Ephesians 5:1-20 (NIV): “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a person is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
One of the issues that we face today; is to recognise the role of God’s Spirit, in a balanced and Scriptural manner.
Selwyn writes: “The deeper we go into the subject of what constitutes Christian worship the more we realise how dependent we are on the work of the Holy Spirit. … Paul is clear (in the verses, above): the Spirit’s presence is again the needed ingredient for worship and praise. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones [a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor], suggested that; ‘as the result of the operation of the Holy Spirit upon us, worshipping God is no longer a matter of duty, it is a desire’. …
How much richer and more varied might our worship be when we open ourselves to the Word and the Spirit through ‘psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs’.”
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we find the clear and unambiguous instruction, ‘be filled with God’s Spirit’; he does not qualify this advice with any clarification along the lines, ‘while you still can, because the activity of the Spirit will soon cease’. In fact, I don’t think there is any such qualification in any part of the New Testament, but there are some people today who hold such an erroneous view.
We need God’s Spirit to fill our hearts with an overwhelming desire to worship God, in truth.