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Being Filled with the Spirit

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Understanding and Knowing the Book of Ephesians – Chapter 5


Scripture:Ephesians 5:18–21 (ESV)

18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.



There are three characteristics that are evident in a person that is full of the Spirit.

They speak in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing to the Lord

They giving thanks always and for everything

They submit to one another out of respect for Jesus


If this is the criteria for being filled, then I want to submit to you that mainly half-empty people are doing the work of God in the earth.


Now if the work of God has gotten as far as it has with half-empty people – what would happen if we all were filled and stayed full?


What Being Filled with the Spirit Means

Use of the present tense indicates a continual process.

The phrase ‘be filled with the Spirit’ is grammatically in the present continual tense. ‘Be being filled’ is an accurate translation of this thought. We are admonished to maintain a state of being continually full, which indicates that we are not at the same level of ‘fullness’ from one moment to the next.

The tense, in itself, gives us a significant clue about spiritual development. When you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you were filled or became full at that particular moment – but the scripture admonishes us here to not only be filled but to stay full.

This is kind of like driving a car. You fill up at the pump, you drive a bit and your gas tank needle goes down – and in order to keep your gas tank full you have to top it off.

When you were filled with the Holy Spirit and you have lived a little bit, your ‘full needle’ goes down. You have to top off your tank to remain full.

Be Filled with the Spirit

When a person is saved, the Spirit of God enters into your spirit in the process we call the new birth – just like water (use the illustration of a glass of water) just entered my body.

Water may enter your body, but that does not make your body full of water.

In order to get full of water, you have to drink deeply or a greater amount of water – much more than a sip. It is one thing to have water in you – it is another thing to be full of water.

The experience of drinking the Spirit of God fully is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is a good word – it means a lot of water! When you think baptism, think total immersion – a lot of water. But you also know that drinking a lot of water means that water doesn’t stay in! I am not saying that the Holy Spirit comes and goes or that He leaks out. I am saying that His effect on your spirit man is not always the same. The sense of fullness wanes.

When you pray with other tongues, the effect is like hooking up to battery. The Holy Spirit fills your being – His presence affects your Spirit. You become aware of Him. Praying with other tongues is a means of charging or building your spirit.


How Do You Know When People Get Full?

When you are full, you speak

o   Every place in the Bible where people get full of the Spirit, they were talking.


Acts 2:4 (ESV)

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.


Speaking when full is not just tongues

o   In many places, they were speaking with tongues but not in ever place!


Acts 4:5–12 (ESV)

5 On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”


o   Peter was filled with the Spirit, but he wasn’t speaking with tongues, he was speaking in English.

o   What is this type of speaking where are you filled with the Spirit and speaking in your known tongue?

o   This speaking by the Spirit, is known as speaking by the spirit of prophecy

o   It is an utterance in your known tongue just like speaking with tongues. The Spirit is responsible for it.


Ephesians 6:18–19

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,


Understanding the Inspiration or Utterance Gifts of the Spirit

General things about the gifts

o   There nine gifts or manifestations of the Spirit. clip_image004

o   You can look at them individually and you can look at them together

o   They are grouped in three groups of 3

o   Revelation gifts

o   Power gifts

o   Utterance gifts

o   The utterance gifts include…

o   Prophecy

o   Tongues

o   Interpretation of tongues

o   The gifts of the Spirit work more outside of church then they do inside of church

o   Why? – you spend more time out of church than you do in church

o   The Utterance gifts will absolutely work in your personal devotional time.

§  Spiritual things can be practiced

o   I did not say rehearsed – there is a difference

o   You can practice working with the Holy Spirit in your personal devotional time

o   People sometimes shut-down the gifts because they think everything has to be perfect.

o   They do not understand that the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ works with the gifts.

o   You can say to the Holy Spirit, ‘I need some practice with this – help me.’

o   It is like your initial experience with speaking with tongues. Maybe you did not speak a whole lot of words in other tongues when you first were filled. But, as you continued, you found the flow – practice makes perfect.

o   When you are praying in other tongues, you are in direct contact with the Holy Spirit

o   When you are talking about psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, you are over in the area of utterance gifts.

o   They come by tongues and interpretation of tongues and they come by prophecy.


Illustration: The gifts of the Spirit are like bacon, eggs, and hash browns.

o   Bacon is not eggs and eggs are not hash browns but they sure do work well together!

o   Word of knowledge works with healing

o   Many of these gifts work together – tongues works with interpretation

o   Prophecy can stand or work with a number of gifts jointly

Honing in on the simple gift of ‘prophecy’

o   Not predictive

o   Sometimes when people hear the word ‘prophecy’, they think Bible prophecy – they think prediction.

o   Prophecies of the future is not the simple gift of prophecy alone – it is the revelation gifts and prophecy working together

o   In the simple gift of prophecy (eggs by themselves), there is no predictive element. The predictive element comes when the Word of Knowledge, or the Word of Wisdom work together (bacon, eggs and hash browns)

o   The simple gift of prophecy is inspired utterance in a known tongue.

o   It belongs to every believer just like tongues does.


1 Corinthians 14:31 (ESV)

31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged,

o   All means all

o   The speaking gifts of the Spirit, tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy are available to every believer.

o   Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs can come either way.

o   Through Tongues and Interpretation of tongues

o   By the gift of Prophecy


The Importance of Understanding Flow

Speaking with tongues is like water flowing

o   Definition of flow – ‘flow’ is the best word so far to me that describes the moving of the Spirit

o   Illustration of a flowing stream and a rowboat to describe flow

o   To get a good picture of what it means to ‘flow in the Spirit’ – close your eyes and picture a downward moving stream and you sitting in rowboat with no oars (you are not controlling anything)

o   People ask ‘How do I get over into interpretation of tongues?’

o   You pray (and believe God)


1 Corinthians 14:13 (ESV)

13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret.


o   It is easier to switch over to interpretation of tongues once you get the water moving.

o   It is easy to get over into interpretation when you are flowing in the stream because it is part of that stream.

Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs: What Are They?

o   Psalms are spiritual poems

o   The psalms of David are an example

o   Hymns and Spiritual Songs

o   Are songs given by the inspiration of the Spirit

o   They are not thought up in advance or rehearsed.

To get a good picture of what it means to ‘flow in the Spirit’ – close your eyes and picture a downward moving stream and you sitting in rowboat with no oars.


One may by the spirit of prophecy or by ‘tongues and interpretation of tongues speak in psalms or sing hymns and spiritual songs unto God. Doing so will build one’s spiritual life and bring us into a state the state of fullness that God desires for our lives.