The Spirit-Filled Believer

By OA Fakinlede, St James’ Church, Oda June 2, 2024

We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,
and long to feast upon Thee still;
we drink of Thee, the Fountain-head,
and thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

Our restless spirits yearn for Thee,
where’er our changeful lot is cast;
glad when Thy gracious smile we see,
blest when our faith can hold Thee fast.

Bernard of Clairvaux (Hymn 387)

Looking at the topic of the day, what should be the duty of the preacher? Is it to
1. Tell how to become a Spirit-Filled believer?
2. To show how to recognize a Spirit-Filled believer?
3. To understand how a company of Spirit-Filled believers will act like or what they will achieve?
4. To avoid counterfeits and avoid the wastage of time resulting from wrong emphasis?

I leave for my hearers the judgment if any of these possible goals is achieved. Nearing the close of the Epistle to the Romans, Paul told us: “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4. One bitter truth written for us is about the people of God in the old Testament. They behaved in such a way that we have this testimony about them for our instruction and to ponder on: ‘For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”’ Romans 2:24. Here the Apostle was quoting Isaiah 5:25 on the conduct of the People of God! Their lives, things happening to them, in this place, were putting the name of God in disrepute!
They lived in error! And when you are in error, you can easily do the terrible thing of being responsible for causing the name of the Lord to be blasphemed! Our Lord Jesus explained to the Sadducees, the deep disease that caused them to go into error. “Ye do err”, He told them in Matt 22:29 – “not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God”. We will therefore begin on what the scriptures tell us about the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit: The Activity, the Character & the Word of God
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:7-14

Why are the scriptures so important? And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:19-21
Organizing a Spirit-Filled Company
My real focus in this sermon is the entire book of Titus. In there, the Apostle outlined the organization of a Spirit inspired and activated company of Christ’s followers. There the principles are enunciated and the goals of each member are clearly outlined. Enough of this pining for the days of the Apostles! This is OUR DAY! We can actually serve God right now because we are the people appointed for this hour!
The most important thing about being Spirit-Filled is Desire! Paul actually implied, if you interpret like I do, that you can have as much of the Holy Spirit as you want! Doubt me? OK, can you have as much coke as you want? Can you have as much wine as you want? If that is true, consider what Paul says here: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 5:15-20

Sound Doctrine for old men & women, boys and girls, bond and free: Titus 2.
Note the purpose of each admonition: “that the word of God may not be reviled”.
Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:2-14

Prayer to the Holy Ghost: Hymn 235
1 Come down, O Love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

2 O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

3 Let holy charity
Mine outward vesture be.
And lowliness become my inner clothing.
True lowliness of heart,
Which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

4 And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.
— Bianco da Siena