Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel” (Acts 4:8)
Peter was in trouble again, and in a stressful situation. He stood before important and powerful men, and it was possible that they could condemn him to death.
At that critical moment, it tells is that Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter was instantly filled with the Spirit again. The result of this filling with the Holy Spirit was seen in his supernatural boldness and ability to speak the gospel clearly and to the heart in a really stressful and dangerous moment.
But wait – wasn’t Peter filled with the Holy Spirit before?
Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit in John 20:22, when he was among the disciples when Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4, when he was among the disciples who were “all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
When Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 4:8 it wasn’t the first time, and it wasn’t the last time. The filling of the Holy Spirit Peter experienced in John 20:22 and Acts 2:4 was not a one-time event. It was something God wanted to continue doing in his life.
The filling of the Holy Spirit is not a one-time event that we live off of the rest of our days. It is a constant filling, a continual asking to be filled, and repeated receiving the Spirit’s filling by faith.
There is a wonderful and significant first experience with the filling of the Holy Spirit, often thought of as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:5 and 11:16). This is an experience valid and important for every believer.
Much of the weakness, defeat and lethargy in our spiritual life can be attributed to the fact that we are not constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit.
In Ephesians 5:18 the Apostle Paul wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, telling us to “be filled with the Holy Spirit.” The grammar of the ancient Greek for the phrase Paul used indicates at least two important things. First, the verb “be filled” is passive, so this is not a manufactured experience. We must never “manufacture” or “fake” some experience with the Holy Spirit. That doesn’t glorify God or bring true help to people, including ourselves.
Second, in Ephesians 5:18 the verb “be filled” is imperative, so this is not an optional experience – it is a command! We should never think of this as if some Christians are “better” or others are “worse” because of what they have or have not experienced with the Holy Spirit. We should simply often come to God and ask Him to fill us with the Holy Spirit.
Peter was often filled with the Holy Spirit. Is this also true of you?