Bible Study Notes:

Be Filled with the Spirit:
Ephesians 5:2:17-20

These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Thursday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at
You are welcome to join us at any time!

Father, our Lord, we are gathered here tonight to study Your Holy word. We ask that you give us understanding and the wisdom to use what we learn in our daily life. Thank You Father for our lives as followers of You and Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for your plan of salvation that gave us everlasting life.

Father we bind satan in the blessed name of Jesus, bind him so that he cannot interfere with the Internet tonight. Father we pray in the name of Jesus. AMEN

Father God, we rejoice in you tonight and give you praise for all your many blessings to your children. We thank you most of all for your word that teaches us how to please you!

Holy Spirit we ask you to quiet our hearts and minds so that we can focus on the Word. Be our teacher we pray. AMEN and AMEN

Last time we were discussing some of the things we should do to live as children of light, having nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but exposing and reproving them by bringing them into the light. We talked about being "holy alarm clocks", waking up those sleeping in sin and shining the light of Christ on them. clock.gif (5817 bytes)

Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

So we need to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way - not wasting time as fools and unwise to, but "redeeming" or buying back every opportunity we can to witness for Christ. "Because the days are evil" certainly reflects our culture today and the evil that goes on day and night. We are to be lights in this darkness.

Ephesians 5:17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

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The foolish not only misses opportunities to make wise use of his time, he doesn't understand what God's will - intent and purposes - are for mankind. But there's good news here. You CAN understand what God's will is for your life! It's not a hidden mystery, or information that you have to spend your hard earned cash to buy. It is revealed in God's Word!

The basic theme of Ephesians is revealing that will. And if you will practice what is written here (and elsewhere in the Bible), your will comes in line with God's will. And another verse says, "find out what pleases the Lord" (Ephesians 5:10). If we search the Word, we will find out how to please God. And not only that, but God gives us the ability, the enabling, to do what He asks.

This is GOOD news, my beloved friends. God has told us how to please Him and enables us to do it. A lot of times we make living a godly life harder than it needs to be, because we are either confused about God's will (we don't know the Word), OR we try to do it in our own strength and power. Not by strength, nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord!

Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: `Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.

Not only can we KNOW what the Lord's will is, but also we can UNDERSTAND it. He has revealed to us, not only the WHAT and the HOW, but the WHY. So the closer we draw to God, the better we can understand Him.

Ephesians 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

Now Paul gets down to the nitty gritty of God's will. How do you please God? Don't get drunk on alcoholic beverages, but be filled with the Spirit. Now you can be "under the influence" that effects you - either of wine (alcoholic beverages) or of the Spirit. The choice is yours. Either "spirit" will guide your behavior. Drunkenness will draw you deeper into satan's kingdom. Being filled with the Holy Spirit will lead you further into the kingdom of light. wine.gif (5876 bytes)

"Be filled with the Spirit" is in the present tense in Greek - meaning to be continuously filled with the Spirit. Not a one-time deal, but a continuous replenishing process. This fountain of living water we drink from never runs dry.

What is debauchery and why does drunkenness lead to it?

Proverbs 23:20-21 Do not join those who drink too much wine, or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

Debauchery is total corruption by sensuality, immorality, totally opening yourself up to sin and its consequences. It is also intemperance in habits - overindulgence, out of control.

Glenn - debauchery-gluttony; intemperance; habitual lewdness (Webster's dictionary)

hungry - Do you think Christians should not drink at all????????

Thanks Glenn. Not a pretty sight. IF you've ever seen a "stumble-down drunk", you've seen debauchery. KJV calls it "excess". Good question hungry. What do you all think????

Tal - It is ok if you drink, as long as you don't get drunk and not to drink in public because you might stumble other Christians. I think it's best to just not drink at all

Glenn - I mean, I believe Christians have no business messing with drinking. Why even risk taking the chance?

tbm - I think you can drink, as long as it's in moderation....

Well I come from a long line of alcoholics, plus I'm allergic to some components of alcohol, so I'm a teetotaler. I believe there are three principles here to consider:

1) Can YOU handle alcohol? If not, leave it alone.

2) Would your drinking be an occasion of stumbling for a weaker brother/sister? If so, don't drink.

3) Ask the Lord what YOU should do, and don't judge someone who makes a different decision.

Romans 14:7 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that will cause your brother to fall.

Romans 14:22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.

Adanac - We are told that if our brother is offended by our drinking, then we are not to drink in his presence

hungry - what about drinking in front of a teenager then????

Adanac - It is easier not to drink , than to try and explain why we can take a sip

I think that you shouldn't do ANYTHING in front of ANY child that you don't want them to copy! Drinking is one of those "gray areas" that the Bible doesn't totally condemn, but drunkenness is forbidden us.

Adanac - I believe it is written that those that hold a position in a church are commanded not to drink

1 Timothy 3:1,3 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task… not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

Ephesians 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

Proverbs 31 says it's not for kings to drink wine - since I'm a child of the King, I feel this applies to me too!

Proverbs 31: 4-5 "It is not for kings, O Lemuel-- not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights."

But I try to be fair, and say what the Bible says about it, no more, no less. It's a personal decision between you and the Lord. Let's get back to the positive! Be filled with the Spirit. This is a command!

1 Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by [with or in] one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Now, being FILLED with the Spirit is different from being baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ. At our conversion, we are all baptized into one body by the Spirit. Baptized, of course, means being immersed in liquid. Being filled means not only being immersed, but drinking to the point that you are completely submerged in it.

At conversion: John 3:3-5 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again [or born from above]." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

Now there are two births mentioned in the passage from John - water and spirit. When Jesus talked about being born of water - He was talking about a natural birth (that only comes after a woman's "water breaks"). When Jesus talked about being born of the spirit - He was talking about a spiritual birth.

Do you have to be baptized in water to be saved? The answer to that question depends on whom you ask! Personally, I believe that since Jesus said to be baptized, so you should do it out of obedience as soon as possible.

When we are born again, the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ. WE, as obedience to Him, get baptized in water. We are saved by grace, not our works. But out of love and obedience, we should be baptized in water too. Of course, some churches believe you MUST be baptized also in water to be saved. So if you haven't been baptized in water since you've been saved, why put it off? Just do it! OK, so if you have any questions about it, go look up the verses and decide for yourselves. I've been saved and baptized in water. We're not here to argue! :=) Just read the Word and decide for yourself what the Lord wants you to do.

OK, back to being filled with the spirit. The point is that God baptizes us INTO the Spirit at our conversion. Being filled with the Spirit happens as we drink of the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by [with or in] one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Now the baptism by, with or in the Spirit into the Body of Christ occurs at conversion, and we become one body. But notice it says we were all given the one Spirit to drink. What happens when you drink? You get filled up. As we drink of the Spirit we become filled with the Spirit. Remember what Jesus Said?

John 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

prov 10:12 - water is a natural illustration of a spiritual truth we went down in the grave as JESUS died as us that we might live as him we were risen with him new creatures

So as we drink of wine (alcohol) and are filled up, and are led to debauchery. On the contrary, we can drink of the Spirit, and be filled up and be led into light and life.

Now, being FILLED with the Spirit is different from being baptized into the body by the Spirit. At our conversion, we are all baptized into one body by the Spirit. Baptized, of course, means being immersed in liquid. Being filled means not only being immersed, but drinking to the point that you are completely submerged in it.

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So your choice: you can either be "submerged" in alcohol (and by extension any substance that is addictive) or "submerged" in the Spirit. If you swim in drunkenness, you will be carried away downstream to the falls of destruction. If you swim in the Spirit, you will not only be carried to glory in God's current, but will be protected from the enemy! Spiritual submarines cannot be seen by the naked eye, so the devil will be jumping up and down on the banks in frustration as you move swiftly and joyfully in the Spirit. The point is, to be led of the Spirit and not the flesh.

Ephesians 5:19-20 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The result of being filled with the Spirit is true joy. Drunks seem really happy sometimes, but the next day ... OUCH. But being filled with the Spirit brings joy, and will be reflected in a spirit of praise and thanksgiving.

Why do you think it says "speak" to one another in songs? The Greek word used is laleo - to talk, to utter words, preach, or say. Now three types of songs are mentioned: Psalms - which are songs that have been preserved for us in the Bible, hymns which would include spirit-inspired praise to God that we write, and spiritual songs, which many interpret to mean singing in the spirit. sing.gif (20843 bytes)

All three types are ways to "preach" the gospel, aren't they, and to give praise to God? So that's what I think "speak" means here - another way to "preach" the gospel. Sometimes people under conviction of their sin won't respond to a sermon, or to witnessing, but will be touched by anointed music.

NIV "Speak to one another" KJV "Speaking to yourselves" Amplified "Speak out to one another" Revised Standard says, "addressing one another" - the root meaning is a sharing with each other I think.

Then we are told to "Sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord". This is good news for us who can't carry a tune in a bucket! LOL! The praise starts in the heart; the melody is there, even if we can't express it like Carmen, or some other singer. musicheart.gif (15752 bytes)

"ALWAYS giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." ALWAYS, that's a toughie! It's easy to praise in the good times, but in the bad?

This is where sometimes we mess up. A problem arises, or circumstances seem to take a turn for the worse, and we start to moan and groan and complain. Come on, OT's not the only one this happens to!

And our tendency is to wonder where God is NOW when we need Him the most! It seems sometimes that our prayers don't get through, our bodies are weak, and we tend to fault God instead of praise Him. And our tendency is to wonder where God is NOW when we need Him the most! It seems sometimes that our prayers don't get through, our bodies are weak, and we tend to fault God instead of praise Him.

But praise shows that we trust Him to lead us out of this situation! Praise is one way to put your faith into action. Saying, God I don't understand what is happening or why! BUT, YOU are in control. YOU love me and have a marvelous plan for my life. YOU will bring me out victoriously on the other side. So, even in my pain and distress, I WILL praise you!

You can make that melody to God in your heart no matter what's going on the outside, no matter where you are, your heart can be a continual song to God, and you can thank Him for His many blessings! Wow, if we (including me) could remember this one thing - IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS!

Now how do you praise with a heavy heart? How do you come out of depression and despair? Sometimes praise is a sacrifice - By Him let us give the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Are there any questions? Next time we'll discuss a topic that a lot of people struggle with - Submission. To review tonight, we talked about being filled with the Spirit and having that infilling flow forth in praise and thanks in songs and melody.

For our God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus!

Love and blessings to all! Father, bring all the things that you have taught us to our remembrance. Bless those who have taken the time to study your Word. In Jesus Name AMEN.

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice.

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