Can you be "drunk in the Spirit?"

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Can you be "drunk in the Spirit?"

Postby Guest » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:33 am

Some friends tell me that the Holy Spirit manifests as "drunkenness" from the "new wine" God gives followers of Jesus... What are your thoughts?

Re: Can you be "drunk in the Spirit?"

Postby admin » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:54 am

Guest wrote:Some friends tell me that the Holy Spirit manifests as "drunkenness" from the "new wine" God gives followers of Jesus... What are your thoughts?

I used to play music in various churches (and Messianic assemblies) where some people would act "drunk" during worship, laughing and carrying on as if they had just quickly gulped down a few glasses of wine... Often these people claimed that the "new wine" of the Spirit was making them "spiritually drunk," just as they assumed happened to the first disciples during the first Shavuot after the resurrection (Acts 2:1-15).

But does the Holy Spirit manifest God's Presence in this way? In Ephesians 5:18 we read: "Do not get drunk with wine (μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ) in which is debauchery (ἐν ᾧ ἐστιν ἀσωτία), but be filled with the Spirit (ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι)." Notice the contrast implied in the conjunction in this verse. Between being "under the influence" of wine and being under the influence of the Spirit are two entirely different things. The common term is influence, but the influence of the flesh is different than the influence of the spirit...

Notice that the Greek verb for "getting drunk" is μεθύσκομαι (methuskomai), and the word for "debauchery" is ἀσωτία (asotia), a word formed from the prefix a- (not) and sodzo (σῴζω), "to save." This text implies that being drunk resembles the bondage of a life apart from the influence of the Spirit of God. In other words, drunkenness pictures a state of bondage, but being filled with the Spirit gives us the liberty to please God (2 Cor. 3:17).

Paul was not trying to suggest that the actions of spirit-filled follower of Yeshua should resemble those of a person who is intoxicated with alcohol. After all, he could have easily written, "be drunk in the Spirit" (μεθύσκεσθε ἐν πνεύματι ), which would have made the common term to be a state of intoxication. No, Paul chose instead to use the verb "filled" (πληρόω), which means to be "filled up" by God's Holy Presence. This is the same verb used when Yeshua said He came to fulfill (πληρῶσαι) the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 5:17).

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is "self control," or "inward strength" (i.e., ἐγκρατής, from ἐν, "in" and κράτος, "strength"). God's Holy Spirit gives us inward strength to be integrated, resolute, and unified in our convictions. The Spirit neither leads us into dissipation nor promotes the fragmentation of the self. Those who are led by the Holy Spirit will evidence character that reflects the image of God's Son.... In short, it is not a matter of you getting more of the Spirit, but rather of the Spirit getting more of YOU.
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