Summary: Spirit filled people 1) Sing (Ephesians 5:19), 2) Say Thanks (Ephesians 5:20) and are 3) Submissive (Ephesians 5:21)
If there was one thing that was evident to be seen among the children that participated in Vacation Bible School this week, it was joy. They sang songs that talked about God and His love. They had assistance from leaders and helpers in everything from crafts to snacks. There were activities that they deliberately needed assistance to complete them, that encouraged a spirit of cooperation and thankfulness. Since all the activities came at particular times and in particular ways, it fostered a need to follow instruction. In many ways this was to a short explanation of the nature of the Christian life itself, to be filled the Spirit of God.
Being “filled” with the Spirit in Scripture... refers to our being so under the Holy Spirit’s control and leading that our thought and life are entirely taken up with Jesus Christ, to whom it is the Spirit’s chief responsibility to bear witness. ... The reason why we should desire to be so filled with God’s Spirit is that we might bear a faithful and effective testimony to Jesus Christ. Quite obviously, this will be a testimony conveyed by the upright character of our lives (Boice, J. M. (1988). Ephesians: an expositional commentary (p. 188). Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library.)
Spirit filled people:
1) Sing (Ephesians 5:19
Ephesians 5:19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, (ESV)
Following His command to be filled with the Spirit, Paul now gives a summary of the consequences of obedience to that command. Consequences of the Spirit–filled life (which greatly enrich our understanding of its nature) are mentioned throughout the remainder of the epistle, and in Ephesians 5 we are given three of the most significant ones: singing, giving thanks, and submission. When God’s Spirit controls us he will put a song in our own hearts and on our lips, give us thankfulness to God, and make us submissive to others. The first is initially inward, the second upward, and the third outward.
In addressing one another, the tense is present continuous (literally, ‘speaking’). This does not mean that they talk rather than sing, but simply stresses the importance of the words over the lyrics of praise, and the mutual encouragement to be gained from this exercise (Uprichard, H. (2004). A Study Commentary on Ephesians (p. 296). Darlington, England; Auburn, MA: Evangelical Press.).
• The selfish approach is to keep silent or to address someone when we feel like it. In addressing one another, we a oriented to another's situation and needs. Here, there is the communal ministry in music.
The Spirit–filled life produces music. Whether one has a good voice or cannot carry a tune, the Spirit–filled Christian is a singing Christian. Nothing is more indicative of a fulfilled life, a contented soul, and a joyful heart than the expression of song. In Ephesians 5:19 Paul explains among whom, from where, with what, to whom, and how Spirit–filled believers are to sing.