While reading Acts in the Amplified Version of the Bible the other day I came over this: “Filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit.” I made a search in Acts and found five instances of this particular way of describing the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in us and work by us.
1. He speaks by us as promised in Mark 13:11. This verse in Mark clearly states that it is the Spirit speaking as us in the contexts the verse is referring to. “Then Peter, [because he was] filled with [and controlled by] the Holy Spirit, said to them, Rulers of the people and members of the council (the Sanhedrin),……” (Acts 4:8).
2. To be full of the Spirit equals being full of faith. “And the suggestion pleased the whole assembly, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith (a strong and welcome belief that Jesus is the Messiah) and full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit,……” (Acts 6:5). This verse suggests that Stephen wasn’t occasionally filled and controlled by the Spirit. It was a continuous state of being.
3. The Spirit provides supernatural seeing. “But he, full of the Holy Spirit and controlled by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory (the splendor and majesty) of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand” (Acts 7:5).
4. We are good women and men by His works in us, and it is by His inner conviction people come to Christ. “For he was a good man [good in himself and also at once for the good and the advantage of other people], full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit and full of faith (of his belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation). And a large company was added to the Lord” (Acts 11:24).
5. By the Spirit we expose evil, deceit and the devil’s designs. “But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit, looked steadily at [Elymas]. And said, you master in every form of deception and recklessness, unscrupulousness, and wickedness, you son of the devil, you enemy of everything that is upright and good, will you never stop perverting and making crooked the straight paths of the Lord and plotting against His saving purposes?” (Acts 13:9-10)
If these men were filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit, well, so am I! Without His continuous filling and controlling I would be completely helpless, and He, by His grace, lets me discover my helplessness so that I can throw my crown of self-sufficiency before His throne.