Summary: 46th message from Ephesians exploring the meaning of filled with the Spirit.

“Under the Influence”

Ephesians 5:18


I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-3

II. Our Worthy Walk in Christ 4-6

A. Live in Unity 4:1-16

B. Live in Newness of life 4:17-24

C. Live in Love 4:17-24

D. Live in Purity 5:3-14

E. Live in Wisdom 5:15-6:9

Paul urged all followers of Jesus to live differently. He called them to look at how they were living. Engage your brain. Sharpen your discernment. Keep God the central focus of all you do.

Wisdom is about applying knowledge to life. It is about living according to God’s will and ways.

We may not always enjoy yielding to God’s will but our heart knows it is best.

When confronted with bearing the sin of the world, Jesus preferred not to go through with it.

Yet, from His heart, He yielded to the Father’s plan and declared, “Not my will but Yours!”

Paul included 3 specifics regarding a wise walk or life. These, among many others, are indicators of a wise walk. Paul continued to employ his negative/positive pattern used throughout his letter. Stop doing this, practice that.

1. Seize every opportune moment 15-16

Stop walking as unwise but take advantage of every opportunity because we live in evil days.

2. Seek to understand the will of the Lord 17

Stop living my impulse but seek to understand what God wants because we live in evil days.

3. Be continually filled with the Holy Spirit 18-20

Let’s first read this very familiar verse in several different translations.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, ESV

Don’t get drunk with wine, because it makes you lose control. Instead, keep on being filled with the Spirit CJB

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, NASB

And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit: HCSB

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. NIV

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, NLT

First, he and connects it to the list of things that characterize wise living with an “and”.

Paul started with a negative or prohibition in the present tense calling for a cessation.

“Stop getting drunk with wine in which is dissipation.”

WE don’t need convincing of the devastation alcohol abuse causes in the world today.

It is responsible for an assortment of reprehensible behaviors. It NEVER leads to any good.

It has wreaked havoc on millions of families both financially, physically and psychologically.

It is not just a modern day tragedy. Its trail of victims can be tracked all through human history. It occurs all though the Bible.

It seems to have been a problem even at the celebration of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:21).

Paul warned to stay away from drunkards. (1 Cor 5:11)

Paul included sobriety as a characteristic for elders and godly women. (1 Tim 3:8; Titus 2:3)

Peter referred to drunkenness as a part of the old life. (1 Pet 4:4)

Paul includes drunkenness in the list of characteristics of a fleshly life.

Paul calls us to keep sober and clear minded. 1 Thess 5:6

Jesus warned His followers to be on guard that their hearts not be weighed down with drunkenness and out of control living. Luke 21:34

Listen to Solomon’s description of alcohol abuse.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long over wine, those who go to taste mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things and your mind will utter perverse things. And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, or like one who lies down on the top of a mast. "They struck me, but I did not become ill; they beat me, but I did not know it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink." Proverbs 23:29-35

Most everyone here could share a terrible tale as to the devastation of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse was common at the time of Paul’s writing to Ephesians. It is not improbable that in this verse there is an allusion to the orgies of Bacchus, or to the festivals celebrated in honor of that heathen god. He was "the god of wine," and, during those festivals, men and women regarded it as an acceptable act of worship to become intoxicated, and with wild songs and cries to run through streets, and fields, and vineyards. It was felt that the state of ecstasy produced by inebriation was the gateway to getting in touch with the gods. In ancient religions high value was placed on ecstatic mood. It was thought that people could approach God only as they were drawn out of themselves in rapturous ecstasy. Exciting music, dancing, and—chief of all—intoxication were employed to produce their ecstasy. Greek religion found its highest expression of this style in the worship of Dionysus.

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