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The Infilling of the Holy Spirit

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By miriamphua
Words 10126
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BiBLiOTHECA SACRA 157 (January-March 2000) 68-87

THE FILLING OF
THE HOLY SPIRIT
Eldon Woodcock

O

N SEVERAL OCCASIONS the New Testament refers to people being filled with the Holy Spirit. What does this involve?
What did people do when they were filled with the Holy
Spirit? How did t h a t filling come about? How can Christians today experience the filling of the Holy Spirit?
W H A T I T M E A N S TO B E " F I L L E D "

In New Testament Greek two words with their cognates meaning
"to fill, to fulfill, to complete" are used in association with the Holy
Spirit. They are πληρόω and πίμπλημι} Both words are flexible enough to designate several kinds of filling. These words are strikingly similar in their meanings. One area of shared meaning is "to finish, complete, fulfill." Both πληρόω and πίμπλημι are used to indicate a time at which something was to begin and the comple­ tion of a period of time at which something was to end. 2
The verb πληρόω is used of Jesus' finishing a presentation of
His message (Luke 7:1) and of the apostles as having completed a
Eldon Woodcock is Professor of Bible, Nyack College, Nyack, New York
1
R Schippers, "Fullness πληρόω'' in New International Dictionary of New Tes­ tament Theology, ed Colin Brown (Grand Rapids Zondervan, 1975), 1 733-41, Ger­ hard Delling, "πίμπλημι, έμπίμπλημι," in Theological Dictionary of the New Testa­ ment, ed Gerhard Kittel, t r a n s Geoffrey W Bromiley (Grand Rapids Eerdmans,
1968), 6 128-31, and idem, "πλήρης- et al ," 6 283-311
2

Jesus used the verb πληρόω to declare t h a t the time had come for Him to an­ nounce the kingdom of God (Mark 1 15) and t h a t the right time for Him to reveal
Himself had not yet come (John 7 8) Paul used the related noun πλήρωμα in stating t h a t the time for Christ's incarnation had arrived (Gal 4 4) and t h a t God will com­ plete His...

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