1Thessalonians 4:8 He therefore that despises, despises not man, but God, who had also given unto us his holy Spirit.
‘He therefore that despises not man, but God.’ The principle stated here is expressed in various ways in Scripture. God considers certain sins as direct sins against Him: murder (Gen. 9:6), despising the least child or believer (4:8; Matt. 18:10; Luke 10:16;), any mistreatment of a human being (Matt. 25:31-46), or rejection of Jesus and the gospel (John 12:48). If this could be emphasized more there would be less malice, envy, jealousy, and strife among Christians and even among sinners.
‘Given unto us his holy Spirit.’ Every believer has the Holy Spirit in a measure when born again (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:6). In fact, “if any man have not the Spirit” he does not belong to Christ (Rom. 8:9). This Spirit of sonship or even some gift of the Spirit may be received without having the Spirit baptism or the fullness of the Spirit.
The difference between a filling and a baptism or the Spirit by measure and without measure may be illustrated by a glass and a pitcher of water. To the extent the water is poured into the glass it is filled, but not baptized. By burying the glass in the fullness of the water it is both filled and baptized. Taking the glass out of the fullness of the water it is no longer baptized. So it is with believers. To the extent one is filled with the Spirit he has that measure of power and can do things according to the degree of anointing he has. If he is merely filled and has the Spirit by measure he is limited in spiritual power. If he has the Spirit in all fullness there is no limitation. He can do the works of Christ and the apostles as long as it is always to God’s glory and not to the greatness of the individual (Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; 16:17-18; John 14:12; Acts 2:43; 3:6; 5:16; Rom. 15:18-19, 29).
A filling always comes with a baptism, but a baptism does not always come with a filling. At Pentecost, they were both filled and baptized (Acts 1:4-8; 2:4), and many fillings kept coming to them to replenish the Spirit and power they had received (Acts 4:8, 31; 13:52). One must continue to live and walk in the Spirit and be filled with all the fullness of God to maintain that baptismal fullness (Eph. 3:16-20; 5:18; Gal. 5:16-26).
To be continued…