SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 5:18

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians.  Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3).  It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of WISDOM (5:15-21).  The Biblical concept of “wisdom” is “the application of God’s Word to our lives”.  To be “wise” is to apply the truths of God to our daily living.  This is true wisdom and flows from the gracious hand of our Lord.

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:

I.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives Universally (vs 15)
II.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives To Use Time Profitably (vs 16)
III.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives By Recognizing God’s Will For Us (vs 17)
IV.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives Through Self-Control (vs 18)
V.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives To Praise and Thank Him (vs 19-20)
VI.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives By Submission To Others (vs 21)



(Ephesians 5:18)  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;


Paul has explained the need to live wise lives in an effort to redeem the time.  He now continues by emphasizing a key to wise living…. keeping our flesh under the control of the Spirit.




And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;

Paul clearly explains to us of the need to abstain from becoming intoxicated by wine.   Why, because within intoxication is found “excess”.   What does Paul mean by the term “excess”?  The Greek word translated “excess” is the word “asotia” which literally means “undelivered” or “to be lacking salvation”.

What is the principle Paul is trying to relate to us?  When an individual is intoxicated, he is allowing the desires of his flesh to rule his life.  When intoxicated people begin to lose their inhibitions, they lose control over their speech and actions, and (when extremely intoxicated) can actually lose all knowledge and remembrance of their actions.  This mirrors the life of an unsaved individual who is characterized in the Bible as being under the control of sin and their flesh…

They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?   Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.   And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: [but] the Son abideth ever.   If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”  (John 8:33-36)


Based upon all of this, it is important to recognize that if a Christian becomes intoxicated, he is placing himself in a position where his flesh is controlling his actions and speech and is allowing himself to live as if he was a lost man.  What a shame for any Christian to willfully allow himself to appear as if he is a lost man.

Just a quick note:  Please keep in mind that Paul is taking a very clear stand against drunkness (to be saturated with alcohol).   He is not speaking out against the proper use of alcohol.

The Bible describes alcohol as holding medicinal value for mankind…

In Proverbs 31:6-7, 1 Timothy 5:23 – we find the use of an intoxicating beverage for a medicinal uses:
1.  as a pain-killer and sedative to those who are dying
2.  as an anti-depressant to those who are facing great grief and sorrow.
3.  used to treat sicknesses of the digestive tract

(To this day, we find alcohol (in rather large percentages) in many of our medicines due to its medicinal value .)

So, it is very important for us to understand that alcohol due to its medicinal value, when used strictly in moderation, can be considered a blessing from the Lord given for the good of mankind (Psalm 104:14-15).

But the abuse and over-indulgence of wine is man’s great downfall….

But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they go astray in vision, they stumble in judgment.”  (Isaiah 28:7)


Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, worldy jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”   (Galatians 5:19-21)



but be filled with the Spirit;

Instead of allowing alcohol to control the Christian’s life, we are to submit our lives to the rulership of the Holy Spirit of God. Spirit filling, although a Sovereign act of God, can come about when we willfully submit our ways to the indwelling Spirit.

To be “filled” with the Spirit is describing the Spirit influencing every aspect of our life and intervening in our lives enabling us to serve Him in great ways.

Note EVERY Biblical example of those filled with His Spirit perform great acts of service for Christ…

1.  Israelites filled to build the tabernacle (Ex 28:3, 31:3, 35:31)
2.  Joshua to lead the Israelites (Deut 34:9)
3.  John the Baptist to recognize Jesus from the womb (Luke 1:15)
4.  Elizabeth to prophesy of Mary and Christ  (Luke 1:41,67)
5.  Christ filled for His earthly ministry and death (Luke 4:1)
6.  Pentecost to minister gospel through spiritual gifts (Acts 2:4)
7.  Peter and John to speak to the rulers of Israel (Acts 4:8,31)
8.  First Deacons of church to enable for service as deacons (Acts 6:3,5)
9.  Stephen to give his life for Christ (Acts 7:55)
10.  Paul to preach Christ  (Acts 9:17)
11.  Barnabus to be faithful as a missionary and aid to Paul (Acts 11:24)
12.  Paul to answer Elymas (Acts 13:9)
13.  Paul and Barnabus to remain faithful in the face of severe persecution (Acts 13:52)

We can see from this listing the wonderful way the Lord can use those who are filled with His Spirit.

In our next lesson we will look at characteristics of those who are filled with the Spirit.




“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 

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About Rob Barkman

A retired pastor, Bible teacher and author of 20 years, he is currently ministering through Settled In Heaven Ministries. SIH Ministries is an on-line Bible teaching ministry that was founded by Bro Barkman in 2010. Settled In Heaven’s mission is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by fulfilling two different roles... rendering encouragement and Biblical knowledge to the saints in an effort to enhance their service to Christ; and proclaiming the gospel message to those who are in need of salvation, explaining to them their urgent need to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
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4 Responses to SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 5:18

  1. ptl2010 says:

    Praise God for His Holy Spirit who is with us through thick and thin, inspiring, energizing, defending, empowering, yea even speaking through us when others think they trap us. He is our wisdom!

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