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Ephesians 5:18-21


Intro: What is the greatest need we have here at Gilead Baptist Church? Is it a new building? Is it more people? Is it more money? Is it a better Pastor? Is it a youth program? Maybe we need a church van. Well, if we were to go around the room asking each individual what we need here the answers would be as varied as the number of people present in the service. Therefore, since I have the floor, I will tell you what I think we need. By the way, it isn't any of the things I mentioned! What we need this evening is the medicine Paul is prescribing in these verses to the church in Ephesus.

He tells them that they need the power of the Spirit of God working in their midst. I would submit to you that this is exactly what this church needs tonight as well. If we came to the place where the majority of the people in this congregation were truly walking in the Spirit and living a Spirit filled life, all the things I mentioned at the beginning, and more, would b a reality.

Now, let me say that we Baptists are a little afraid of the Holy Spirit. We are afraid He'll make us talk funny and do weird stuff. Because of that there has been a tendency among some Baptists to avoid emphasizing the presence and ministry of the Holy Ghost. I just want to go on record this evening and tell you that we need Him and all that He brings with Him. We need Him and His presence and His power in a desperate way. We shouldn't fear the Spirit of God, but we should welcome Him and create an atmosphere where He feels at home, an atmosphere where He can work unhindered in this church.

In our text this evening, Paul is telling the Ephesian believers what the Spirit-filled life is all about. He tells them that when they are walking in the Spirit, there will be some evidence of His presence in their midst. It is that truth that I would like to focus in on this evening. I want to share with you the Evidence Of The Spirit Filled Life. When you and I are filled with the Holy Ghost, we will still speak English, but we will be more like Jesus than we have ever been. That is what the Spirit of God wants to do in your life and mine. He wants to duplicate the life of Christ in every saved individual. Are you filled with the Spirit this evening? Let's check the evidence and see where we stand.


This verse teaches the following:

A. Control - As liquor controls the life of the drunkard, Pro. 23:29-35, the Spirit of God should control the life of the believer. (In their walk, their talk, their thoughts, their attitudes, their actions, etc.)

B. Completeness - The word "filled" means "to be full to the top; lacking nothing; nothing short of complete." If there is room for any other thing in our hearts, then we are not filled with the Spirit. His will should be our will. His thoughts should be our thoughts. His desires should be our desires. The Holy Spirit is to be in absolute domination of our lives.

C. Consistency - This little verb is in the "active tense." This means that it is to be a constant state of being. Very literally, we are to "go on being filled with the Spirit." Sadly, this kind of consistent living in missing from many Christians walk with God.

D. Compliance - This verb is also in the "passive voice". This means that this filling is something that is done to us. It is not something we can work up on our own, but we are to be vessels that God can fill and use for His glory. That means that we are to be clean, ready and open to the filling of the Spirit of God.

E. Command - It is also worthy of noting that this verb is in the "imperative mood". This makes it a command. Paul is not offering us an option for living, but is laying down the command of God for our lives. When all these things are taken together, it seems clear to me that it is the Lord's will for every believer to be filled with the Spirit at all times. When we aren't, then it seems obvious that we are walking in rebellion and sin before the Lord, James 4:17. Why is this so serious of a matter? Because when we are not walking in the Spirit as we should be, we will not be able to hear His voice when He speaks and God will not be able to use us as He desires to.

I. Our Walk With The Spirit


These verses teach us that we are to be:

A. A Celebrating People - This verses teaches us that we are to be making "melody in your heart to the Lord." As individuals, we are to be so filled and thrilled by all that the Lord has done in and to us that our hearts are filled with a song of praise for Him. The word "melody" means "to pluck, to strum or to vibrate." The image is of someone playing a harp. I think that Paul is telling us that when we are filled with the Spirit of God, we will be walking in close communion with Him. As this takes place, the Spirit will fill our hearts with love for Him and like a master musician plucks the strips of a harp to produce beautiful music, the Lord will pluck the strings of our hearts and will produce a symphony of praise to the glory of God. Have you ever been guilty of walking around with a song in your heart? Ever been guilty of making up your own songs of praise to Him for all He has done for you? That's what Paul is talking about. When we are walking in the Spirit, He will produce worship for the Savior!

B. A Contented People - Not only will the Spirit teach us to worship Him with songs of praise, but the Spirit will teach us to worship Him by trusting Him. As the Spirit of God takes control of the believer's life, the believer will be brought to the place where he learns to trust the Lord for every need and for everything. As we grow in the Lord we come to understand that He is on our side, Rom. 8:31. When this truth becomes a reality in our hearts, we will be able to say with David, "The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want." We will know for certain that our God is able to look after us, and that all He is doing, whether we like it or not, is for our good and His glory, Rom. 8:28.

What I am trying to say is that the Holy Ghost will teach us contentment. This was Paul's experience, Phil. 4:11-13, 1 Tim. 6:6-8. This will be our experience also as we yield to the filling of the Spirit of God. As we come to understand the valuable lesson that God is in control of even the smallest details of our lives, we will come to develop an attitude of gratitude, even for things that we do not understand.

Ill. When we see someone shouting as they pass through one of life's valleys, we know that the flesh doesn't produce that. It is the work of the Spirit of God. Our selfish, critical spirits will have a difficult time existing in the glory of His abiding presence and power. Remember, when He fills a life, there isn't room for anything else!

I. Our Walk With The Spirit

II. Our Worship Of The Savior


(Ill. It seems to me that dealing with the Spirit of God and with the sovereign will of God are far easier than dealing with the people of God. Has that been your experience as well? One fellow got it right when he penned the following words of poetry:

To live above with saints we love,

Oh, won't that be glory!

But, to live below with saints we know,

Now, that's another story!

It's like that song we hear from time to time called "Where Could I Go?" The second verse says this, "Neighbors are kind, I love them everyone, we get along in sweet accord..." Give me a break! There are times when we seem to have a difficult time getting along with one another. However, when the Spirit of God is in control of our lives, He will produce this peace and harmony that, sometimes, believers can only sing about. Notice what the Spirit of God will do for those who are filled by His presence and power.

We are told that we are to:

A. Encourage One Another - We are told that the Spirit of God will cause us to sing psalms to one another. This is referring to the Psalms of the Old Testament and to other Psalms that we popular in the early church. The point is, that when we are walking in the Spirit, our objective will be to help brother in his walk with God. We will be an encouragement to those who are around us. This was the spirit that filled a man named Barnabas. We are told that he went to a place called Antioch and was an encouragement to the believers there, Acts 11:22-26. Did you see why Barnabas was able to be a blessing? Acts 11:24 tells us that he was "full of the Holy Ghost." In fact, his real name is Joses, Acts 4:36, but he was given the nickname Barnabas by the Apostles. The name Barnabas means "Son of Consolation, or Son of Encouragement." The Spirit of God so worked in this man that he was a blessing in the lives of other believers all around him.

May the Lord help us to be an encouragement! When we are filled with the Spirit, He will work through us to produce encouragement for others. You watch that person who is constantly discouraging people in the Lord's work. That person is not walking in the power of the Holy Spirit!

B. Edify One Another - Then we are told to sing "hymns" to one another. This refers to songs that are filled with "religious content". The whole point being that we are to be active in helping one another grow in the Lord. Contrary to popular belief, the Lord never called any one of us to tear another believer down. He has, however, called everyone of us to build one another up in the Lord! (Ill. Rom. 14:9; 1 Thes 5:11)

You see, as the Spirit grows us as individuals, He will use the gifts, talents and knowledge He gives us to be a blessing to those around us. God never intended for any of us to be a pond. A pond just takes in and never gives anything out. As a result ponds become stagnant and foul. On the other hand, the Lord says that His people are like rivers, John 7:38; John 4:14. We receive from Him and we allow what we have received to flow back out of us so that others can benefit too. Are using what you have been given for the edification of others? Or, are you just growing stagnant in the Lord?

C. Exhort One Another - Paul next speaks of "spiritual songs." This refers to the song of the heart. It has the idea of us coming together for worship, and when we do, doing our voices together in praise to the Lord Who died for us and redeemed us by His grace. I think the idea here is that our public worship should be an outward reflection of what God is doing in our hearts. So that when we come together and let the inside come to the outside, others in the congregation are exhorted, or challenged, to strengthen their own walk with the Lord. That's why we should never be ashamed to everything we have into our public worship. You never know who needs that encouragement. You never know what the Lord can do if you will just turn loose and worship Him as He deserves to be worshiped.

D. Exalt One Another - Finally, in verse 21, we are commanded to "submit ourselves one to another." What does this mean? Well, the word "submitting" is a military term. It means "to fall in rank under another." Certainly, there is a thought here concerning submitting tot he leaders of the congregation. However, it runs deeper than that. The primary idea Paul is trying to get across is that God's people must learn to put everyone else ahead of themselves.

We live in an hour when such thinking is unheard of. After all, everyone is demanding their own rights these days. No one wants to give an inch. However, in the church, things are to be carried out differently than they are in the world. Notice what Paul said about this matter, Phil. 2:3-4. Then, in verses 5-11 of that same passage, Paul lifts up Jesus as the Supreme example of this ideal. The point Paul is trying to make is that when we are walking in the Spirit as we should, He will enable us to forfeit our own rights for the good of the church. I did not say that we should compromise the truth! If someone is out of line with the Word of God, then they must be dealt with. However, when we are walking in the Spirit of God, we will not seek to force our way regardless of what it does to the peace of the church. The Spirit filled person will back down before they will disrupt the peace in God's House. It all comes down to a willingness to take the backseat instead of demanding our own way.

Conc: if you were to be arrested this evening on the charge of being "Spirit-filled", would there be enough evidence to convict you? Or, has the Lord shown you some areas that need work in your walk with the Spirit, your worship of the Savior or your witness to the saints? If there is a need in your life, this altar is the place to get that taken care of.

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