Written Word

Lesson Four: Living a Spirit-Filled Life

Study Guide

  • Before you begin, take time to pray, asking God to give you guidance and understanding.
  • Read Ephesians 5:18 a few times.
  • Note what you believe to be the important statements.
  • Answer the questions below.
  • Conclude your time of study with prayer, this time asking God to help you to live a Spirit-filled life.

Lesson taken from Ephesians 5:18
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

1. A Contrast of Two Lifestyles
– The Wine-Filled Life
– The Spirit-Filled Life
2. How Are We Filled With The Spirit?
3. Holy Evidence of a Spirit-Filled Life
4. Hindrances to a Spirit-Filled Life
5. Memory Verses

A Contrast of Two Lifestyles

The Wine-Filled Life

One is filled with wine, not by one drink but by continually drinking.

A wine-filled life is lived under the influence, the control of wine. Wine has become the master and the drinker has become its slave.

The wine-filled life displays itself in ungodly behaviour, violence, vulgarity, abusive speech, etc. It is a wasted life, destroying the mind and shattering dreams and promises.

There is nothing in the wine-filled life that has any right in the life of a Christian.

The Spirit-Filled Life

The life of a Christian is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Our life is to be lived under his holy influence, his control.

We are filled with the Spirit by continually allowing the Spirit to influence every area of our life. We are placing our life under his control.

How would you know if a person is filled with the Spirit? What would there be about his or her life that would provide confirmation? Two examples from the book of Acts will suffice.

  1. The appointing of seven men to oversee the benevolence of the church required that they be men filled with the Spirit. (Acts 6:3-4) How would you know which seven to pick?
  2. And Barnabas, a great servant of the church is described as a man full of the Spirit. (Acts 11:23-24)

What was it about the lives of these people that confirmed they were under the influence of the Spirit?

Finally, the Spirit-filled life is not optional, neither is it restricted to a select few. It is an imperative command for all God’s people and should be the goal of every Christian.

Question 1: How would you know if a person is filled with wine?
Question 2: How would you describe the behaviour of one whose life is under the influence of wine?
Question 3: In Acts 6, seven men filled with the Spirit were to be appointed to oversee benevolence. How did the church make this appointment?

How are We Filled with the Spirit?

We are filled with the Spirit to the extent that we allow the Spirit to influence our life. One way in which the Spirit influences us is through the Word of God. We read what the Spirit wrote and we hear what the Spirit has to say and then we live in obedience to the message. (Revelation 1:11; 2:7)

Second, we allow the Word of God to fill our heart and mind and to the extent we do that the Spirit is controlling our life. (Colossians 3:16)

Third, we respond to the work of the Spirit in our life yielding to his gentle movement in our heart. (Galatians 5:16,18,22,25)

Fourth, the spiritually thirsty are invited to Jesus who will quench their thirst by the Holy Spirit. The thirsty are those who desire to do the will of the Lord. They pursue obedience like a thirsty man pursues water. He has to have it! We drink but the result is an abundant display of the Spirit’s presence in our life. (John 7:37-39)

Question 4: How does the Word of God help us live a Spirit-filled life?
Question 5: What do Jesus’ words mean in John 7:37-39?

Holy Evidence of a Spirit-Filled Life

When we live a Spirit filled life Jesus will be seen living within us. (Ephesians 3:16-17) The word ‘dwell’ in verse 17 speaks of permanent abode as opposed to temporary accommodation. Jesus spoke of the Father and the Son taking up their permanent abode in the life of those who love and obey him. (John 14:23)

The Spirit filled life is not an ordinary life, it bears all the marks of something supernatural, something for which there is not a natural explanation. The evidence of God at work in our life is undeniable. (Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 3:20; Hebrews 13:20-21)

Question 6: If you had to tell someone about how to live a Spirit-filled life, what would you tell them?
Question 7: The Lord is said to ‘dwell’ in the life of a Spirit-filled believer. What does that mean?
Question 8: God is at work in our life. Explain the main thoughts in Philippians 2:12-13 and Ephesians 3:20

Hindrances to a Spirit-Filled Life

  • Resisting the Spirit’s teaching (Acts 7:51)
  • Grieving the Spirit by our impenitence (Ephesians 4:30)
  • Quenching the Spirit by our indifference and disobedience (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
  • Not living a holy life (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8)

Question 9: Outline a number of steps you are going to take to ensure that you live a Spirit-filled life.

Memory Verses

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:37-39)

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8)

End of Lesson 4. Remember to conclude your time of study with prayer, this time asking God to help you to live a Spirit-filled life.