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SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 5:19

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“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

 

This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)

 

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of WISDOM (5:15-21). The Biblical concept of “wisdom” is “the application of God’s Word to our lives”. To be “wise” is to apply the truths of God to our daily living. This is true wisdom and flows from the gracious hand of our Lord.

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:

I.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives Universally (vs 15)

II.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives To Use Time Profitably (vs 16)

III.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives By Recognizing God’s Will For Us (vs 17)

IV.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives Through Self-Control (vs 18)

V.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives To Praise and Thank Him (vs 19-20)

VI.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives By Submission To Others (vs 21)

 

 

EXPOSITION:

After explaining the need for us to be “filled with the Spirit”, Paul now teaches us concerning the characteristics of those who are filled with the Spirit (ie are submitted to the Spirit’s control in every rea of our lives.)

(Ephesians 5:19-20) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

 

Here is a listing of the two of the main characteristics of a person filled with the Spirit…

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 

Characteristic #1… inward, personal praise… “Speaking to yourselves” .

Is this verse describing us singing and praising God in a public way to each other in a local assembly (“yourselves”), or is this verse describing singing and praising the Lord inwardly as a personal act (“yourselves”)?

This question is very highly debated among sound Bible believers. The answer lies in the word “yourselves”. To whom was Paul speaking when he used the term “yourselves”? All I can do is share my thoughts with you and ask you to prayerfully study these things on your own.

The Greek word translated “yourselves” is found MANY times in the NT. It is used, at times, to mean…

1. “oneself” and is translated “alone”, “himself”, “herself” , and “your own”. It these cases, it is clearly speaking of a single individual with no other person in view.

2. “one group” and is translated “your own selves”, “themselves” and ”they”. In these cases, the word normally speaks of a specific group that contains many members.

 

My point is this, by simply studying the Greek word used here we cannot come to answer to our question because the word “yourselves” can be used in either way. However, if we look a bit farther in the verse, I believe it clearly solves our dilemma.

Later in the same verse, we read the phrase “in your heart to the Lord”. This phrase CLARIFIES the type of praise which is spoken. It clearly is referring to an inward praise coming from the heart and spirit of the believer.   Although the public worship of the Lord through the singing of songs is one way of praising Him, we need to understand that is not the type of singing of which this text speaks.

If an individual is under the Spirit’s control in every area of life (filled with the Spirit), they will consistently honor the Lord through three differing aspects of praise of the heart…

1. psalms – rehearsing of God’s Word. This word commonly refers to the Book of Psalms in the NT

2. hymns – celebration of the Lord and His works. This word comes from an uncommon root word meaning “joyous celebration”

3. spiritual songs – Spirit led honor, admiration and reverence. This word describes “songs of worship”

 

The Spirit filled believer will find their heart and mind filled with praise to the Lord. This praise will take the form of meditation on the Word, inward joy, satisfaction and contentment centered on Christ, and an attitude of reverence and honor for the greatness of the Lord and His works on our behalf.

This praise is likened to outward singing (“singing”) and playing of instruments (“making melody”) that brought honor and glory to the Lord during times of OT worship. Much like music brings praise to the Lord and refreshes the spirit of man, this type of “singing and making melody” of the heart holds the same results for our inward man.

 

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Characteristic #2… acknowledgment of the manifold blessings of the Lord found in every circumstance of life… “Giving thanks always”

For those filled with the Spirit, the recognition of God’s control of all things (Dan 4:35), linked together with faith in His promise “all things work together for good to them that love God…” (Roms 8:28), results in a willingness to endure all things, as they submit every area of their life to His will and way.

This is the key to being thankful in all conditions of life… recognize the Lord will always work for our good as we submit our entire being to His will.

Our thankfulness should be pointed towards the Triune God (all three persons are active in bringing about His will in our lives). And should be presented to God based upon Christ and His work on our behalf. It is the work of Christ which gives us access to the Father and makes our thankfulness acceptable in the sight of God.

 

APPLICATION:

Folks are we “filled with the Spirit?” (ie have we handed over every aspect of our lives to the control of the Spirit?) If so, we will see these different characteristics of that filling in our lives….

1. Our minds will be filled with meditation on the Word, inward joy, satisfaction and contentment centered on Christ, and an attitude of reverence and honor for the greatness of the Lord and His works on our behalf.

2. We will be willing and thankful to undergo any circumstance in life as we recognize our Lord is in absolute control of our circumstances, and is working all things out for our eventual good.

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 

 

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10 Comments

  1. Terry says:

    Thanks Rob, sorry I haven’t been to your blog as much lately

  2. […] SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 5:19. […]

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow thanks for this study; I’ve never saw Ephesians 5:19 as referring to inward singing before, always saw it as congregational. Insightful.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      The Word always amazes me SJ. There seems to be so many different, yet Scriptural thoughts that we can glean from verses as we study them. It is a never ending source of truth. Lord bless you.

  4. I remember telling a young lady once that there is no such thing as a part time Christian. This post brought that back to memory.

    Our incredibly amazing God works in and for us 24/7 and He is entitled to the same from us.

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