This is a question that's been asked by God-fearing people throughout all of Christianity. The mysteries of God are revealed in the Bible, and the answer to this question lies there also. To establish how you can be filled with the Holy Spirit, we need to be able to distinguish the difference between the indwelling of the Spirit and the filling of the Spirit.
John 14:16 clearly establishes vital points of note: that Jesus promises us "another helper", and then he will be "with you forever." The following points establish the aspects of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
- All throughout the Bible, it's referenced that the promise of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is for all mankind who believe and have faith in Jesus Christ. One such statement is found in John 7:37-39 where we are told that all it takes is faith to inherit the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- A secondary note of importance is the moment of when you can experience the indwelling of the Spirit. In Ephesians 1:13, we are told it is given at the time of salvation. For emphasis on this point, Galatians 3:2 enforces the truth that the Holy Spirit is given when you believe.
- Once you have been given this, it's Jesus' promise that the Holy Spirit will indwell with you indefinitely. In 2 Corinthians 1:22 and Ephesians 4:30, we are taught that we are in need of the Spirit if we are to be partakers of our full glorification in Christ.
Unlike the indwelling which is permanent, the filling of the Holy Spirit is dependent upon ourselves; how we live our lives, how we treat others, the purity of our thoughts and our hearts, and all those things that keep us close to God. By yielding ourselves to Jesus Christ and allowing Him to guide and control our lives, we allow the Holy Spirit to fully possess us, and in this way we are filled with the Spirit.
- Romans 8:9, John 7:38-39 - We learn here that the Holy Spirit can be with any and all believers in him and Jesus Christ. The only condition to have the Spirit dwell in you is faith; being a believer.
- Ephesians 4:30 - Here we see that we can "grieve" or offend the Holy Spirit.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:19 - From the aforementioned verses we learn that we can experience a loss of the Holy Spirit according to the way we live our lives. Consequentially, we essentially "put out the Spirit's fire" where we quench the Spirit's ability to work within us.
Why Is it Important?
Being filled with the Holy Spirit allows us to be an instrument in God's hands; to be a servant to all mankind by allowing Him to guide us in our lives, and to live according to His will for us. When we are filled with the Spirit, our deeds and thoughts are pure and are productive in providing good fruits that please God. Psalm 19:14 reminds us that it's not only our outside actions and works that are of import, but also our thoughts and intentions.
Sin and the Holy Spirit
To fulfill the demands given us in Ephesians 5:18, we must realize that we need to be pure vessels of obedience to God in order for the Holy Spirit to work within us. Our sins are the obstacles that prevents the Spirit free reign to fill us. Repenting of our sins to God enables us to then become a vessel for the Spirit to fill us, and become a faithful servant to God and others.