Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 5

The results when the Holy Spirit fills us

Ephesians 5:20-21

Paul has told Christians that they should allow God’s Holy Spirit to fill them (5:18). In other words, God should be fully active in their lives by the power of his Spirit. They received the Holy Spirit when they became Christians (Romans 8:9); but God wants to do much more than that in their lives (Romans 8:11; Ephesians 3:16).

So, in Ephesians 5:19-21, Paul describes four of the results when the Holy Spirit fills us:

(1) When the Spirit fills us, we declare God’s goodness to other people, even with joyful songs (5:19). Our joy is so great that we want to sing, and not only to talk, about these things. That is what David described in Psalm 40:1-5.

(2) When the Spirit fills us, we praise God from our hearts, in other words, from deep inside ourselves (5:19). We praise him with great joy, whether or not anyone else can hear us. That is what Mary described in Luke 1:46-47.

(3) When the Spirit fills us, we are so grateful to God (5:20). We thank him for all that he is doing in every situation (Romans 8:28). Even in the most difficult situations, we choose not to complain, but rather to praise and thank God. This was the attitude that Paul had in Acts 16:25; Psalm 136 describes this attitude well.

(4) When the Spirit fills us, we are pleased to respect and to obey those Christians in authority over us (5:21). In Ephesians 5:22 to 6:9, Paul discusses this in relation to husbands and wives, children and parents, slaves and their masters. This was a difficult lesson for some Christians, who did not want to accept the authority of any other person. However God does give authority to some Christians for the benefit of them all (4:11-13). God’s Spirit does not cause us to oppose that authority, but to respect it (Hebrews 13:17). That was how the first Christians in Jerusalem behaved in Acts 4:31-35. The Holy Spirit filled them all and they all accepted the authority of their leaders, the apostles.

Next part: The relationship between husbands and wives (Ephesians 5:22)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.