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About this series
Stop Faking It!
Live Without Hypocrisy
Nobody likes a hypocrite, and nobody wants to be one. But for some reason, living an honest, authentic life is tougher than it sounds. God calls us to walk as "children of light," but many of us find ourselves living shadowy lives of part-time spirituality, and then wonder why our hearts feel cold and our prayers go unanswered. If you'd like to know how to live a winsome, whole and holy life, join Chip Ingram for this series from Ephesians 5.More from this series
The baptism of the Spirit occurs only once in each believer’s life. The filling of the Spirit is repeated. The baptism of the Spirit never happened before the day of Pentecost. It’s about the Church. No one was baptized, dipped, identified with the Church because the Church didn’t exist; it was Israel.
The filling of the Spirit occurred in the Old Testament; Saul would be filled with the Spirit. I just read in Judges, Gideon was filled with the Spirit and power. David, in fact, was filled multiple times with the Spirit for special use by God.
The baptism of the Spirit is true of all believers. You might jot down 1 Corinthians 12:13: “If you do not have the Spirit of God, you are not in Christ,” that says. The filling of the Spirit is not necessarily experienced by all believers. You can have it at 9:05, it can be gone at 9:15.
The baptism of the Spirit cannot be undone. Jot down Ephesians 1:13. The moment you are saved, the Spirit of God comes into your life, and not only are you sealed with the Spirit, adopted into God’s family, but the baptism of the Spirit is that act, by the Spirit of God, that places you in God’s family. A non-experiential, legal issue that occurs, you are placed in the family of God, called “the Church.”
By contrast, the filling of the Spirit can be lost. So, one results in a new position. The other results in power. Baptism occurs when we believe in Christ; the filling of the Spirit occurs throughout the Christian life. Baptism, there is no prerequisite, except belief in Christ. It’s the day that you are saved. Filling depends on yieldedness.
Now, let me walk through one more thing. So, by way of summary, the baptism of the Spirit and the filling of the Spirit are not the same. The baptism of the Spirit is what occurs when you believe and your placed in the body of Christ. The filling of the Spirit is what happens, moment-by-moment. You have it, lose it, have it, lose it. You don’t lose the Spirit, remember? You’re losing His control over your heart and life, as evidenced by your speech, relationships, attitudes, et cetera.
Now, here is where the confusion comes from. Early in my journey, I had a very godly, young man and the people who helped me were very sincere. This is not a critical word against fellow brothers and sisters who would see things differently. But many people have taken their view of how to live a holy life, or the Spirit’s work, out of the book of Acts.
And what you have in the book of Acts is not a prescription for how the Church should run, but it’s a description about how the Early Church grew.
And so, what I had was a friend who told me, “Look, Chip, don’t you want to be like the Early Church?” And I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Well, look at Acts chapter 2.” I said, “I looked at Acts chapter 2.” He said, “Did they believe in Jesus?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Did they have the Spirit’s power?” I said, “Well, no.”
Ninety days later – what? They’re at Pentecost. The Spirit falls. He says, “That’s the pattern. You see, you become a Christian,” he told me, “and then later on, you get the fullness of the Spirit, the baptism of the Spirit, and that’s where you get the power.”
And so I went around looking for the power. What he didn’t tell me and what I didn’t know until later, is if you study the entire book of Acts, baptism and fullness are not the same, number one. Number two, there is no normative pattern for how gifts and the filling of the Spirit align.
As we put the chart up here, and I want you to know, if this is of interest to you, on the bottom of the page, there is a series, four parts, on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. But what you see here is Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 10, and Acts 19. Those are the four times where the baptism of the Spirit occurs.
And what you see in those four is that in each of those times, you have a different response. You have a new group being formed. The Jews came into the body of Christ, Acts 2. The evidence we have, they speak in this other language, as an outward confirmation.
Acts 8 you have the Samaritans. They are the half-breeds: half Jew, half non-Jew. Jews and Samaritans hate one another. So what happens is, can they really be a part of God’s family? They believe and then Peter and John come down a day or two later and say, “Yeah, God is in this.” And as they bless them, they speak in another language.
Then you have Acts 10, the Gentiles join the Church. And when the Gentiles join the Church, the pattern changes. There isn’t a second experience. As Peter is talking, they believe and the evidence is speaking in another language. And then you have in Acts 19, some of John’s disciples took off on their own and were trying to tell everyone but while they were gone, the Messiah came. And Paul explains to them.
And the point I want to make, very simply, is that when you look at the baptism of the Spirit, the only time it happens is when there was a new group to be placed in the body of Christ. There is not a uniform idea of them necessarily speaking in tongues. And you’ll notice in Acts 2 and Acts 8, it happens after their salvation.
But in Acts 10 and 19, it happens at their conversion. And there is a very key role that Peter has, as being the leader of the Church. And all I want you to see, from that little chart, we can develop it more at another time, is simply this: The book of Acts gives no normative pattern for how gifts and the Spirit’s filling work together. You can’t make one there. You can’t say it happens afterwards. Half of the time it does, half of the time it doesn’t.
The baptism of the Sprit has to do with God building His Church. Nowhere in the New Testament, in any of the epistles that are teaching about how to live out this faith, are we
ever commanded to receive the baptism of the Spirit. Never is there any correlation throughout the New Testament that when you have the baptism of the Spirit, you’re necessarily going to speak in another language. But that doctrine, among people that I love deeply – my mom and dad came to Christ through the Pentecostal Movement, so there is no axe to grind, here.
But you can spend a lot of your life and energy chasing an experience thinking that, When I speak in another language or when I have this moving spiritual experience, then I am filled with the Spirit. You can know when you are filled with the Spirit when the fruit of the Spirit is being manifested in your tongue, your thoughts, your attitudes, and your relationships.
And my heart goes out because I have been on that journey where you go from meeting to meeting to meeting to meeting, trying to get more of the Holy Spirit. Listen carefully, you have all the Holy Spirit you will ever get and you don’t need any more. He doesn’t come in installments. When you prayed to receive Christ, the Spirit of God came into your life. You didn’t get seventy-seven percent of Him, and another twenty-three percent to be named later. You got all of Him. The question will be, that we’ll find in just a minute, is: Does He have all of you?
Now, back to our main topic. What I want to talk about now is, how does it work?
Four principles to help us get there. Number one, the issue, as I said, is not getting more of the Holy Spirit. It’s Him getting more of you. And I came up with a little picture. There’s actually a booklet called, My Heart – Christ’s Home, that was instrumental, written by Robert Munger.
And the picture that I came up with in my mind that really helped me is this picture here: the Spirit-filled life. Do you see the furnace down there in the corner?
Do you know what “H.S.” stands for? Holy Spirit. Good. The furnace is in a house. Okay? What does the furnace do? The furnace creates heat and then do you see all those little blocks? Those are the vents. Imagine those as the vents in your house.
When the furnace creates the heat, it goes through a duct system, and there’s a vent in each room. If the duct vent is open, what happens? The heat, out of the furnace, comes in. And the more heat it begins to change the atmosphere of the room, right? It begins to exert influence over the entire room. But if the furnace is going, it can go very, very strong. But if the duct is closed, say, in a closet, or if the duct is closed in the family room, or if the duct is closed in the work room, the heat of the Holy Spirit can go in different parts of your life, but appear to really not impact some others.
The issue is not getting more of the Holy Spirit. When you pray to receive Christ, He is in you. His power is available. The same that raised Christ from the dead is available. Here is the issue. The issue is allowing Him, beyond the prayer room, and beyond the private thinking and to open every duct as God leads you, and to allow the Spirit’s influence to begin to take control in every area of your life.
And that’s why some of you and some of us have met people, and this is true of your life to a degree; it’s true of my life to a degree. Have you ever met someone and you have prayed with them and there was a real sense, man, they are really in touch with God.
And then you saw, maybe, at work or in a ministry setting, and you thought, Man, this is authentic. God is really working. And then have you gone home, maybe, and just gotten lunch with them or something and you think, Whoa. This guy treats his wife worse than a dog! You know? Or there is a lady, similar situation, and, I mean, she is just cold and mean and harsh with her kids but, boy, could she teach Bible study!
And you look at that and you think, Man, what is going on here? In your life and in mine, we are, at various levels, allowing the Holy Spirit’s control. And sanctification, or walking with God, becoming more holy, living like a child of the Light, is incrementally opening the ducts to every area of your life, including the closet, the stuff that no one knows about, the stuff that is too painful to look at, where you, literally, open the duct and let the Holy Spirit begin to deal truth and life and love and forgiveness and restoration.
And then what happens is the change happens from the inside out. And then outside this thing you are, this house, you begin to exhibit the characteristics of Christ, more and more, in every situation.
And so the issue of being filled with the Spirit isn’t getting more of Him. It’s Him getting more of you.
The second principle is that we are never told to seek an experience or a gift as an evidence of being filled with the Spirit. I’m all for spiritual gifts, I believe God uses them greatly, I am all for big experiences. I want as many as God will give me! Just make sure that your gifts and experiences – don’t equate those with whether you’re filled with the Spirit or not, or you’ll spend your whole life seeking experiences rather than focusing on the Lord.
Third, probably most important, the conditions for being filled. There are conditions. There are three conditions to allow, to open those ducts so the Spirit of God is working in your life. Condition number one is obedience. Yieldedness. Dedication. The apostle Paul, after teaching who we are in Christ, for eleven chapters, in chapter 12, verse 1 of Romans, says, “Therefore I urge you, beloved brothers, in light of God’s mercy, that you present,” a point in time, “your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable,” or logical, “sense of worship.”
And then look at verse 2, “And do not be conformed to this world,” don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold, operating under the flesh, but – what? “have your mind transformed by the renewing of your mind, that your life,” or lifestyle, “might prove,” or demonstrate, “what the will of God is, which is good, acceptable, and perfect.”
And so what you see is the way the Holy Spirit works and fills you, He will transform your thinking, your attitudes, you mind, your worldview, your perception. In fact, you want to really know how to get filled with the Holy Spirit? Let me show you a chart. As I was reading through the New Testament, I came upon a very interesting passage in Colossians 3. Ephesians and Colossians are what are called “twin epistles.” They were written about the same time, to two different groups.
Look at the parallels. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you.” Now let’s look at the parallels between being filled with the Spirit and being filled with God’s Word. When you are filled with the Spirit, what is true of you? “Speaking to one another in hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs.” When you are filled with the Word, “teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, spiritual songs.” Does anybody see a parallel here?
When you are filled with the Spirit: singing, making melody in your heart to God! When you are filled with the Word: singing with thankfulness! See the parallel? When you are filled with the Spirit: always giving thanks for all things. Filled with the Word: giving thanks through Him to God.
When you are filled with the Spirit: submitting to one another. When you are filled with the Word: whatever you do, do all in the name of Jesus, submission implied. And then after that, both epistles talk about what relationships and family and children look like when you are filled with the Spirit. Do you see the parallel between being filled with the Spirit and being filled with the Word?
The Spirit doesn’t do some mystical work where He just changes you. He uses the raw material of God’s Word. Even Jesus said – what? “Man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
Let me tell you something, upfront. If you are not in God’s Word on a very regular basis, not just to read it, but to read it, to think about, to digest it, and obey it, you will not be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is impossible. The raw material of the Spirit of God is the Word of God.
It’s so that you can have your mind renewed, every morning, or every night, or both, so that the Spirit of God could put truth in your mind and you will know the truth and truth will set you free.
The first condition to being filled with the Spirit is obedience to God and to His Word. The second condition is an undefeated life. And that doesn’t mean perfection. What I mean is when you know about sin, I’m sitting in the parking lot, I just sinned. I blew up at my kid. God has convicted me. I have a choice. I either repent of that sin, or I say, “You know what? I’m tired. He deserves this. I know I was wrong. Get in there, have your music practice. I’m a pastor. The heck with you, kid.” I have quenched the Spirit.
I have news for you. Spiritual fruit is not going to be born until I deal with that. I either apologize to him, confess to God, the word is repent. The word repent means just to have a change of mind. I was wrong. This is wrong behavior. This is not godly. Repent! Seek forgiveness, be restored, ask Him to fill me afresh.
If you’re involved in activities that you know are wrong, you will not be filled with the Spirit. If you’re involved in a relationship that you know is sinful, you will not be filled with the Spirit. If you are not handling your money in a way that God has made clear to you in how you should handle your money, you will not be filled with the Spirit.
If you’re watching material or reading material that you know doesn’t honor God, and you have this twinge of guilt and you know it’s wrong, if you keep doing it, you will not be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 4, 30 and 31, notice what it says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Don’t grieve Him, don’t make Him sad, this is about a relationship. What does it say? “Get rid of all bitterness and rage and anger and brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
And then I love the next verse, “And be,” positive, “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,” – how? “just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Condition number one, obedience to God and His Word. Condition number two, an undefeated life. That means you deal with known sin. Condition number three is a dependent life: John 15. It’s the picture of the vine and the branch. It’s this dependency, that you need God. It’s practicing the presence of God. It’s talking to Him as you’re getting dressed and when you’re shaving and in-between times and while you’re driving the car.
It’s this link, all the time, of, I need You. Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk,” or, “live by the Spirit and you will not” – what? “fulfill the desires of the flesh.” Notice it’s a walk. You take a step and stumble, you take a step and stumble. God understands. This isn’t about perfection. This isn’t about having it all together. It’s about obedience to God and His Word, it’s about dealing with what He shows me, and then living with a sense of dependence, like a child to a father.
And the final one, here, is remember this is not mechanical. It’s relational. This is not about, Okay, I want to be filled with the Spirit. Three chapters a day, one at night. Let’s see, I’m going to pray for seven point five minutes. “Dear God. I love you. I love everyone. Bless the world.” Good deeds, I’m going to do two good deeds today, and, oh, I got a tract. I’m going to tell someone about Christ. “Here, have you heard about Christ?”
Go try that, when you think about building a relationship with another human being, what do you do? Time, commitment, conversation, listening, scheduling time away to be together, a connection of the heart. Does it involve discipline? Sure. Do you always want to spend time with someone you want to get close to? You don’t always feel like it, but you do it.
But it’s not about legalism or rules. It’s about a heart relationship. The best picture I can give you is just, I am committed to building an intimate relationship with my wife and with my kids. But it’s not like, Okay, Mondays, I give her candy. Wednesdays, I send her flowers. “Hi, honey, how are you?” You know, it’s not mechanical.
Do we set aside Fridays? A date each week? Yes. Do we commit to, every day, having a time where we really talk? Yes. Do we sit down and do some planning about what we are going to do with our money and our time? Yes. Do we plan a couple, or three weekends a year to get away? Yes. But it’s about your heart. It’s about wanting to be close. And God longs to be close to you. He wants to fill you with the Spirit. He wants to saturate your life with His love and His joy and His peace.
But before you walk out the door, you are at the fork in the road. You can be run by you, or you can yield to the Spirit of God, right now, and begin a journey of being filled with the Spirit. And it will change your heart and you will increasingly become less and less hypocritical.
Will you bow your head and just privately talk with God? And ask Him, God, ask Him, God, if You will show me the first step to be filled with Your Spirit, from what I have heard today, I will do it. You pray that and sit quietly, and He will show you.