Filled with the Holy Spirit

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Question
What does it mean to be "filled" with the Holy Spirit?
Answer
When we read that Moses laid hands on Joshua, Joshua was filled with the Holy Spirit in Deuteronomy 34, he's filled with the spirit of wisdom, and that's so that he can lead God's people. We also read elsewhere in the Pentateuch that God filled someone with the holy spirit of wisdom so that they could do artwork and exquisite work on the architecture of the tabernacle. So, in Acts 6, we also read of those who are going to be leading, in terms of caring for the poor, that they are filled with the spirit of wisdom. So, we have this language used in various places. Now, elsewhere in Luke and in Acts, we read about being filled with the Spirit to prophesy. In Ephesians 5:18, in the context it says, don't be drunk with wine but instead be filled with the Spirit, and then describes what that is to look like, where you're praising God, you're thanking God for all things, and you're serving one another. So, there are a number of different expressions of the way that the Spirit fills us for a number of different things, for our particular callings, and then the kind of thing that we all need to be full of the Spirit for — to praise God and to serve one another.

Answer by Dr. Craig S. Keener

Dr. Craig Keener teaches New Testament studies at Asbury Theological Seminary.