Correspondence: Filled with the Spirit; John 15:6

John 15:6  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Question: What does being filled with the Spirit mean? W. I. C.
“Be filled with the Spirit” is an exhortation, which may be true only occasionally (Eph. 5:1717Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:17) to 19). We are to learn the will of God in verse 17. We are not to be intoxicated with worldly pleasures, but be filled with the Spirit, and verse 19 shows the result of being filled. It is speaking to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord, and this is called in Colossians 3:1616Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16), “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
Those who are filled with the, Spirit do not speak of it, for they are taken up with the Lord. One may well doubt a person that tells us he, or she, is filled with the Holy Spirit; and, except three special cases in Acts, chapters 2, 10 and 19, which could not happen again, for it was the beginning of Christianity, none of them spoke with tongues. Speaking with tongues in Scripture is intelligent language to the hearers, and it is forbidden, where it is not interpreted (1 Cor. 14:2828But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. (1 Corinthians 14:28)). It was on special occasions, such as Acts 4:3131And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31) and 13:9, that this filling is mentioned. The same with John the Baptist, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary—it was for these occasions.
Question: Does John 15:66If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:6) refer to one that is a false professor of Christ? Can it apply to a true Christian? Is abiding in Christ the way a Christian can bear fruit? M. J.
Answer: Yes, John 15 would apply primarily to such as Judas Iscariot, who was in reality the son of perdition, and to all those whom the Lord saw only believed on Him when they saw the miracles He did (John 2:2323Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. (John 2:23)), and who could turn away and walk no more with Him when anything displeased them (John 6:6666From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (John 6:66)).
We, who are born again, and redeemed, and have the Holy Spirit now dwelling in us, can only bear fruit pleasing to the Father as we abide in communion with the Lord. It is in having Christ as our object, and seeking to learn of Him through prayer and feeding on the Word, that we become more like Him. The Father is glorified in our bearing much fruit, and thus being true disciples of His.
“Disciple” means one who is taught, or trained. We need first to be saved before we can be true followers of Christ. To be faithful followers, or disciples, we need to give Him the first place in our hearts—our object to live for.
Disciples bring forth fruit, and are taught and purged, that they may bring forth more fruit. And the Father is glorified in their bringing forth much fruit. (Vs. 2, 8).
An empty profession of Christ, without knowing redemption through His blood, ends in eternal woe.