Summary: Paul begins here to teach us how we should relate to one another in the Lord. (#8 in The Christian Victor series)
“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; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”
Folks, we’ve been lied to.
I don’t know who started it. I don’t even know how the lie was first presented; whether in words, or attitudes; implications; body language; I don’t know.
But it was a lie, nonetheless, and we as a Christian culture have suffered for believing it.
The lie? That we’re supposed to be serious and reserved, and that to demonstrate proper Christian behavior we’re to go about acting like pious, God-fearing, clean-cut pillars of the church. Shy and meek (by the world’s definition), always grieving just a little bit and always just a little bit concerned for… whatever…
That must be the message, because I see a lot of Christians acting that way. Someone must have told them they should.
I wonder where Paul was on the day of Pentecost. He wasn’t a Christian yet. But where was he? Maybe right there in the crowd as Peter preached? Seething in rage because of the blasphemies he was hearing? Maybe even one of the ones who shouted, ‘they’re drunk!’
Surely, even if he wasn’t present, he must have heard of it by day’s end. This was 9am, and 3000 people believed in Jesus that day. He must have heard something of the nature of the incident.
The sound of a mighty, rushing wind; a large group of people coming down out of that upper chamber babbling; their countenance aglow with an overwhelming joy.
I wonder if someone said to him, “Saul, you should have seen them! We thought they were all drunk with wine. They were laughing and waving their hands and hugging each other.
Then they started speaking to the crowd, and though there were many languages and cultures represented in the crowd, each one was hearing them speak in his own tongue.”
And Paul prods him for more. “What were they saying?”
“Um… Saul, you don’t want to know… you‘re not gonna like it.”
Well of course I don’t know and no one does. But for whatever reason, he uses drunkenness as a parallel of sorts with the spiritual joy of the Christian.
I don’t think he was just snatching the opportunity to condemn wine drinking. I think he was saying there’s a greater ‘high’ to be had for the one who is Spirit-filled.
BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
Now we just got done talking about this; focused an entire sermon on it; so I won’t go into it a lot here, except to maybe give you a little refresher.
You may remember that I said Dr. Lloyd-Jones likens this kind of ‘filling’ to people around us who may have a strong influence in our lives, and we might use a term like, “Full of so and so”, meaning a person is so constantly thinking about another that he or she is ‘full’ of that person. One has a controlling influence over the other.
So note that he says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit”.