Sober, Spirit-Filled and Praising God: Ephesians 5:18-20
Scripture: Ephesians 5:18-20
This covers the third of three contrasting exhortations: not unwise but wise; not foolish but understanding, and this one: not drunk but filled with the Spirit. We start by discussing the Jewish rejection of drunkenness as taught in Proverbs 23, a phrase which Paul cites in Ephesians 5:18. We then discuss the pagan cult of Dionysus which used drunkenness as part of their worship service. Paul says that drunkenness causes “dissipation” which implies the squandering of a resource, in this case one’s life. A version of the word used here describes the prodigal in Luke 15:13 who squandered his estate. In place of drunkenness Paul exhorts Christians to be Spirit-filled. This does not imply that true Christians are not already filled with the Spirit, but that they should live out the implications of this reality. Some of those implications are spelled out by Paul in terms of joyful praise of God. We make applications to living a life of praise and joy by pointing out that the world around us is filled with the opposite. We cannot allow the wickedness of the fallen world steal our joy! Another important implication is thankfulness. Many people we know are very ungrateful and refuse to honor God, the giver of life. World philosophies want to burn everything down in hopes that a better world with emerge. They are deceived. We cannot become nasty and grim, but must be joyful, thankful people through the power over the Holy Spirit. During the applications Bob shares part of his testimony of having been delivered from alcohol addiction and rejoices in 10 years of continual freedom.
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