The Berean Expositor
Volume 45 - Page 14 of 251
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"The Spirit entered into me when He spake unto me" (Ezek. 2: 2).
It may also be remembered that when, on the day of Pentecost, "they were all filled
with holy spirit" (literally), the first outcome of this was, that they "began to speak with
other tongues" (Acts 2: 4). Also in both Eph. 5: 18 and Col. 3: 16 the immediate
contexts in which "filled by the Spirit" and "word of Christ" appear refer to "speaking"
and "singing".
Hence, in the light of the strong connection between `spirit' and `word' in some parts
of Scripture, the comparison between Eph. 5: 18 and Col. 3: 16 can be seen to be quite
valid insofar that it suggests that, to be "filled by the Spirit" is to be filled with "the word
of Christ".
But how does this become a reality for the believer? Is it to be prayed for? Certainly
prayer enters into it, but not that alone. The "word of Christ" is surely that word which
the believer has before him an open Bible; it is the word that He has already given
through His servants, Moses, Peter, Paul, John, etc.; it is "the word of the Lord" in both
Old and New Testaments. It must surely be obvious that for it to `dwell' in the believer
that word must be read, and if it is to dwell in him "richly", it must be inwardly digested,
and if it is to dwell richly "in all wisdom", then it must be wisely handled, it must be
"rightly divided" (II Tim. 2: 15).
The outcome of this is that if the Word of Christ is neglected, then there can be no
possibility of being "filled by the Spirit" in the present dispensation. The attitude for the
believer to take with respect to the Scriptures must be that of a `workman' seeking
approval before God (II Tim. 2: 15), and so will the Holy Spirit fill him with that Word.
(To emphasize the workmanlike attitude that the believer should take to the Word of
truth, we recall that the late editor of this publication, Mr. 100: H. Welch, was fond of
describing his own study of the Word as, one percent inspiration and 99 percent
It has been observed (at the beginning of this article) that some believers look for an
emotional experience in connection with the injunction "be filled with the Spirit" (A.V.)
and it may be thought, in the light of what has been said on this so far, that emotion must
be discounted altogether, but this is not so. There is an emotion connected with the
hearing of the Word of Christ which is quite Scriptural:
"Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the
scriptures the things concerning Himself . . . . . And they said one to another, Did not our
heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the
Scriptures?" (Luke 24: 27, 32).
Many believers would testify to a similar experience while sitting under the ministry
of the Word, or in private devotion with the Word of truth. This is the real thing, and
must not be confused with any emotion brought about by other means (all too common
unfortunately, especially in evangelistic rallies).