Andrew Fountain - Singing: the link with being filled by the Spirit


Full sermon notes - Singing: the link with being filled by the Spirit

(link to my own translation from the Greek text)

  • I want to go back to the passage we started looking at 2 weeks ago

Ephesians 5:15–6:9

  1. and do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery,
    but be filled by the Spirit,

19. speaking

to one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs

19b. singing and making music

with your heart to the Lord,

20. giving thanks

always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
to God the Father

21. submitting to one another out of allegiance to Christ.

  1. Wives … to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
  2. Husbands, love your wives,
  3. Children, obey your parents in the Lord
  4. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger
  5. Slaves, obey your earthly masters
  6. Masters, do the same to them
  • And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery
    • The point here is what is controlling you
      • being under the control of alcohol does not lead to good places
      • being under the control of the Spirit leads to these things
    • It’s not saying being drunk on beer is ok!
      • this would apply to any drugs that lead to loss of control
  • Technically the words here have the Spirit as the filler.
    • It doesn’t specify what he is filling us with
    • Other places in Ephesians talk about being “filled with all the fullness of God”
    • however there are so many places in the NT where people are described as being filled with the Spirit, I don’t think you can avoid that as the main application
    • But above all, the Spirit is the one who is making us into a New Creation
    • So primarily his filling us is the same as making us into New People
  • Why would he choose the this parallel of Spirit vs. Wine?
    • I don’t think that necessarily means that someone filled with the Spirit seems drunk
      • Although Pentecost
      • Hannah, Samuel’s mother
    • But I think there are some parallels:
      • “He’s a different person when he’s had a few drinks!”
      • Exuberant joyfullness (of course not usually based on reality)
      • But you can primarily tell someone has had too much to dring because of how they talk
        • speaking and singing
      • And so here the Spirit-filled person is speaking and singing
  • A command (continually filled)
    • followed by four descriptors of what that will look like
    • Now we might be expecting gifts to be listed here
      • Paul does in other places
    • But I think he is focussing on who we are, not what we do
      • These are all things we do, but they flow our of our core person
      • They flow out of how we relate to others and to God
        • We want to build others up, and put them first
        • We love, praise and honour God
  • It’s what it means to be a new creation
    • The old nature is self-centred
    • The New Creation is God and other-centered

Practical Praise

  • You are speaking “to God” (v.19)
  • Damage done by a “Worship CD culture”
  • The Psalms are called “the prayers of David”
  • Damage done by a “Worship CD culture”
    • can turn worship into something passive
  • Wife: Do you love me?
    • Rather than answer that I’ll put a love song CD on and play it in the background and carry on with what I was doing
  • In the Bible, praise is always vocal
  • the Old Testament scholar Ronald B. Allen makes the following statement:
    • Praise! A Matter of Life and Breath by R. B. Allen (Nashville:Nelson, 1980), p.58


  • …Praise to God must be vocal and in a public forum. Praise is not silent, nor is praise possible in solitude.
  • Allen —apples in car (p.61.63)
  • Psalm 9
  1. I will praise you O Lord, with my whole heart.
    I will tell of all your marvellous works.
  2. Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion!
    Declare his deeds, among the people.
  • Psalm 9:1 —notice what David says here about praise.
  • Praising God, is telling of his works. It is telling forth, declaring, proclaiming God’s works.
    • In verse 11 the Psalmist encourages other people to join in by saying...

Psalm 107:21,22

  1. Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness
    And for his wonderful works to mankind!
  2. Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
    And declare his works with rejoicing.
  • 1 Peter 2:9 —very clear verse
  1. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people
    that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
  • Let’s come back to the “filled by the Spirit” part

Ephesians 5:15–6:9

  • Is it saying that if you are filled by the Spirit you will do these
    • or that this is how you get filled by the Spirit?
  • How does he suggest we get filled by the Spirit?
    • e.g. boy sitting by an athletics track “If I was an athlete, I could run”
  • It won’t get you the Spirit, but these things will stir up the Spirit
    • New Creation activity
    • If you want to experience the presence of God, then do them
    • God meets us as we praise him

2 Chronicles 20:22

  1. Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
  • is God self-centred?
  • Newfrontiers value
    • Not “front led”
    • That why we look for gifts at this time

Practical Praise

  • Imagine God there, right in front of you (he is actually there!)
  • Be conscious that you are addressing him
  • Be conscious that he is listening to you!
    • (and pleased with your praise)
  • Try to stay engaged in this way (not always easy)
  • We’re now going to pray a song, and then sing it.

Updated on 2013-07-10 by Andrew Fountain