Bible Question:

What are the signs that a person is filled with the Holy Spirit?

Bible Answer:

When a person becomes a Christian, Ephesians 1:4-5 tells us that he or she is adopted as sons or children (Romans 8:15-16) and placed into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). Ephesians 1:7 says he or she has been redeemed or their sins were forgiven. Ephesians 1:13 tells us that new believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit.

 . . . you were sealed in Him with  the Holy Spirit of promise . . . Ephesians 1:13 (NASB)

Cup overflowing with milk illustrates being filled with the Holy Spirti

2 Corinthians 1:22 echoes the same truth. Titus 3:5 adds that we are also regenerated and renewed. That is, we become new spiritual beings who are free from the bondage of sin. The Holy Spirit helps us pray (Romans 8:26), understand spiritual truths (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)  and gives each Christian spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11). The Holy Spirit does a great many things for every Christian.

Commanded To Be Spirit Filled

Maybe one of the most misunderstood blessings available to Christians is the ability to be empowered by the Spirit. Sometimes this is called being filled with the Holy Spirit. It is God’s will that each Christian be empowered or filled with the Holy Spirit.

So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:17-18 (NASB)

Here we discover that being filled with the Holy Spirit means that a Christian submits himself or herself to the control of the Holy Spirit. We encourage you to read the study, “How To Be Filled With The Spirit.”

Signs One Is Filled With the Holy Spirit

Notice in Ephesians 5:17-18 that we are commanded to not let wine control us but the Holy Spirit. The results of being filled are described in the verses that follow (Ephesians 5:19-21). In those verses we discover that a Spirit filled Christian will have joy, be thankful and sing songs.

. . . speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual  songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Ephesians 5:19-21 (NASB)

Ephesians 5:22, 25; 6:1 and 5 reveal that other results of being filled are wives will submit to their husbands, husbands will love their wives, children will be obedient and slaves will submit to their masters. Only humble people will do this. Humility is a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

In Galatians 5:16-17 we find a Spirit-filled believer will increasingly have victory over sin. Galatians 5:18-21 clearly lists the sins that our fleshly body wants us to commit, and Galatians 5:22-23 reveals the deeds and attitudes the Holy Spirit wants in every believer. What is listed in verses 22-23 are the fruit of the Spirit. A Spirit-filled Christian will live a life that displays the fruit of the Spirit.


How can a Christian know if they are filled with the Holy Spirit? The signs of a Spirit-filled Christian are that he or she is obedient, happy, thankful, singing songs, increasingly does not sin and the fruit of the Holy Spirit is obvious in his or her life.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things  there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)

For example, in Luke 10:21 Jesus said that “He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit . . .” Romans 14:17 reports that righteousness, peace and joy come through the Holy Spirit. These are just a few examples of what happens when a Christian is filled with the Spirit. The point is that if a Christian is not experiencing these things, then they are not filled or controlled by the Spirit.

If you are a Christian and you are not filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit, you can be.  Confess your sins, spend time  in the study of the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to take control of your life. If this is your pattern of life, then the Holy Spirit can fill and control you. Praise God that a Christian can be filled with the Spirit and enjoy their relationship with God.

Suggested Links:

How To Be Filled With The Spirit
Be Filled With The Spirit, part 1
Be Filled With The Spirit, part 2
Be Filled With The Spirit, part 3
Can a person change their sinful habits and behavior?
How long can a person sin and still be a Christian?
Is someone a Christian if they practice unrepentant sin?
What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Holy Spirit Gives Us Victory Over Sin