Do Not Get Drunk with Wine but Be Filled with the Spirit

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18, KJV)

It might seem odd at first that the scripture compares being drunk with wine—a sinful state—to being filled with the Holy Spirit. Yet, although they are fundamentally different, they do share some similarities amidst their distinct differences.

Paul warns us that drunkenness leads to debauchery and ruins lives, and he commands us not to get drunk on wine. However, this presents an opportunity to explore a fascinating analogy between the influence of wine and the Spirit.

Wine operates in two distinct phases: the act of drinking(the process) and the resultant state of drunkenness. A person consumes wine repeatedly until they reach a state of intoxication. Drinking is a process of intake, while drunkenness is a state in which a person comes under the control or influence of alcohol. Similarly, there is a process by which we receive the Spirit—being filled, as mentioned in the verse above—and a state called “full of the Spirit,” where we are under the control and influence of the Spirit.

When a person becomes drunk with wine, debauchery often ensues. They lose control of themselves, allowing alcohol to dominate their behavior. Indeed, alcohol seems to have its own personality and character. A distinct type of behavior emerges when someone is intoxicated: they may act irrationally, speak foolishly, and engage in nonsensical activities. Essentially, they do and say things they would not consider in their sober state—they are under the influence of alcohol.

Similarly, being filled with the Spirit involves two distinct phases: the process of receiving the Spirit and the state known as “full of the Spirit” (e.g., Acts 7:55). As previously described, the process of receiving the Spirit occurs in distinct stages: at salvation, during the baptism of the Spirit, and through continual daily infilling through prayer and the Word. The resulting state when someone is filled with the Spirit reflects the personality and character of the Spirit. Unlike the influence of alcohol, when the Spirit takes over, we do not lose our minds. He is fully in charge, but we remain fully aware. We intentionally yield our bodies to Him. Furthermore, when the Spirit takes over, instead of reckless behavior typical of alcohol influence, we exhibit qualities such as love, joy, peace, and gentleness and are endowed with power and wisdom.

As a Christian, you should always strive to be full of the Spirit, and this requires you to consistently engage in spiritual “drinking.” Just as one cannot drink alcohol once and remain intoxicated forever, you must continually seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit every day(remember there is a one-time drinking and a continual drinking).

Thus, the Lord commands, “Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin your life, but be filled with the Holy Spirit.”


In your own words, describe the process and the state of being filled with the Spirit as mentioned above.

Apply the Word

Do everything within your power to remain in that state known as “full of the Spirit.” This is where you will find victory, joy, peace, wisdom, and power. Outside of this state, the flesh prevails and the world dominates.


Ask the Father to help you consistently live in the state called “full of the Spirit.”

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