An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 260 of 277
We trust that the reader has been led from Logic to the Logos, and has
discovered that in the Person of the Son of God we arrive at true
understanding, and that apart from Him, all reasoning is incomplete, and
becomes at best a great 'perhaps'.
A Word fitly Spoken
It is an axiom sanctioned alike by Scripture and popular proverb that
actions speak louder than words.  Yet while we should ever remember that such
is the case, we must not miss the Scriptural importance of the spoken word.
'Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the
day of judgment' (Matt. 12:36).  The context shows the idle word to be
'Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh' (Matt. 12:34).
'If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able
also to bridle the whole body' (Jas. 3:2).
James continues with the figure of the small bit in the horse's mouth,
and the small rudder of the great ship.  It was sufficient for God to
confound the words of men at Babel in order to stop their work.  No work is
accomplished without words spoken, written or described.  The builder must
have plans and specifications; the soldier must have orders; the merchant
must give instructions and keep accounts.  Let us therefore remember the
power of a word.  In the physical world many are dumb simply because they are
deaf (see Mark 7:35).  In the spiritual world also the same is true.  Would
we have the 'tongue of the learner'? then Isaiah 50:4 shows us that such is
ours only as we have the 'ear to hear as the learned'.
Be Filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18)
This passage is important enough to warrant a pause and a careful
examination.  First we can see an intended contrast, a contrast introduced in
verse 3 of this same chapter.  The Gentiles who knew not God found their
enjoyment and inspiration in the intoxication of wine, their speech was
corrupt, filthy and unfit for saints.  Their drinking songs, accompanied by
instruments, resounded with the praise of Bacchus, Venus and the like.  The
saint is to be a contrast.  Instead of wine he is to be filled with the
Spirit, instead of unclean mirth and idolatrous songs he is to sing spiritual
songs and make melody in his heart.  Instead of praising the gods of darkness
his melody and praise should be directed to the Lord.  What are we to
understand by the injunction, 'Be filled with the Spirit'?
To understand this statement it is necessary to understand the use of
the Greek verb to fill.  Pleroo, 'to fill', takes three cases after it.  As
an active verb, followed by the Accusative, of the vessel or whatever is
filled.  As an active verb, followed by the Genitive, of what it is filled
with.  As a passive verb, followed by the Dative, of the filler, and as a
passive verb, followed by the Genitive, of what the vessel is filled with.
In the passage before us the verb is passive, and 'with Spirit', en pneumati,
is dative.  This means that the Spirit is the One that fills, and not that
the believer is filled with the Spirit.  To make sure that the meaning is
clear, let us put it this way.  A cup may be filled with water, it may be
filled with a pump.  Now, the incongruity of the statement would prevent