Eph. 5:19-21 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.

     When people focus their thoughts on the things that are  above (Col. 3:1-3), they look to the  Word of God. They also seek to  worship the Lord in “spirit and in truth.” We will always be a faithful people expressing  a desire to imitate God.  David Lipscomb and J W. Shepherd  wrote the following over 100 years ago,

     “Speaking His praise, remembering and giving thanks for His mercies, softens and opens our hearts to a fuller appreciation of His blessings, fills them with fuller sense of gratitude to God, and fits us more and more to dwell with and enjoy Him in the fullness of His blessings forever.” 

     We  must be wise in our use of the Spirit’s gifts, and let Him FILL us with His gifts and power.  Jack Cottrell writes the following, “How does being filled with the Spirit show in our lives? The list of ways would no doubt be very long, but Paul limits himself here to four things that  should result when the Spirit gets control. This is seen in verses 19-21.”

  • Being a Spirit filled Christian leads to addressing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. The words “one another,” is very important in the Christin life.  Although we are  saved individually, once we are “in Christ,” we are a part of the community of Christ, the Church of the Lord Jesus. We grow in Jesus both individually and collectively as we“grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus” (2 Peter 3:18).
  • The second result of allowing the spirit to fill us is singing.” This singing must not only be directed to each other, but more importantly  “to the Lord.”  This must be done with all your hearts, total deduction to the  Lord Jesus!
  • The third result of being Spirit-filled is that  we must be giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Jack Cottrell further writes, Our faith will be a testimony to our faith in the Trinity: motivated  by the Holy Spirit who fills us (v. 18), and addressed to the Father in the name of Jesus (v. 20″
  • The last  result  flowing from our being filled with the Spirit is that we as Christians will be “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (v. 21)   Jack Cottrell further writes, “The idea of submersion assumes the counterpart of authority. That we will be  submitting to one another assumes that there are specific relationships in which one person has authority  over the other, who submits to the one  who has the role of authority. Because Jesus Christ has authority over us, and because we have reverence for His authority, we will gladly submit  to all human beings who hold this divinely-established authority over us.”

Christians submit to one another “in the fear of Christ” or out  of reverence for Christ.  this means that  we stand in awe of Christ. Believers  stand in awe not only of His holiness but also of His forgiveness (Ps. 130:4)  Since we belong to Christ’s kingdom, we gladly submit to His rule and serve others with  compassion.

    Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends Cherry St. Church of Christ in New Albany, IN.