What does it mean for a Christian to be “filled” by the Holy Spirit? In Ephesians 5:18 (above) the preposition “with” renders the Greek word ἐν (en), “in, with, by, among, at, on, when, to, as, for, through, while, within, of, about, into, because, during, throughout, before, under.” As Louis Sperry Chafer said, “It is not a matter of acquiring more of the Spirit, but rather of the Spirit of God acquiring all of the individual.”1 The believer who is Spirit-filled is influenced by the Spirit and nothing else while those who are not, are more influenced by the temporal….
To be filled by the Spirit is to have our thoughts, desires, values, motives, goals, priorities, and all else set on spiritual things and spiritual growth.
In the New Testament there are cases where individuals were recognized as being Spirit-filled such as the “deacons” of Acts 6:3. What was the evidence that the Church saw that made it known to them that these men were Spirit-filled? It was Christlikeness of character which is given to us in Galatians 5:22-23, “ὁ δὲ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἀγάπη χαρὰ εἰρήνη, μακροθυμία χρηστότης ἀγαθωσύνη, πίστις πραΰτης ἐγκράτεια· κατὰ τῶν τοιούτων οὐκ ἔστιν νόμος.” Or, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is not a law.” When people see the evidence of such character present in a Christian’s life, they are witnessing the Holy Spirit’s control over them.