What is Being Drunk In The Spirit?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

What is being “drunk in the Spirit?” Is it biblical?

                                        Filled with the Spirit

First of all, you cannot be filled with the Spirit until you’ve first trusted in Christ. Only then do you receive the Holy Spirit and He comes to abide in you. The Apostle Paul admonishes us to “not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). If we are filled with the Spirit, we’ll be in harmony with the Spirit, so the Apostle Paul admonishes us to “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise” (Eph 5:15). Being filled with the Spirit means you’ll “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Eph 4:1). If you are filled with the Spirit, you will naturally start to think about “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable” (Phil 4:8). If you or I are too full of ourselves, then there’s less room for the Spirit in our lives, but if we empty ourselves, of ourselves, we can more easily be filled with the Spirit of God, and being filled with the Spirit of God, we’re more likely do to the things that please God.

Grieving the Spirit

I am sure I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve grieved the Holy Spirit. No doubt, you’ve done the same thing, but if I’m grieving the Holy Spirit, it means I’m grieving God over my actions, and this means I’m sinning. Paul tells us to “not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph 4:31), and how do you do that? It’s by getting rid of “all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Eph 4:31). Any time we’re bitter, angry, and slandering someone by gossiping about them, we are grieving the Holy Spirit. In fact, we’re quenching the Holy Spirit. Paul specifically addresses that in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, writing, “Do not quench the Spirit.” I can assume that if you’ve grieved the Holy Spirit, you’ve quenched the Holy Spirit, meaning, you’ve stilled His voice and dimmed His light before your eyes. The more you resist His voice, the harder it gets to hear Him. The author of Hebrews writes about the Holy Spirit speaking to us, writing, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice” (Heb 3:7). It’s almost as if He is pleading with the lost, saying, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Heb 3:15). By His saying, “Today,” we assume that there will be a day when it is too late to hear His voice. Constant suppression of the Spirit’s voice will finally still His voice. A day is coming when it will be too late for some, and that day will come after their death (Heb 9:27). For others, it will come at His appearing (Rev 1:7; 20:12-15), so I also plead with you: “Today, hear his voice [and] do not harden your hearts,” and do it while it’s still called “today” (2 Cor 6:2). Do not resist the Holy Spirit by quenching Him or grieving Him, especially over long periods of time.

Drunk in the Spirit

I didn’t have any trouble finding Scriptures to study about being filled with the Spirit, grieving the Spirit, and not quenching the Spirit, but I could not find one verse where it says we’re to be “drunk in the Spirit.” I can understand being filled with the Spirit, and I also know I’ve grieved and quenched the Holy Spirit, but never have I seen the Word of God tell us we should be “drunk in the Spirit,” and neither have I seen where we’re to lose control of our bodily functions and make worship services a show. When all the attention is focused on the one who is “drunk in the Spirit,” it’s not focused on Christ, and besides, there are other spirits out there and they’re not so good. In fact, Satan has his own ministers (2 Cor 11:14-15), so what looks good is not always good, and from my years of experience I have learned that if it’s new, it’s not from God, and if it’s from God, it’s not new. There are no new ways to worship. We must be biblical, and we see that modeled in the New Testament, and no one was staggering and rolling down the aisles in the first century church. That does not glorify God, and often this comes at the expense of preaching the Word, in and out of season. The admonition from Paul is, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). Notice, it is a “do this” and “don’t do that” admonishment. “Do not get drunk,” but instead “be filled with the Spirit.” One is okay (filled with the Spirit), but the other is not (“Do not get drunk”).


Drunkenness of any kind is sin. Being filled with the Spirit will keep you from sin. Being filled with wine, won’t! Quenching the Spirit will slide you into sin, but being filled with the Spirit will make you run away from sin. You’re grieving the Spirit when you’re drunk with wine, but when filled with the Spirit, you’re avoiding such things. Being drunk in the Spirit at worship services is sin in my opinion, because worship should be done “out of reverence for Christ” (Eph 5:21). Being drunk in the Spirit is not taught in the Bible and should not be practiced in the church. Here’s your model for a godly church: “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42), and “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2: 46), and what was the result? “And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47b). The saving of souls ought to make us happier than ten thousand bottles of wine!

Here is some related reading for you: What is the Role of the Holy Spirit?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

How to turn your sermon into clips

Share the truth

Previous post:

Next post: