Together in Christ: 'Filled with the Spirit!' — Ephesians 5:18-21

Monday, September 23, 2024

Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
. . .

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
— Ephesians 5:18-21 NLT

Key Thought

When we worship, especially with other believers, we should expect to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The early disciples experienced the Spirit working and leading them while they were worshiping together. [1] So, rather than being filled with enslaving spirits of alcohol or drugs, we should worship. Paul's command is to "be filled with the Holy Spirit"!

But how? How can we be filled with the Spirit? I know preachers and teachers have their lists on how to be filled with the Spirit, but is there a list from God that tells me how to be filled with the Spirit?

While not as apparent in English as in Greek that Paul used to write his letter, we find five participles that follow Paul's command that show us how to be filled with the Spirit. I'm going to share the passage again in the English Standard Version [2] that makes these five participles more visible, and they will be underlined and put into their participle form with the "-ing" ending:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Notice these five ways we worship in gathered worship and also in relationships: [3]

  1. Addressing (or speaking) to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. In other words, we direct our singing to God and each other!
  2. Singing.
  3. Making melody from our hearts as we sing.
  4. Giving thanks to God in all circumstances.
  5. Submitting to others as we reverence Jesus as our shared Lord.

When we worship together, serve each other lovingly and sacrificially, and offer our hearts to God, let's expect the Holy Spirit to be at work in us, guiding us into Jesus' mission for us. [4] Let's anticipate the Spirit filling us with God's power and presence. [5] And, let's rejoice that Jesus didn't leave us as abandoned children of God, but those in whom God lives through the Holy Spirit! [6]

[1] Acts 13:1-4.
[2] Ephesians 5:18-21 ESV — English Standard Version.
[3] We often think of worship as what we do in a "worship service." However, God wants all of our lives to be offered to Him in worship as an expression of our love for Him and our neighbors — Luke 10:27. There are several statements in the New Testament emphasizing that all of our lives should be offered to God in worship — Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 12:28-13:16.
[4] Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:4-5, 12-14, 2:1-4, 13:1-4.
[5] Ephesians 3:14-21.
[6] John 14:15-23.

Today's Prayer

Blessed Father, thank You for sending Jesus to show us Your love for us. Jesus, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to be Your presence inside us until we come home to You. Holy Spirit, help me to be more aware of Your presence and rely more on Your presence and power in me. I want to display Your righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful justice, O God, Whom I worship as Father, Son, and Spirit. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 1:8,13:1-4; Ephesians 3:14-21
  • Colossians 3:12-17

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Illustration

Illustration of Ephesians 5:18-21 NLT — Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.. . .And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.