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Preparing for the Sermon - Ephesians 5:18

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Prepare your heart for the Sermon by looking through these suggestions that will assist you in making the most of our time together hearing God's Word.

You will find suggestions for thinking more critically through the passage, meditating more intently on the text, and prayerfully seeking wisdom to deepen your understanding of the passage to be preached this Sunday.

Carefully Think

  • Read Ephesians 5:15-21. Notice the particular instruction given in v. 18. What does Paul contrast in this verse? How does that contrast help you understand what he means by “be filled with the Spirit”?
  • How is someone “filled by the Spirit”? What does this look like? How do vv. 19-21 answer that question for us? Notice the words that end in “-ing” in these verses. How do these words describe what it means to be filled by the Spirit?
  • Look at Colossians 3:16-17. What do you notice is similar about these two passages? What do you notice that is different? How does this passage help you understand what it means to be filled with the Spirit?
  • Notice that in Ephesians 5:18 Paul says to be filled with the Spirit and then lists off a similar list as the one here in Colossians 3, but here in Colossians 3 he says to let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly and then has the similar list of actions. Do you think Paul means the same thing when he says “be filled with the Spirit” and “let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly”? Why or why not?

Prayerfully Meditate

  • Is being filled with the Spirit a mystical, experiential experience, or does it look more normal – like singing truth to one another, to the Lord, thanking the Lord, and submitting to one another? Does it look more like new revelation from God, or does it look like meditating on the revealed Word of God?
  • What ideas have crept into your thinking regarding the filling of the Spirit that aren’t supported by Scripture? Is your thinking and living based on what you’ve heard and experienced, or based on the teaching of this passage and ones like it (i.e. Col 3)?