Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,..” (Acts 4:8 ESV)
Peter and John were brought before the Jewish council for healing a lame man. Acts 4:8 gives us an astonishing description of Peter as he stood accused by the Jewish leaders. It says Peter was “filled with the Holy Ghost.” What does this mean? This is an example in scripture where correct exegetical skill for accurately interpreting the scriptures is critical.
In Chapter 2, we are told the disciples, including Peter, were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4 ESV)
The word “filled” is the same Greek word used in both verses. With this information, a casual reader of the Bible will assume “filled with the Spirit” in Acts 4:8 means the same as in Acts 2:4. As I just taught in the Observation phase of the Inductive Bible study, correct observation of the term “filled” will indicate that it is a verb in both cases; but in Acts 4:8, it serves as a circumstantial participle, while in Acts 2:4, it is a finite verb. A verb serving as a circumstantial participle tells us the circumstances under which an action occurs. Its function is not to tell us an action is taking place but the conditions under which another action occurs. In Acts 4:8, it gives us the conditions under which Peter spoke to the Jewish leaders! This condition or atmosphere is referred to here as “filled with the Spirit”.
It is a state in which Peter was fully under the control of the Spirit. He did not receive a dose of infilling of the Spirit while He was standing there. No! His mind, emotions and will were all under the influence of the Spirit. He was fully yielded. He spoke to the council members with such boldness that the religious leaders were astonished.
God wants us to live perpetually in that “place” called “filled with the Spirit”.
I have compressed volumes of insights into the short piece above. Please read and reread again if necessary to ensure you fully grasp what I am saying.
APPLY THE WORD
“Filled with the Spirit” was Peter’s normal. He did not organize a prayer meeting or start feeding on the Word when he heard that he will be brought before the council. He was ready. Be filled with the Spirit always! Second, learn to interpret the scriptures correctly! Our course is FREE to help you!
Ask the Father to help you be filled with the Spirit at all times.
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