Identifying Characteristics of the Spirit-Filled


          “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:18-21).

          There are some voices in our world which declare that being filled with God’s Holy Spirit means a person talks out of his head and behaves bizarrely. Regardless of how many or how loud these voices may be, they are not Biblically accurate.

          In describing the identifying traits of a Spirit-filled person, the inspired apostle uses five participles in the above verses. These are:

  • speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” The reciprocal pronoun “one another” implies a joint participation of all the Spirit-filled. This indicates a number of people using a common language, not a single person uttering unintelligible gibberish.
  • singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” The words spoken in the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are heartfelt and sincere. Worship for the Spirit-filled is neither bizarre nor rote.
  • giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Genuine praise of God is a mighty wellspring for gratitude. God’s glorious praiseworthiness is best paired in your heart with a spirit of appreciation which is giving thanks always for all things.
  • submitting to one another in the fear of God.” Humility and unselfishness are hallmarks of the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:3-4) and thus are essential identifying characteristics of those who are Spirit-filled.

          Praise. Sincerity. Gratitude. Humility. Unselfishness. These are the identifying characteristics of the Spirit-filled, according to the Holy Spirit Himself.

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Author: jchowning

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