1Corinthians 12:13. And this God has us doctrinally do in order to enable us to functionally live as members of Christ’s body. We begin to partake of the living water function of the Spirit of God within us through the effectual working of the doctrine of Romans 12:1ff within us, and it begins to produce our functional body life as “members one of another.” And then as our “godly edifying continues on and we continue to grow and mature, we continue to ‘drink into that one Spirit’ more and more, so to speak, with the result that our functional body life and living as the “members one of another” that we are grows more and more, and it matures accordingly. Consequently our love for one another and our charity towards one another is expected to abound more and more, with us thereby having an even greater understanding and appreciation for what it means to be “members one of another,” and with us possessing an even greater desire to charitably care for one another, to support one another, to honor one another, and the like, and also to desire to mutually benefit and help one another in the area of mutually edifying one another.


So in view of this, and simply put, my understanding is that the mechanical means of being ‘filled with the Spirit’ is that of us taking the mature and capstone like doctrines contained in Ephesians regarding the fullness of what it means for us to be members of the body of Christ and “members one of another,” and for us to ‘drink them in’ to the filling up of us with that mature understanding and appreciation. And this being done, it produces the actual ‘filling of the Spirit’ with its mature effectual working within us and with its mature fruits produced by us, which instead of resulting in a self- indulgent “excess” among us like being drunk with wine would produce, it produces among us the mature selfless indulgence, (so to speak), of zealously seeking and actively participating in the mutual care, concern, and godly edification of one another as described in Ephesians 5:19.


Keith Blades

Enjoy The Bible Ministries


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