The Spirit-filled Life

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Colossians 3:1-3 – The Spirit-filled Life


If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.


Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.


For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Before knowing Christ we believed in lies. Our reality is now set with Christ as our focus, and we are given clear vision through the help of the Holy Spirit. In Colossians 3, Paul speaks to the church in colossae, reminding them – and us – that we are now to live with a new kind of mentality.

See also: A Believer in God

We are to depend on Biblical wisdom to define our truth, and “set our hearts [and]…minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Paul is reminding us that even our hearts and minds need to be changed by the gospel. As we depend on the Lord, our lives will be transformed.

Living the Spirit-Filled Life

The Holy Spirit is one person of our triune God and is interchangeable with God. Jesus gave us the Spirit, “Helper,” when He ascended into heaven. Living a Spirit-filled life separates those individuals who are truly changed by Christ’s death on the cross, and those that are not.

Galatians 5 says that if you belong to Christ you will put your old sinful self to death and live led by the Spirit. Living a life led by the Spirit should compel the believer to practice what we refer to as “spiritual breathing.” When one physically breathes, they both inhale and exhale. Spiritual breathing implies an “exhaling” of sin (through confession), and an “inhaling” of Christ (through inviting the Holy Spirit’s help).

See also: The Spirit of Love: Loving your Lover

The Holy Spirit is mystical and mysterious, but is meant to be a helper to all who follow Christ. To not seek understanding about the Spirit is to remain ignorant about what God can do in you and through you. We are to call on the Holy Spirit to help us flee from sin and pursue godliness

How Are We Filled?

  1. Mystical Aspect. We receive the Holy Spirit when we become a Christian. He dwells within all those who belong to Christ.

God sends His Spirit into our hearts when we receive Christ. We will never lose the Spirit’s presence; He cannot be taken from us.

  1. Practical Aspect. We need to remind ourselves of the Truth.

Happens when we read God’s Word and pray.

God’s principles and nature are found in His Word. To the extent that you live a life based on God’s principles is the extent to which you are filled.

Filling occurs when we increasingly allow the Spirit to permeate each area of our lives.

  1. Spiritual Breathing

Exhale (Confess sin and repent)

1 John 1:9 , 2:1

The Roles of the Holy Spirit

  • Helper

John 14:16-21 , 26

  • Parakletos

Comforter, encourager, advocate, helper, one who steps forward on behalf of another or to represent another. In the classical Greek, it took the meaning of legal advisor.

This role of the Spirit seems to be tightly identified with the notion of Christian obedience.

See also: Bible Verses about Power

  • Assurance of Salvation

Romans 8:15-16 – bears witness, produces testimony.

  • Conviction of Sin

John 16:8

If we call ourselves Christians, our lives should be changed by the gospel. However, we cannot do good things on our own. We cannot even know the heart and will of God without His help. For all who have responded to the cross, we have been given the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and to assist us in our life-long pursuit of holiness. We must seek to know God through His Word and allow that to soak into every aspect of our lives. If we are in Christ, we never lose His Spirit. Yet if we are in Christ, we have an obligation to submit to his Spirit.


Although God wants every believer to be filled with the Spirit, many Christians are not sure what this means or what it looks like. To help us understand that whatever fills us controls us, Paul cites drunkenness as a negative example of “filling” and tells us to avoid it [Ephesians 5:18-21]. Every believer is indwelt by God’s Spirit, but the extent of His rule is determined by the Christian’s freedom to comply.

The evidence of the Spirit’s control is revealed in a person’s character. Those who have yielded their lives to Christ’s leadership are continually being transformed into His likeness. The degree of surrender determines the level of transformation.

See also: Definition of Love – Impersonal, Interpersonal, & Christian Understanding

Even though good works and faithful service are a result of being filled with the Spirit, they are not necessarily signs of it. Remember, we are talking about character, not what we do. It’s easier to serve the Lord in some manner than to love the unlovable or be patient with difficult people. But when the Spirit is in charge of our lives, He does through us what we cannot do for ourselves.

Each believer decides who rules his life, by either actively surrendering to Christ or deliberately going his own way. Even those who try to avoid the issue by making no choice at all unknowingly opt for self-rule. The fullness of the Spirit and godly character await those who choose God over self.

What are we to love?

As a Spirit-filled believer, we are expected to have the nature of our God which is Love. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul , and with all our might (Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 30:6, Deuteronomy 30:16, Joshua 23:11, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27 ). If we love the Lord, we will keep His commandment (John 14:15-24).

  1. We are to love our enemies (Luke 6:27-35, Matthew 5:43-48).
  2. One another (John 13:34, John 15:22).
  3. Strangers (Deuteronomy 10:19).
  4. We are to love wisdom (Proverb 4:6, Proverb 29:3).
  5. Pureness of heart (Proverb 22:11).
  6. We are to love righteousness because God love righteousness (Psalm 146:8)

See also: What Love is and What Love is Not

What are we not to love?

  1. We are not to love pleasure (Proverb21:17).
  2. Money i.e we are not to covet after it (1 Timothy 6:10).
  3. We are not to love the world (1 John 2:15).


Contributor: Temiloluwa Olaposi

Credit: The Free Bible

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