But when Paul says to us, ‘Be filled with the Spirit’, he uses a present imperative, implying that we are to go on being filled. For the fullness of the Spirit is not a once-for-all experience which we can never lose, but a privilege to be renewed continuously by continuous believing and obedient appropriation. We have been ‘sealed’ with the Spirit once and for all; we need to be filled with the Spirit and go on being filled every day and every moment of the day.
Here, then, is a message for both the defeated and the complacent, that is, for Christians at opposite ends of the spiritual spectrum. To the defeated Paul would say, ‘Be filled with the Spirit, and he will give you a new love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control.’ To the complacent Paul would say ‘go on being filled with the Spirit. Thank God for what he has given you thus far. But do not say you have arrived. For there is more, much more, yet to come.’
—-John Stott, The Message of Ephesians (Bible Speaks Today) [Downer’s Grove, Ill. IVP Academic, 1984), p.121 to be quoted in my adult ed class this morning
“How can we give ourselves in love until we’ve learned to control ourselves? Our self has to be mastered before it can be offered in the service of others.” A short piece on the remarkable discipline of John Stott: https://t.co/gW7cZNZyI0 pic.twitter.com/7ZQGuUeX08
— RTS Global Education (@RTSGlobalEd) January 16, 2019