“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” John 10:10
Do you feel like there’s something missing in your life? Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior and been born again? You’ve heard of Jesus’ promise for “abundant life,” but maybe you’re wondering where’s the abundance? If you’ve done that, and are attempting to serve the Lord, are you having success, are you fruitful? Are you serving the Lord, but your efforts just seem to fall flat? Are you a polished well practiced orator but still have difficulty making an impact for the Lord? Are you educated with denominational approval but can’t seem to reach the lost or comfort the hurting like you feel you should?
If you are pressing on in your walk with the Lord, trying to please Him, but seem bogged down or ineffective, you are not alone. Apollos was a very naturally gifted person who gave the appearance of ministering effectively, but still there was something missing. We can learn a lot from this brother in Christ. His account is found in Acts 18.
Acts 18:23-28 – “After he had spent some time there, he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples. 24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.”
Paul spent an unspecified amount of time back in Jerusalem and then embarked on the Third Missionary Journey (18:23). He first came to the region of Galatia and Phrygia with a mission of strengthening the disciples in these areas. This area is referred to as Asia Minor or modern-day Turkey.
It was about this time, during the Third Missionary Journey, that a man named Apollos came on the scene arriving in Ephesus. Apollos is described as eloquent and mighty in the scriptures, was instructed in the way of the Lord and fervent in spirit, and even spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, but he still lacked and needed to be taught (18:24-25). Now eloquence is sometimes a sign of pride and Apollos, if he was proud could have resisted the efforts of Aquila and Priscilla to teach him “more accurately,” but he was humble. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5). Once Apollos received the more accurate teaching of the word, his ministry flourished (18:26-28).
Notice, it is in the context of the fellowship of believers that Apollos is shown the more accurate way. If you stray from the fellowship of God, you will likely find yourself a victim of the many wolves in sheep’s clothing that roam the world (Matthew 7:15-20; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 2 Peter 2). It is important that we stay in fellowship so that we can receive a steady diet of the word, godly input from others and apply what we learn to our lives in the Spirit. It is in fellowship that the Spirit uses spiritual gifts to edify believers (Ephesians 4:11f.). It is in fellowship where we find encouragement and help to continue (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Seeking Accuracy in God’s Word
The words “more accurately” are translated from the Greek term AKRIBESTERON (Strong’s # 197 – ak-ree-bes´-ter-on) which means, “more exactly. . . more perfect (-ly).”  It’s important that we learn the scriptures “accurately.” Paul wrote Timothy:
- 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
When the Spirit acts, He puts a desire in us to seek out the truth, the absolute and accurate truth of God in His word. And when we are in the accurate path of God’s word, we are confident and fearless. A healthy spirit responds to the Spirit’s revelation of truth in all matters. Jesus said:
- John 8:31-32 – “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (See also Luke 24:25-32)
Later in the New Testament the Apostle Paul prayed for believers to be filled with the knowledge of God:
- Colossians 1:9-10 – “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” (See also Colossians 3:9-10).
Even the Apostle Peter, with fisherman roots, exhorted Christians to receive knowledge from God:
- 2 Peter 1:2-11 – “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
There’s a lot to unpack from these inspired words of Peter, but that’s for another study. Suffice it to say that we should heed Peter’s exhortation to, “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
Like Apollos, we may be very talented or naturally gifted, but it is apparent to those around us that something is missing. We may even sense that missing something ourselves. So many Christians today fail to experience the abundant life Jesus spoke of (John 10:10) because they are inaccurately informed or simply uninformed. That can be discouraging.
But God is faithful, when we are beset by the temptation to self-pity or discouragement, He will show us the way to fulfillment and effectiveness. He does this with His word and revelation truth. Every jot and tittle of God’s word is important (Matthew 5:18; Luke 16:17). When we are perplexed or in need of explanation it is to the word of God that we need to go. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth (John 16:13).
As the Lord moves us to seek the truth (like Bereans – Acts 17:10-15), what is it that He wants us to know? What was it that Apollos lacked? What was it that Aquila and Priscilla saw or heard in Apollos that revealed he was lacking something?
We Need to be Accurate with the Word
If you’re thinking it doesn’t much matter whether a person is completely and fully accurate with the Lord or not then I encourage you to consider something. 99.9 percent is pretty accurate, but even if 99.9 percent is your standard or what you feel is “good enough,: then twelve babies will be given to the wrong parents today, and every day. Think of the havoc and heartbreak that would cause, and just for one tenth of one percent inaccuracy. Being 99.9 percent accurate leads to further chaos. For instance, there will be two million documents lost by the IRS, 22,000 bank checks will be deducted from the wrong bank accounts, planes will be landing daily off schedule endangering their passengers, 18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled in the next hour. More importantly, if our standard is 99.9 percent then 291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly this year, there will be 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions written in the next 12 months, and 107 incorrect medical procedures will be performed by the end of the day today.  Yes, accuracy is important. And how much more is accuracy important when it comes to eternal issues?
It’s important we walk in the more accurate ways of the Lord. All the above problems are temporal and involve temporal things. But an inaccurate gospel or inaccurate doctrine could lead to a dark eternal destiny and eternal is forever. When we leave the accuracy of God’s word, we enter a fearful forest of doubts and uncertainty. But when we walk in the accurate path of scripture, we are confident in the Spirit’s leading and face our fears courageously. We need to teach the word accurately. Imagine the problems we experience when we fall short of God’s glorious promises because we are satisfied with living in a way with the Lord that is not accurate or fully what He desires it to be for us? Imagine the problems the body of Christ has when we follow a less than scripturally accurate way. Jesus came that we might experience an abundant and full life in the Spirit (John 10:10). Don’t settle for something less than what God wants for you. Accept by faith the more accurate way of the Spirit.
The More Accurate Way
Apollos had a lot of talent, but something was missing. Ministry is not merely for the most talented. Effective, God-glorifying ministry requires more than human talent. There was something Aquila and Priscilla noticed that was lacking in this great orator Apollos when he came to fellowship with them (18:26). What was he missing? What is the more accurate way referred to here? Something was lacking in Apollos’ ministry. What was it? If we look at the context here we see that it states, “he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John” (18:25). The implication is that Apollos’ ministry was less accurate because it did not include the teaching of the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4-5), the baptism with the Holy Spirit which empowers for service and cleanses the heart (Acts 1:8; 4:31; 15:8-9). This baptism with the Holy Spirit is something Jesus pours out on us. “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:33). This is what Apollos was lacking, the baptism with the Holy Spirit from Jesus. Without this baptism there is no true eternal effectiveness. No amount of earning or skill or gifting can overcome the absence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit from Jesus. Do you have it? Apollos didn’t and Aquila and Priscilla knew that and helped him to find what he was lacking.
If you are unaware of and have not experienced the baptism with the Holy Spirit, your way is not as accurate and full as God desires it to be. Without the baptism with the Holy Spirit the service you seek to do for the Lord will be frustrating and futile because it will rely on your own limited strength. You can’t serve the Lord properly by relying on your flesh (Galatians 3:1-5).
When we look at the context of Aquila and Priscilla taking Apollos aside and teaching him the more accurate way, we see the following evidence of what that entailed. Let’s look at what it apparently does not mean and then what it apparently does mean.
First, the more accurate way is not eloquence (18:24a). The word “eloquent” (Greek logios) means fluent, an orator, learned, a man of letters, skilled in literature and the arts, versed in history and antiquities, skilled in speech, rational, wise. The problem with Apollos was not education or training. Apollos was very skilled and trained. He was apparently very educated. And yet he lacked something. Despite these skills, he still needed to be taken aside and shown God’s ways more accurately.
Second, the more accurate way is not being “mighty in the scriptures” (18:24b). The word “mighty” (Greek dynatos) means powerful or capable, able, strong, mighty in (e.g. wealth and influence), strong in soul (e.g. to bear trials and difficulties), excelling in something. Apparently Apollos was well versed in the scriptures. That this was so, and he still needed to be shown more accurately the ways of God does not minimize the importance of knowing scripture, it simply means he needed to know the meaning of scripture more accurately. There are those who know Gods’ word very academically; they are fluent in the original languages. But even such scholars can lack something.
We need to go beyond ink to the Spirit, beyond stone tablets to the Spirit’s words written on the heart (2 Cor. 3:2-3). Our sufficiency cannot be in ourselves but in the Spirit. We need to understand that relying on “the letter” in our own strength profits us nothing, just like Apollos discovered. The Holy Spirit on the other hand, is where we find life and fruitfulness (2 Cor. 3:4-6).
Just because we can spout off a bunch of scripture does not necessarily mean we know or have experienced the substance of the scriptures we are spouting off. We need to know the more accurate ways of the LORD that the scriptures teach.
Third, the more accurate way is not being instructed “in the way of the Lord” (18:25a). Of course we need to be instructed in the ways of the Lord, but you can be instructed in the ways of the Lord and still need more accuracy in what you know. You must go beyond the introductory or rudimentary teachings related to the Lord. We need to be born again, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, but then we need to grow and mature in our faith. We need to move forward, progress, grow in our faith and mature in our understanding of the ways of the Lord.
Fourth, the more accurate way is not merely being “fervent in spirit” (18:25b). “Fervent” (Greek zeo) means to be hot, boiling, glowing hot, fervent. The more accurate way is not merely enthusiasm or excitement, it is something more accurate than this. The 450 prophets of Baal jumped and gyrated, but nothing came from their false god Baal. It was Spirit filled Elijah who simply prayed and trusted the Lord who was the instrument of a mighty victory that glorified God and revived His wayward people (1 Kings 18).
Fifth, the more accurate way is not merely speaking and teaching accurately “the things of the Lord” (18:25b). A person can teach and speak accurately about the things of the Lord, and still need a more accurate understanding of “the way of God.” We can parrot what others have taught in the Spirit, we can plagiarize their work, we can honestly explain “the things of the Lord,” and, according to what Apollos shows us, still need to be more accurately instructed.
Sixth, the more accurate way is more than “the baptism of John” (18:25c). The baptism of John was a call to repentance (Acts 19:4). Repentance from sin is a necessary part of saving faith. John preached repentance (Matthew 3:1-2). Repentance is important, but there is a sense in which we need to go beyond repentance to a more accurate way of the God.
Seventh, the more accurate way is not merely speaking boldly (18:26a). Apollos was speaking boldly and eloquently, but Aquila and Priscilla still felt he needed to be taken aside and taught about a more accurate way. What Apollos needed was not a matter of volume or clarity. This more accurate way is not about drumming up courage to confront opponents. It is more than that.
In Hebrews it states:
- Hebrews 6:1–2 (NKJV) – Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
In Hebrews we are called to “go on to perfection.” “Perfection” (Greek teleiotes) is not mathematical perfection, but rather maturity, completeness, a state of more or spiritual maturity. This is parallel to the more accurate way referred to in our Acts 18 passage.
What then is this more accurate way?
First, the more accurate way begins with being humble enough to receive teaching about it (18:26b). Apollos was clearly a gifted speaker, yet he went with Aquila and Priscilla and received their more accurate teaching. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5). Our Shepherd will lead humble sheep to green pastures in His word where they can find nourishment for their soul.
Second, the more accurate way involves a spiritual ordaining (18:27a). When Apollos desired to go to Achaia, he was given the endorsement of the brethren in writing to the other churches to receive him. After Aquilla and Priscilla took Apollos aside and taught him more accurately, he apparently submitted to their instruction. And the Spirit apparently anointed Apollos with His empowerment. Apollos was still bold and charismatic. He was still eloquent and educated. He was still fervent and accurate in the scriptures. But now He bore the undeniable mark of the Spirit, an anointing and heaven-sent effectiveness that he previously lacked.
The more accurate way is something recognizable to others who have it. There is a fellowship of the anointed. And such an anointing is clearly evident to the congregation of God. this was true for Apollos to the extent that they were willing to endorse and testify that he had the anointing. It is an ordination or anointing from above that makes ministering Christlike, extraordinary, impactful, fruitful, glorifying to God. That’s what Apollos lacked but now had experienced.
Third, the more accurate way is an enablement to greatly help those who believe (18:27b). In the initial description of Apollos, his eloquence, mightiness in the scriptures, his instruction in the Lord, fervent spirit, and accuracy in relaying the scriptures and John’s baptism were all noted. But what was missing from his description was any mention of his effectiveness or the impact such skilled and highly trained ministry from him had on those he sought to minister to. Perhaps no mention was made of his impact, because there was little if any.
When Apollos arrived something had changed in him. Apollos was welcomed and “greatly” (Greek polys – Adjective: much, abundantly, greatly, much, plenteously) “helped” (Greek symballo) or consult, converse, aid, personally join, confer, help, meet with, to bring together. The description of Apollos after his being instructed by Aquila and Priscilla includes mention of the impact he now had on those he ministered to. Apparently, once Apollos had been taught the way of God more accurately, he was enabled to greatly help and bring people together. This is the anointing by the Spirit; to effectively help those ministered to. We see this anointing of the Spirit throughout Acts with Peter at Pentecost and Caesarea (Acts 2 and 10), and we see it with Paul on his missionary journeys and especially in Athens (Acts 17).
Folks, this also speaks of God’s love. Jesus came to give Himself for the lost because He loves us (e.g. John 3:16; John 13:34-35; 15:12-13). This love is associated with the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22-25). And as we discussed in Acts 2, the baptism with the Holy Spirit is a baptism with God’s love, an overflowing of the same kind of love the Father and Jesus has for the lost that moved them to the cross (e.g. Romans 5:8). Such love is the Spirit’s anointing and is the compelling force behind anointed ministry. “For the love of Christs compels us” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
Fourth, the more accurate way is a Spirit empowered, vigorous proving from the scriptures that Jesus is the Christ (18:28). Prior to being instructed in the way of God more accurately, Apollos was very eloquent and intellectual in arguing from the scriptures. But the big difference from before to after being taught the more accurate way of God is that now Jesus was the center of his teaching. Now he was “showing” (Greek epideiknymi) or illustrating clearly in an understandable way, exhibiting, display, bring into view, demonstrating, to display something belonging to oneself. Salvation is in the name of Jesus, by grace through faith in Him (e.g. John 5:24-30; Ephesians 2). But the baptism with the Holy Spirit, which Jesus demanded His disciples to receive before they embarked on the Great Commission, that baptism was and is, from Jesus. “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he poured out this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:33). Jesus is “the Christ,” but He is also the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit.
The love of God – an essential accurate detail. Could it be that the more accurate way Apollos had been ushered into was a newfound, deeper experience of the love of God within? John Wesley spoke of his heart being “strangely warmed.” After that the Lord used Wesley to revive and redeem a nation. Perhaps Wesley experienced something like what Apollos had experienced. Perhaps Apollos’ heart was warmed, no, melted for the eternal welfare of those around him. God pours out His love into our heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Apart from the love of God anything and everything we do is worthless (1 Corinthians 13). The fruit of the Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22-25). Love, I believe a deeper, more profound and life impacting love is the heart of the more accurate way. I believe one of the most if not the most accurate detail of this more accurate way, is the love of God overflowing and then bursting forth from the heart. Apollos graduated from a head-knowledge to a heart-passion related to Jesus. Jesus has a way of warming, no, setting ablaze the heart of the one who receives His word (e.g. Luke 24:27 and 32). Apollos was set aglow by the fire of Jesus’ love.
Fifth, therefore, GRACE, the more accurate way is to depend on the Spirit above one’s own personal resources (e.g. education, ability to communicate or argue, intellect). It’s not an accident that the final words of this passage mentions Apollos was able to help those “who had believed through grace” (18:27). Apollos was very gifted intellectually and educationally, but such personal resources could take him only so far. Apollos needed to more accurately understand that he had to surrender to the Holy Spirit and be a vessel for His use. He needed to be more deeply transformed by the love of God. Apollos had to be more accurately taught to depend more fully on the Holy Spirit and not himself. He needed a heart set afire by Jesus and His gift of the Holy Spirit. And all that he was instructed by Aquilla and Priscilla that he needed, was available to him by grace.
Maybe Apollos was depending on his personal human resources. His focus may have been too much on what he could do and not enough on what Christ had done. Maybe he needed to be reminded, maybe we need to be reminded that we are nothing and that all increase comes from the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:7). Maybe Apollos and we need to be reminded that our salvation is a gift of God’s grace received through faith in Jesus. But God, who answers our prayers exceedingly abundantly (Eph. 3:20), also blesses us with an opportunity to serve in His plans and He empowers us to do so effectively. It is Jesus who offers us this baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33). It is God the Heart-Knower who purifies our heart by faith as a gift of His grace (Acts 15:8). Purified from what? Purified from self-reliance, self-indulgence, self-centeredness, selfishness, sin. And God does this for us as a gift of His grace. We are so blessed by our God. All of His blessings are provided by His grace and received through faith. Apollos needed to be shown more accurately the way of the God, but for that more accurate way to impact his life, all he needed to do was receive it through faith because it was a gift of God’s grace. That was true for him, it is true for us too. Just admit your need and ask the Lord. Then receive through faith.
Truly, the book of Acts is not about only effective training or discipleship as much as it is the account of what happens when followers of Jesus give themselves entirely to Jesus and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is only when we are entirely trusting in the Spirit that we can be entirely used by the Spirit for His mighty work and plans.
Three Transforming Works of the Spirit in the Believer
This is a good place to review the three works of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. The Spirit is always working to transform the believer into the likeness of Jesus Christ. There are three transforming works of the Spirit in the believer. They are as follows.
The first thing the Holy Spirit does in the life of a believer is INDWELLING them at conversion. This is the “in” (Greek EN) experience referred to in John 14:17. In John 3 this work is described as being “born again.” Later in John 4:13-14 Jesus describes this experience as drinking “living water” that quenches the thirst for spiritual fulfillment in every human. In John 20:22 Jesus further describes this experience as receiving the Holy Spirit when He breathes on the disciples and tells them to receive the Spirit. Disciples received the Holy Spirit as Jesus breathed on them. When the Holy Spirit comes to reside inside a person (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), the process (sanctification) of being conformed to the likeness of Christ begins and continues throughout life (Romans 8:29). The Spirit bears witness and communicates the heart and truth of Jesus to the believer (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-14). The Spirit helps us with our weaknesses and to have a prayer life with God (Romans 8:26). We are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). He works in us (Philippians 2:13). The power of the risen Lord Jesus is in us, and it is the Spirit that brings that power to us (Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-21). The love of Jesus works in us by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us (Romans 5:5). When in us the Spirit works to witness, assure, and show us God’s truth and that we are God’s and right with Him through faith in Christ; help us with our weaknesses; show us we are His workmanship, and He is working in power to transform us to Christlikeness; and to saturates us with His love. All these things are associated with the work of the Spirit in us.
The second thing the Holy Spirit does in the life of the believer is EMPOWERING the believer for service. As the believer is conformed to the likeness of Jesus by the Spirit, like Jesus the believer acquires a desire to be used by God to reach the lost in the world, to minister (Matthew 18:11; Mark 10:45; Luke 19:10). This is the “upon” (Greek preposition EPI) experience described by Jesus as torrents of living water gushing forth from the believer and as dynamic empowerment of the believer (John 7:37-39; Acts 1:8). To minister like Jesus, the believer needs to be empowered by God. If the believer seeks to serve in his or her own strength they will be frustrated and fail (Romans 7). They need to be supernaturally empowered and the Spirit provides that power. This power is invisible like the wind but powerful like a tornado (Acts 2). It is a fiery, purifying and cleansing of the heart by God. The believer surrenders their heart to God in faith trusting Him to work to destroy those challengers and hindrances to total trust in God (Acts 2; 15:8-9). The cleansing work of this empowerment attacks inhibitions and barriers between God and the believer. There is an essential empowerment for service after initial Spirit filling (Acts 1:8; 2). This empowerment involves Spiritual Gifting (Ephesians 4:7-13). This empowerment is the sufficiency of God’s grace revealed powerfully in our weakness (2 Corinthians. 12:9-10). The love of God working not only in us but also through us. This is the second work of the Spirit in the life of the believer.
The third work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is that of ONGOING REFRESHING. The believer needs to be refilled or renewed daily and filled with the Spirit who refreshes and empowers. Those empowered at Pentecost were refilled later (Acts 4). In Acts 18 and elsewhere we see that the Spirit works through fellowship to revitalize believers. There are subsequent re-fillings and refreshing by the Spirit in the believer’s life. The sense of this ongoing third work is found in Paul’s inspired letter to the Ephesians when he states:
- Ephesians 5:18 – “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,”
The word “filled” is translated from the Greek term PLEROO (Strong’s #4137 – πληρόω pleroo, play-ro´-o) meaning ”to make replete, . . .to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), . . . to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify . . . accomplish, . . . complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfill, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.”  In addition to this definition, the grammatical form of the term “filled” (Present/Passive/Imperative) conveys the thought of an ongoing and constant (Present tense) work that the believer receives or has done to them (Passive voice) that is absolutely essential (Imperative mood). Therefore, to “be filled with the Spirit” means to be constantly, regularly, daily filled up, satisfied, furnished and supplied with the Spirit for one’s daily needs and God-ordained plans.
The impact of such a daily filling is conveyed in the book of Acts where those who had experienced the empowerment of the Spirit at Pentecost again pray for this ongoing empowerment and refreshment. In Acts it reads:
- Acts 4:31 – “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
Is the Spirit in you? If you do not have the Spirit, you do not belong to God, you remain in your sins (Romans 8:9). Pray for forgiveness for your sins; put your faith in Jesus; receive the Holy Spirit and be born again.
Have you been empowered to serve the Lord? Are you frustrated and failing in your walk with God? Pray for His power and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Receive it by faith. Don’t leave anything on the table that should be yours in the Lord. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Is your life “abundant”? No? Then seek the Lord! Seek the Spirit’s leading. Get on your knees and ask the Lord if you are like Apollos, needing to be taught more accurately. “Lord am I missing something?” should be our prayer. “Lord, baptize me with Your promised Holy Spirit. Pour Your love into my heart in a new and fuller way” might be our words. That kind of prayer, prayed in humble dependence and hunger for all God has, that prayer will be answered.
James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.
 See my other book Living Hope, a study of 1 Peter.
 Insight, Syncrude Canada Ltd., Communications Division Communicator, p. 6.
Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville