- Sermon Notes
Living the Spirit Filled Life - 1
These chapters in the book of Ephesians give us some of the most practical principles for how to live the victorious life God intended for us. Many Christians live a defeated, mediocre spiritual life because they do not understand these principles. It has everything to do with what fills your heart.
Jesus said, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good.” That’s the key; but where does that good treasure come from? There are a lot of things in this world that you can take into your heart that will poison your soul. Worldly inputs are everywhere around us. Therefore, the way you live your life has everything to do with what you put into your soul.
A case in point; it was announced in the news this week that the Cleveland Browns have released quarterback Johnny Manziel. The Heisman Trophy winner, also known as Johnny Football, has seen his career come crashing down because he repeatedly made the decision to imbibe in all that the world has to offer. We all carry in our flesh the same desires. Jesus taught that the life is lived from that which fills the heart.
That’s why the book of Ephesians is so powerful; as Paul prayed for us in Chapter 3: if we would be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man and rooted and grounded in love, if we could comprehend the breadth, the length, the height and depth, and to experience the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, and if we could be filled up to all the fullness of God, then we would know that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or even think according to the power that works within us, and then we would have the treasures in our heart that would bring forth what is good in our lives.
In the last couple of chapters Paul has been contrasting the life of those who walk according to the principles of the world. They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God; they give themselves over to worldly things.
Those who are strengthened with power in the inner man, experience the love of Christ and are filled up to all the fullness of God, want godly things in their lives. They desire the joy of the Spirit, peace that passes understanding, meaning and purpose, and to bring forth what is good in their lives.
That contrast is summarized in verse 18, “Do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.” Paul then takes that spiritual truth and applies it to the specific areas of our lives where we live day in and day out. Faith that is living and active will have a direct impact on our relationships. When we are filled with the life of the Spirit, it changes how we live.
- This is the key to living the victorious life. It’s the Holy Spirit that strengthens the inner man, that causes you to experience the love of Christ.
- It’s the fruit of the Spirit that we long for; these are the good things we want to bring forth out of the good treasures of our heart.
- You can make a direct contrast to being drunk with wine, or alcohol in general, and being filled with the Spirit; which is the point Paul is making.
- To be drunk, a person has to drink a lot, not a little. In other words, being filled with alcohol affects every area of a person’s life.
- This is dissipation, Paul wrote. The word dissipate means to disperse or scatter. The prodigal son dissipated his entire fortune; what a waste.
- Another word for alcohol is ‘spirits.’ When a person is filled with alcohol, or ‘under the influence,’ their life is dissipating; they are losing strength, losing control of self, losing their judgment, losing finances, losing relationships, losing dignity and honor.
- It’s the opposite of being filled with the Spirit.
Illus - Recently I mentioned that when I was in college at OSU I decided to never drink again because it took away my self-control and I realized it had far too much power over me. Others may; I may not.
- By the way, as a point of clarification, Paul wrote not to get drunk with wine. It’s not a restriction from drinking at all, it’s a warning not to be ‘under the influence’ of that rather than under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
- It takes away self-control, which causes the dissipation of many things.
- The word in the Greek is clear – keep being continually filled by the Spirit, Paul wrote.
- It’s an imperative, a directive, this is something we must do if we follow God’s heart for us.
Acts 13:52, And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
- How is a person filled by the Spirit? Simply ask.
Luke 11:13, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
- When you’re filled with the Spirit, filled with the fullness of God, then your heart toward other people will be changed and your heart toward the Lord will also be changed. That’s what Paul writes next.
- Make melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things. When you do something with your heart, you mean it sincerely. The Spirit stirs the heart when you sing to the Lord.
- Thankfulness also comes from the filling of the Spirit. A complaining and bitter heart is not filled by the Spirit of life.
- Paul then shows us that being filled with the Spirit has a direct impact on everyday life.
- Many people compartmentalize their spiritual life. Their relationship to God is reserved for those times they go to church. In other words, they go to church to spend time with God and pay their respects.
- But if you’re continually being filled with the Holy Spirit, then God is with you wherever you go, filling you with joy and peace and wisdom and strength.
A. The Spirit filled heart is humble
- Verse 21 - be subject to one another in the reverence of Christ. The heart that is filled with the Spirit has regard for others; “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said.
Mark 10:42-44, “You know that those who are rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them… But it is not this way among you, whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be the servant of all.”
- That attitude changes everything. God’s ways are distinctly different than the way the world does things; so God fills you with His Spirit and strengthens you in the inner man.
- That brings an attitude of humility that lays the foundation for everything else he’s about to say in regards to marriage and parenting and it even has an impact on our jobs and businesses.
- There is an authority structure that God has established so there can be order and peace in our relationships.
- God is the Father who has authority over all. Jesus Himself willingly comes under the authority of His Father and gives us an example.
Philippians 2:5-8, Have this attitude in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant… He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
- A Roman centurion recognized Jesus had authority because he was under the authority of His Father.
Luke 7:7-8, “for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me;”
- In the same way, husbands should come under the authority of Christ in their lives and be filled by the Spirit to be the husband God wants them to be.
- How can you ask anyone to be under your authority if you yourself are not demonstrating what it means by being under the authority of Christ yourself?
- That principle can also be seen when Israel first had a king in authority over the nation. It was by this principle that God would bless that nation.
Deuteronomy 17:18-20, The king shall write for himself a copy of God’s word and keep it with them always.
- This is a foundational principle on which we can build the application of how to be a husband and how to be a wife filled by the Spirit of God.
- Now we can say, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” How did he love the church? He died on the cross, giving Himself up for the church whom He loved.
Illus - Many years ago a man came for counseling, but only wanted to blame his wife for everything. I responded, “Love your wife like Christ loved the Church.” He never got that point, so I couldn’t go on to the next one.
- Jesus gave us the heart of ‘servant-leadership.’
Matthew 20:28, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
- Be a servant - and lead by building consensus.
- Engage your heart and engage your life. Many wives are asking for their husbands to be more engaged in their marriage and in their family.
- Verses 26-29 - He who loves his own wife loves himself…
- One of the Greek words for husband is georgos; it means ‘farmer.’ Adam husbanded the earth. There is a sowing and reaping principle in marriage as well.
- The words you speak and the things you do come back to you either as good fruit or bitter. What do you do if you’ve been sowing bitter things into the marriage?
- Repent. Turnaround; go the other way. Start speaking words of life and by faith know that you will reap good fruit if you just keep sowing what is good.
- Otherwise, if you don’t, things will only get worse.
Illus - Too many people have marriages that remind us of the famous line from Winston Churchill when Lady Astor, first female member of parliament, said, “If I were your wife I would poison your tea…”
C. Wives respect your husbands
- This is not necessarily a principal that everyone appreciates or agrees with. But God has established that there must be order within the family as a building block of the church.
- As someone once said, “A two-headed anything… is a monster.”
- This principle certainly has nothing to do with value or significance. Jesus came under the authority of His Father and yet also said, “I and My Father are one.”
- Dr. Emerson Eggerichs wrote a book on marriage called Love and Respect. The subtitle is powerful; The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs.
- When husbands love their wives as Christ loved the church and they give that love out of reverence for God, they bless their wives also, and receive a blessing in return.
- In the same way, when wives respect their husbands- out of reverence for God, they bless their husbands and receive a blessing in return.
Illus - Many years ago a couple I had never met before came for marriage counseling. After listening to them for a few minutes I said, “I believe I know your problem.” They were surprised I had so quickly suggested a solution. “The problem,” I said, “is that you, the wife, don’t feel loved and that you, the husband, don’t feel respected.” They responded, “How did you know?”
- Paul brings us to a great crescendo when he quotes from Genesis 2:24; these are important keys.
- “A man shall leave…” And, “shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.” Leave father and mother, but also leave anything from the past that will drive a wedge between you. And then cleave…
- Notice that this is a command. Do this because God asks you to, and the two will become one. Where you put your treasure, your heart will follow.
- Paul finishes this chapter with the words, “This mystery is great; but I’m speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” In other words, marriage is an illustration of the relationship that we have with Christ.
Ephesians 5:18-6:9 NASB
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 Honoryourfather and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 so that it may be well withyou, and that you may live long on the earth.
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. 9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.