Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ephesians 5:18-21 Outline

Ephesians 5:18-21 The New Walk (5): More Reasons Why – Filled with the Spirit
Introduction (review):
1. Motivations are important. Businesses work hard to give their employees motivation for productivity. God loves us very much and so he gives us many reasons or motivations or incentives or arguments for the living of the Christian life.
2. In Ephesians 5:5-21, Paul sets forth four motivations to godliness. Today we’ll look at his fourth and final one – the filling of the Holy Spirit.
3. Every since Ephesians 4:17, Paul has been exhorting us to live distinctly as Christians, and not like the world. In Ephesians 5:5-21 he’s emphasizing the reasons or motivations for our pursuit of holiness, our quest for godliness
4. Over a month ago (how time flies!), we looked at Ephesians 5:5-7, where Paul stated the first motivation to godliness – the anticipation of judgment. Paul wants us to live realizing that there will be a divine accounting of our living. There is a coming judgment.
5. Then, we looked at Paul’s second motivation in this section (found in Ephesians 5:8-14). This motivation or incentive to holiness doesn’t look to the future (like the first one), but to the past and present. It has to do with our new identity as "light in the Lord" or "children of light." Basically, Paul says: Remember what you were and what you are now, by grace. And then live like who you are.
6. Last week, we turn to Ephesians 5:15-17, where Paul encourages in the way of godliness by appealing to the fact that God has made his people wise by grace, and thus we are to walk in that wisdom. Paul’s argument is simple, God has made you wise, by the Gospel, so live as wise people. What does that look like? The wise are (1) careful how they live – it matters to them; (2) they understand the preciousness of time – they seek to make good, Gospel use of it; and (3) they have grown to understand the will of God – by reading, hearing and doing it.
7. This week, we come to the end of this section, in Ephesians 5:18-21. Paul’s appeal to us to live the Christian life in this passage is based upon the reality of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer, indeed upon the filling of the believer by the Holy Spirit. Notice, there are two imperatives and five participles: (1) do not get drunk but do (2) be filled, followed by (1) speaking, (2) singing, (3) making melody, (4) giving thanks and (5) being subject (or submitting) to one another.

* There is no factor more important in our quest for godliness than the filling of the Holy Spirit.

I. Don’t get drunk (18a) [A command for Christian temperance]
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, . . .
* Not don’t drink, but don’t get drunk
* I have observed the following re: underage drinkers imbibing illegally, and of those who drink too much: (a) there is often an accompanying desire to fit in with the world/worldly; (b) the drinking often manifests a way of coping with insecurity; (c) some are indulging a dangerous habit (alcohol a depressant, not a stimulant); (d) many are simply following bad examples; (e) others are knuckling under to peer pressure; (f) those doing underage drinking, whether they are drinking to the point of inebriation or not, are breaking the law

II. Be filled with the Spirit (18b) [A Command for Christian intemperance]
18 . . . but be filled with the Spirit,
(1) assures and matures, forms character; (2) our desire, our thirst for this kind of filling

A. Speaking to one another (19a) [encouraging mutual exhortation]
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, . . .
* Addressing/Exhorting/Encouraging one another with Scriptural songs and songs that are scriptural to adoration, confession, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession.

B. Singing/making heart-music to God (19b) [Whole-souled, God-centered devotion]
19 . . . singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
* Addressing our gracious God with praise from the depths of our hearts

C. Giving thanks to God (20) [Father-focused, Christ-enabled gratitude]
20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
* Thanking God, our Father, for everything, in Jesus’ name

D. Being subject to one another (21) [Self-denying, Christ-revering, service for mutual edification]
21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
* Self-denying, mutual submission for the purpose of mutual edification out of reverence for Christ

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