What We are Filled With

This past Sunday I preached on Romans 5:1-5. It is a glorious text that reveals the blissful consequences of justification by faith. For those justified, we are at peace with God, we have grace to live and joy in all seasons of life by the Spirit. Listen to the sermon here.

In the closing portion of the sermon I focused on how we have joy in life and suffering – by being filled by the Spirit. That it is the Spirit’s work to equip us for joy by filling us.

This is verse five: “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

As I was reflecting on the sermon, and on at least one conversation after it about being filled by or with the Spirit more than once, I  want to make clear, from this text what it is we are filled with by the Spirit. While there are plenty of Scriptures that describe or encourage ongoing and new filling of the Spirit himself, here the Spirit is pouring into our hearts God’s love for us. So in Romans 5:5, it is not more of the Spirit we are filled with, we re fully indwelt by the Spirit “who has been given to us,” but more of God’s love. The knowledge of his posture toward us, his approval of us in Christ, the fuel for living with joy.

Now whether your theology restrict the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit or not, I would hope, if you believe you are a Christian, that you would want a greater depth of understanding of God’s love for you. His care, his comfort and his unrelenting keeping of you. That is what the Spirit pours into our hearts. That is something worth asking for today.

My prayer, like Paul’s, is that the Spirit would do some pouring into your heart today, that you would know, in your soul, how much God loves you. “According to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19 ESV)

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