But lest some one should think, "It is optional with me whether I claim my birthright or not; no doubt it would be a very fitting thing for some people to be filled with the Spirit, but I
need not trouble about it" -- in case any one should be tempted to speak and act like this, let us learn that "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. v.18) is a command to be obeyed, a duty to be done. Many of God's people are acknowledging that they did not know that "Be filled with the Spirit" was a command; but it is
, and there is no excuse for not knowing. You will notice that in Eph. v.18 there is a double command, a negative, "Be not drunk," and a positive, "Be ye filled." The positive command is as authoritative as the negative, and was binding on just as many
of those Ephesian Christians as was the negative command. Now what was true for those believers there in Ephesus in the long-ago is equally true for all believers on God's footstool to-day. Is it a sin for a believer to-day to disobey the command, "Be not drunk"? and is it then a virtue to disobey the equally authoritative command, "Be ye filled"? If it is a sin for a Christian to be drunk, it is just as surely, truly, really, a sin
not to be filled. We are commanded and expected to live a Spirit-filled life, to be filled, not with wine, the fruit of the vines of earth, but with the new wine of the kingdom, the fruit of the "true Vine."
Reader, if you are asked, Do you obey the command, "Be not drunk with wine," what is your answer? If it is, "Yes," that is obedience. Now, if you are asked, Do you obey the command, "Be filled with the Spirit," what is your answer? If it is, "No," that is disobedience; you are guilty of breaking one of God's plainest commandments. You have no more license to break this command than you have to break any command in the Decalogue. Before you read further, had you not better confess your sin, and tell the Master that you purpose in your heart new obedience?