In Proverbs 1:7, we learn that, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” In our Re-verse passage in Ephesians 5, Paul says in verse 15 & 16, “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk – not as unwise people but as wise – making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” We understand that so well today and the more we become saturated and intoxicated with the Spirit of God, the more we are sober-minded and able to tread carefully in this reckless and careless world. There is nothing wise about getting drunk. Those who do so will lose control and wreck their lives and the lives of others. When we are drunk on the Spirit of God, then He is in control. The result is a heart that sings, worships, encourages others towards good works, and gives thanks for all things. Then you will be a Christian who dwells with others in humility and with the fear of Christ. Let’s practice the fear of our Lord Jesus every day. Jesus is coming again soon. Don’t you want to be found faithful when He comes? Pray that the Spirit of Christ will dwell in you until overflowing and give you the power to walk in wisdom.
Minister of Community Missions and Evangelism
First Baptist Church of San Antonio
“Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation.”
Paul said drunkenness will do it. Luke said hard labor will do it. Jesus said even a church service will do it. What were they talking about? They each warned against distraction – distraction from the difficult, yet vital inner work of reflection, discovery, and transformation. In this passage, Paul points to the use of substances as a means of diverting the mind’s attention from God’s activity. Elsewhere, Luke highlights the way Martha used arduous domestic duties as an alternative focus to Jesus’s teaching. And in Matthew’s gospel, the Lord himself noted in that not even the formal worship of God substitutes for the inner work necessary for reconciliation with a sister or brother. Enlisting the Sprit’s help for soul-work isn’t easy. Diversions are ready to help you forget.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
I am a doctor. My grandmother would hasten to add, “just not the kind that can help people.” However, today, I think I can help. If I could give one prescription to just about everyone I know, it would be: SING MORE. Feeling down, not a problem: SING. Feeling great, excellent: SING. Everything in between, I’ve got you covered: SING.
I don’t want to be flippant, but I take scripture to be completely true, and this isn’t a suggestion. God has designed a release valve for us, and it is wise that we avail ourselves of it. It is cathartic and healthy. it builds community, and it follows the example of Jesus (Matthew 26:30). Every age, every stage, this is for you. This is one of the signs that we are a Holy Spirit-filled people. Our singing should overflow from our heart’s condition. Stop believing the lie that you can’t, or that you shouldn’t, or it is for others. Scripture does not affirm that. Sing More. Sing at home, sing at the office, sing at the gym, and by all means sing at church.
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Ephesians 5:18-19 in our New Summer Sermon Series: “Living in the Spirit” a study of the Holy Spirit.
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth…” vs 29a.
Have you ever mistakenly took a bite out of an apple that has gone bad? You go in for a big bite of what you expect to be a crisp, juicy apple, but you are left with a mushy, bland mouthful of something you just want to spit out. Jesus uses this analogy on multiple occasions to describe our lifestyles.
“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit…” Matthew 7:18.
The interesting thing is that the same word that Jesus uses to describe bad fruit, is the same word that Paul uses in our passage to describe bad talk (unwholesome). This isn’t just cursing. Bad talk is gossip, slander, crude joking, roasting (making fun of others). Words can go bad quicker than fruit. After they have gone out, we immediately want to retract them, but it is often too late. We are left with a mushy mouthful of bad fruit.
If a good tree cannot produce bad fruit, what do the words we use tell us about the state of our tree?
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit...Ephesians 4:30
We don’t often think of the Holy Spirit in personal terms, like having sorrow or grief, and yet clearly he does. In fact, according to this verse we can be responsible for His sorrow when we neglect our new heritage as children of God.
The Holy Spirit is not a force, or a particular feeling; He’s not goosebumps, or overwhelming emotion. He is a person. If you want to hear his voice, read the Bible. If you want to follow his leadership and bear His fruit, obey what He has written.
Don’t neglect what the Holy Spirit has clearly revealed to us in pursuit of a mystical experience that may be more of your own making than His.
“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.”
God never intended us to be isolated in our faith. There is a relational component to the Christian Faith. With Him and with other believers. He promises to be with us till the end of the age (Matthew 28) as well as designing our Christian lives to be in community with other believers. The Greek word translated one another is used 100 times in the New Testament. 59 times its used to teach us how (and how not) to relate to one another. Even if we don’t believe it, the scriptures describe the influence every believer has “in the body”- negative and positive. Let’s look for opportunities to influence one another.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;” Ephesian 5:1.
“He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with [b]one who has need.”
Often times, when I think of repentance, I think about doing the opposite of what I was doing. Sometimes, that action is simply stopping whatever it is that I need to repent of. Repentance is often described as “going the other way” in regards to your actions. However, as Paul writes here, there is a “starting” action and a “stopping” action with repentance. One who steals must stop stealing and start doing honest, productive work. One who engages in corrupt talk must stop tearing people down and start building others up instead.
Paul reminds us that in our repentance, there is sin that we must stop and an opposite action that we must start instead. These opposite actions to our sin draw us ever closer to the heart of God and free us all the more from the weight that sin bears down upon us. In your quiet times or time of repentance this week, what action is the Holy Spirit leading you to start in response to repentance?
Preschool & Elementary
To forgive means to decide not to exact punishment for wrongdoing. That is indeed what Christ has done for us. Punishment can take many forms. If I give a friend the cold shoulder after discovering that he misled me about a career advancement opportunity so that he could take that opportunity for himself, I am punishing my friend. If I remain warm in my interactions with him, however, while waiting eagerly for news of hardship or failure that he might encounter as he undertakes that new career opportunity, I am still punishing him, albeit in a very nuanced way. And if I am punishing him, I have not forgiven him. There are often consequences for wrongdoing. But consequences are not in my power to control. Punishment is.
Be angry, andyetdo not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, vs. 26
Time for confession. How many of you have the second part of verse 26 memorized, but did not know the first part? Both parts of this verse work well together, and the following verse is a caution when this advice is not followed. Unhealthy, un-dealt with anger is an invitation for the deceiver to work sin into your heart.
Be angry – that doesn’t seem like something you would read in the New Testament. We particularly struggle with this verse because we see so little application of what it says. In 2020 anger invariably means sin. It manifests in violence, abuse, neglect, inappropriate language. As a society we do not process these feelings in a healthy biblical manner. If we recognize injustice, or unrighteousness, or sin around us we have cause to feel angry. It is what happens next that we, as believers, must not look like our society. Paul offers solutions, forgive and remember your forgiveness, don’t speak words that will escalate the problem, show grace where possible.