the Spirit filled life leads to a life of worship

Ds J Bruintjes
Efesiërs 5:18-19
Preek Inhoud: 

Jesus says, “’If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. . . .’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive” (John 7:37, 39).

So many of the Psalms also echo this deep desire. “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42:1–2). Or Psalm 36:8, “Drink from the river of [his] delights” (Psalm 36:8). These flowing streams, and these waters are nothing less than the life od God in Christ, given to us by the Holy Spirit who give us new life.

O to be filled with the Spirit. “That according to his glorious riches he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Eph 3:16-17a).” Or “to be filled to all the measure of the fulness of God (Eph 3:19).” To have a Christ conformed, Spirit filled, God glorifying life. The Holy Spirit of God, gives a person new life – and that new life is the life of the resurrected Christ. Moving him, animating in him. This is the life that Paul has been describing since chapter 4:1, after one of the most glorious prayers in Scripture.

Today we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and that Spirit is the one who allows us to taste and see God. It is by the Spirit that we will be gathered around the table his morning. It is he who convicts, who brings repentance, and washes us. It is he who encourages, comforts, and builds us up. It is who gives us the fulness of joy and peace, and the growth in faith hope and love that we so desperately want!

And ultimately the Spirit filled life leads to a life of worship.. A life of praise. And since we are looking at the Psalms at the Lord Supper and celebrating Pentecost today I thought it would be good to look at the Spirit filled life of worship by looking at Ephesians 5:18-21

First what it means to be filled with the Spirit, and secondly how this leads to singing.

First Paul says in verse 19, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” Instead of being controlled by alcohol which dulls our senses—making us, as one theologian said, immovable gluttons in a horrid swamp—we are to be filled with the Spirit who heightens our senses and stimulates us to live a holy and godly life in Christ.

What is your controlling agent in life? This world or the Spirit. Your inhibitions, and doing what you want, or God and his kingdom. Your lusts, or Gods will? The life the Spirit imparts is a new life! So new it’s like being born again. New beginning. New life. This time not to die, but to live forever.

a life filled with drinking and debauchery is a life filled with waste, characterized by a lack of self-control, darkness, and depravity - a life that will leave you tired and hung over.  

The Holy Spirit does the opposite.

This idea of being filled is one of being full or soaked in the Spirit. It is a productive life, a life of joy, and satisfaction, a life of energy and power. The Holy Spirit does not exhaust, but he empowers. The energy produced by man runs dry, people are exhausted, but not that of the holy Spirit. As Isaiah says, “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint.”

Be filled with the Spirit. It is a command. How? We do it by using the means God has laid out for us, through the word, sacraments, and prayer. But ultimately doing these things is not like a magic talisman that forces the Spirit to fill us. No, Because this verb is a passive verb.– which means that this is something that God must do – to fill us with his Spirit.

Furthermore the word is in the present tense, which means that this is something ongoing. It is not a one and done thing! It is something we must seek after always.

Everyday. Every week. Every year.

O that the Spirit of Christ would fill us! Not just a little bit, but that he would pour the love of God into us, soak us in the gospel, enliven us. Daily. Not just Sundays but Mondays as work that we would experience communion with God.

The Holy Spirit is a real active, personal being and he stimulates our every faculty from the mind to the heart to the will, so that we become wholistic creations, remade the image of God. The Holy Spirit does not make moral people, he makes new people, and these people are not just good, they are joyfully good.

The Spirit filled life becomes a melody to the praise and glory of God. All of life is worship. But this worship is especially seen in singing.  What we have before today are words and actions of desire, exuberance, joy. Words that lead to song.  It connects the mind with the heart.

And unless you have the Spirit of God you may do everything all the other Christians do, but there will be no depth of joy, no experience of love, and no reason to sing.

Addressing one another in Psalms Hymns and Spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. When you are filled with the Spirit you are not only a wholistically recreated in the image of Christ, but you are also intimately knit to the body of Christ.

This is why he says, “addressing one another.” We sing to each other. There is something special about the fellowship of Christian minds, the children of God meeting together, singing together of their great deliverance, and about the new life, and the blessed hope that lies before them, talking about home, talking about the glory that is coming, happy together, facing problems together, helping one another, strengthening one another, stimulating one another.

If you look at the songs of the church all these things take place. Take a look through the Psalms take a look at the hymns of the church through the ages, there is a song for every circumstance, a song for every event. A song fitting to every stage of the life of the soul. These are the Psalms that the Spirit inspired, but that Spirit uses to bind us together. Sing to one another.

Hearing the church sing to you can be a powerful instrument of the Spirit in our spiritual encouragement. When our lives feel out of control, we sing Psalm 91, “O Heer, my rots, op wie ek bou, by U is ‘t my die beste; my toevlug waar ek stil vertrou, in nood my veil’ge veste.” When we find ourselves distraught, we sing of the comfort that Christ brings in skrifberyming 18, “Kom dan tot my, o almal wat vermoeid is en so swaar belas.” When we are grieving, we sing in skrifberyming 24 “ek sal in lewe en in sterwe God's eiendom vir altyd wees!” And there a so many more hymns that churches could choose from written throughout the centuries.

When there is revival in the church, it is often heard in the singing of the congregation, as the hearts are full of the gospel, the mouths of Gods people cannot keep it in. During great revivals in the church we have also seen a resurgence of deeply theological, God glorifying, Christ centered hymns. Indeed, even in this building When The Spirit does a particular work of grace in our hearts through the preaching, I can hear it in the singing, and I am quite sure you can too.


But notice the dual audience of our singing that Paul highlights in verse 19. We address one another, but we do so “singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” It is to the Lord. Psalm 95 says, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.” We must sing to God! He alone is worthy of worship! The songs of the culture, reveals the culture idols. We sing about what we adore, that is why there are so many love songs. The church adores, and worships God. We not only sing about him, we sing to him. Like a love song is not just about the person, but sung to the person.

And like a love song it has to come from the heart. Our songs to the Lord cannot be raised from a cold heart. Our words and voices should arise out of a heart of deep love for the Lord, an explosive love bubbling out of us in worship. When you stand to sing, examine your heart before you open your mouth. Sing not because you are expected to but because you love the Lord.

You see it is God that we worship – not the feeling that we get when we worship. You see we can go to church for the worship – not for God. we pick a church based on how it makes us feel in worship rather than the focus of worship. The end goal of worship is not to make us feel it is to make the name of our God GREAT. And in his greatness, and holy splendor we will find our greatest joy.  When we focus so much on the experience of worship, rather than the object of worship. We focus on the emotion in the song over the truth of the song.  The Spirit was poured out so that we might have eyes on Christ, ears to hear his word, hearts to love him, and as we see here he opens our mouths to praise him. If the Spirit has been poured out – you will praise him.

So church, do not think lightly about your singing. Not only are we commanded to praise God through it, but it is the means the Spirit uses to help us as a church experience all the fullness of God in our life together. On this Pentecost day may the Spirit of God so fill us for a love of Christ and the gospel, as portrayed for us here at this supper, that they overflow in praise and worship of God. Indeed may we be so enthralled with God’s presence and pleasure and his work in Christ, that through our worship might echo heaven, as the choirs of angels sing day and night!