Am I Filled With the Holy Spirit?

by Josh Hollingsworth
(Bryant Arkansas)

Romans 8:13, 8:14-17, Ephesians 4:29-31

Today I am going to talk about something that has caused some controversy in the church. Some religions have taken this issue to such an extreme on the pendulum that other religions go to the other side of the pendulum and ignore the issue or try to forget that it exists. Today we are going to talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit. So the question for today is, Am I Filled With The Holy Spirit?

As I talk to you today about being filled with the Holy Spirit I also want to talk to you about The Shantung Revival.

The first part of our story starts with political unrest and evacuation. As if political unrest and evacuation weren’t enough, missionaries in northern China had to face the probing questions their fellow missionary, Marie Monsen, persistently asked them. She would ask two questions. The first one was “Have you been born again?”

Before we can go any farther talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit we also have to ask ourselves have I been born again. If we have not accepted Christ free gift of eternal life, if we have not asked for the forgiveness of our sins, if we do not have a relationship with Christ, if we are not a child of God then no we are not filled with the Holy Spirit.

But when we accept by faith what Christ has done for us, when we accept our free gift of salvation, when we ask for the forgiveness of our sins, when we do this and start our relationship with God and become His children we are also filled with the Holy Spirit.

NOTE: Example of Kussie, Cup and Water
We are the Kussie, the Holy Spirit is the Cup and the filling of the Holy Spirit is the Water. Christians all have the Holy Spirit / Cup in us / kussie but all Christians are not full of water / the full power of the Holy Spirit.

When we become Christians we receive the Holy Spirit and are filled with the Spirit. But since we are human and sin we have to be continually filled with the Spirit. So what is the importance of being filled with the Spirit.
NOTE: Read Romans 8:13

So am I filled with the Holy Spirit? If you are a Christian then yes you are filled with the Holy Spirit. But that is not what we are talking about. If you can say yes I am a Christian and therefore the Holy Spirit lives inside me. Am I filled with the Spirit, or am I filled with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in my life?



  1. A. Repent of all known sin.

  2. 1. Is there something you won’t let go of. We all have weaknesses. Satan knows what they are.
    NOTE: Psalms 139:23

    2. When God reveals a sin to you it is now known sin.
    NOTE: When we repent we can’t fool God, He knows our heart.

  3. Ask God to Fill You.

  4. 1. The number one reason we don’t have something from God is because we don’t ask.
    NOTE: Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:13

    2. Do we not ask because of pride or because we haven’t repented of all known sin and don’t want to.
    NOTE: If you have wronged someone are you going to ask them a favor? Probably not before you apologize. Why? Because there is a good chance they will say no if you don’t apologize first.

  5. Believe That He Has Filled You.

  6. 1. Why do we doubt God?
    NOTE: Isn’t God all powerful?

    2. Or do we doubt that God will answer my prayer?
    NOTE: I am His child. He gives good gifts to his children.


Back to our story. During political unrest and evacuation missionaries in northern China had to face the probing questions of Marie Monsen a fellow missionary. She persistently asked them, “Have you been born again” but also, “What evidence do you have of your new birth?”

Wow, that’s a bold question. A question we should have an answer for. We should have proof or evidence that the Spirit is filling us.

As these relocated missionary teachers and doctors gathered for prayer and Bible study, God used these questions to prompt deep soul-searching. The humbled missionaries confessed and repented of sins and found reconciliation with God and one another.

Some even realized they had never been saved, and they turned to Christ for the first time.
NOTE: Read Romans 8:14-17
  1. Leading Me – Is God Leading Me?

  2. 1. Everyone who is born of the Spirit is led by the Spirit. He directs you in what to say, what to do and how to do it.
    NOTE: Romans 8:14

    2. The Lord puts you in the right place at the right time to speak for Him. He leads you to a certain person and he will put the right words in your mouth.

  3. Gives Confidence – Is God Giving Me Confidence?

  4. 1. Fear is what you had before Christ. People who don’t know the Lord are slaves to fear. They have fear of the future, fear of dying, or fear of not having enough.
    NOTE: Romans 8:15

    2. Confidence grows in the life of a person who is controlled or filled by God’s Spirit.

  5. Intimacy – Am I Growing in Intimacy with God?

  6. 1. Are we to the place where we can call God our Abba or our Father?
    NOTE: Romans 8:15

    2. Romans 8:15 says that as children of this world who are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, we have been adopted into God’s family and have been declared and treated as sons and daughters by Almighty God.

    NOTE: To be filled with His Spirit is to desire and pursue a growing intimacy with God where we can use a term of intimacy and call God Abba or Father.

  7. Security – Do I feel Secure in Christ?

  8. 1. Have you ever asked the question, “Am I really a Christian? Am I really saved?
    NOTE: Romans 8:16

    2. Romans 8:16 says that one ministry of the Spirit of God is confirming to you the reality of your relationship in God’s family.

    NOTE: If you’re not experiencing the confirming security of the Spirit of God in your life only repentance of sin can restore the filling of the Holy Spirit in you.

  9. Identify – Do I Draw My Identity From Christ?

  10. 1. Do you live like you’re homeless or a child of the King.
    NOTE: Romans 8:17

    2. Do you know how rich you are? An heir has the rights to everything that belongs to the father.


Continuing our story of the Shantung Revival Missionary Charles Culpepper couldn’t rest. He searched Scripture to understand what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. As he sincerely prayed to be filled, the Holy Spirit reminded him of past sins he had never dealt with.

He wrote letters asking for forgiveness. He sent stolen money back to his college alma mater and offered to return his diploma. But still he experienced no spiritual power in his work. He felt as if his heart were stone. “What is the matter, Lord?’ he asked.
Read Ephesians 4:29-31
  1. Grieving the Spirit.

  2. 1. Grieve means to cause pain or sorrow.
    NOTE: Ephesians 4:30

    2. Sin grieves the Spirit of God
    NOTE: Because the Spirit is sealed inside us, we make Him sad when we choose to sin. We grieve the Spirit when we do things He doesn’t want us to do.

  3. Quenching the Spirit.

  4. 1. Quench means to snuff out, douse, cool down, or trim back.
    NOTE: I Thessalonians 5:19

    2. To quench God’s Spirit is to extinguish His intended result.
    NOTE: That happens when we do not do the things He tells us to do. How do we put out His fire in our hearts? By ignoring and resisting His direction.

    This has happened in my life. The Holy Spirit will tell me something and I will say “Nah.” Each time He prompts me to respond and I refuse, His voice gets softer until I can’t hear it anymore. That’s quenching the Holy Spirit.

    Back to Missionary Charles Culpepper’s story. The Holy Spirit led him to Romans 2:17-25, and the Lord convicted him that he was a hypocrite and that God’s name was being blasphemed among the Chinese because of him. He awoke his wife, and they prayed all night. The next day he confessed his pride to his fellow missionaries.

    He describes what happened next:
    The Lord became more real to me than any human being had ever been. He took complete control of my soul-removing all hypocrisy, shame, and unrighteousness-and filled me with His divine love, purity, compassion and power. During those moments, I realized my complete unworthiness and His totally sufficient mercy and grace.

    The next day was Sunday, a new and wonderful day at our missionary church. I have never heard such praying or experienced such joyous fellowship as we had that day.

    Students came back from the political displacement only to be met by teachers who had been changed by God’s Spirit. They began a series of meetings that prompted great conviction of sin in the students.

    For 10 days the services continued. By their end more than 1,500 students had turned to or returned to God. God had brought a downpour of blessing, first through two penetrating questions for the missionaries, whom in turn, God used to impact a generation of students.


Today we talked about revival by being filled with the Holy Spirit. We talked about how we can be filled with the Spirit. We talked about the proofs of being filled with the Spirit; and we talked about how grieving and quenching remove the filling of the Spirit from our lives. Let's make sure we get all the way to revival in our life and in our church.

Note from Mark: Great sermon on the filling of the Holy Spirit. We so need His filling to accomplish anything worthwhile, don't we? (By the way, Josh is my son!) Thanks Josh.

Comments for Am I Filled With the Holy Spirit?

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Jul 17, 2018
by: Chris

I am so thankful for being baptized in water and in fire!

Nov 13, 2015
Pastor in South Africa
by: Chris Anderson

Great article and message Josh. Really balanced; really challenging; and absolutely pertinent to where most of us are as Christ followers...born again but nearly empty. We may argue over terminology and theology but all of us long for intimacy and effectiveness in Christ's kingdom.
Much love in Christ to ALL,

Dec 06, 2012
Fill with the presence of the Holy Spirit
by: Leonor IL

I am also interested in getting filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit. I want to have a great relationship with the Lord. I still don't know how do I know that the Holy Spirit is in me. And when I do I really want him to let me know it has happened. Great Message. I've learned new things. I just still don't understand how come churches do not inform us about the Holy Spirit. It would be great because people sometimes are sleeping in church or looking around instead of paying attention to the service.

Mar 24, 2011
by: R. Wright

Dr. Culpepper's story is an amazing example of being yielding to the Holy Spirit. I met Dr, Culpepper as a young Christian and heard him speak and share his testimony.

I have to take exception with one thing mentioned above. Dr. Culpepper insisted that though he was filled with the Spirit and experienced something like never before, he stated repeatedly that he did not speak in tongues, and never did. You can google him and listen to his testimony in his own words.

May 29, 2010
Come, Holy Spirit! Fill us with Yourself!
by: M Chacko

The Spirit of God comes to us
to make us a blessing for others.

May the fruit of the Spirit -
Galatians 5;22-23 -
come with power as we
open ourselves to be filled.

May He bless us to be his vehicles! Amen

SBGOC, New Brunswick, NJ., USA
Days of Pentecost 2010

Mar 11, 2010
The Rest of the Story
by: Tommy

Your teaching is a genuine reflection of the Work of the Holy Spirit in one's life including Dr Charles Culpepper. If I could share a bit, Dr Culpepper explained, in a well documented way, that what facilitated the deep work of the Holy Spirit in Shantung, was what he described as a baptism in the H.S. This challenge you referenced too made him search scripture for many years. This searching caused a deep work which lead him to a baptism in the Spirit which, as he stated, was manifested by speaking in biblical tongues. When this happened, most if not all the missionaries at the base also received this baptism in the H.S. then the revival outbreak happened. I hope this commentary has built on your material and has given what Dr Culpepper explained was the breakthrough moments of the work in China. I pray this helps in some way.

Oct 25, 2008
by: James M

This is a great message...I've been meaning to speak to my church about the Holy Spirit and this has encouraged me thanks heaps!

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