Duties of the Christian Life (Part 2)
Eph. 5:19 – 21
I should have entitled my message last week as Duties of the Christian Life (part 2) but I changed my mind and entitled it “Be Filled with the Spirit” instead. I did it because for me it’s the best thing to do. We go on with our Christian living lessons.
I. Singing – Eph. 5:19
A. Here I think Paul is talking about the role of music in the church.
B. We are exhorted to speak in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. What’s the
difference between these three?
1. Psalms – has reference to the O.T. psalm or to a composition similar to it in construction. There is seemingly no limit placed on this word as some have
implied, for there were also Christian psalms which had been composed by
members of the early churches. The meaning here could apply to either the
Hebrew or Christian psalms or perhaps both. The use of this word in this manner seems to indicate an accompaniment on an instrument or group of instruments. Paul admonishes them to utilize the psalms. The use of this word also leads us to believe that instrumental music, which was such a vital factor in Jewish music, was also carried over into the N.T. churches.
2. Hymns – referred to were primarily songs of praise to God or Christ, and are supposed by some to have been distinctly Christian. The principal idea here is not whether they were accompanied or unaccompanied but that the song is directed toward the Lord. He becomes the point of reference and the central
figure, and in the hymn, all attention is focused on his person, character, will, and action. We cannot be too certain, but it is possible that the main distinction between the psalm and the hymn was contingent on the matter of
accompaniment. The psalm was always accompanied; the hymn might or might
not be. There is strong evidence also that the hymns were distinctly Christian, at least those referred to in this passage.
3. Spiritual songs – probably refers to a specific type of sacred song similar to our present-day gospel songs. Since they could be general in character, they might use any subject and be directed toward any object. And just as today, it is probable that the psalm or the hymn might have been used for the same purposes as the spiritual song.
C. Much of the singing heard today in modern churches is what is known as
contemporary Christian music. It’s a form of soft rock, the music played on night clubs and disco bars. The sad truth is that most of this new contemporary, soft rock, style of music was conceived in hell, and mostly sang among the charismatic crowd. Sad to say also that most of the so called charismatic music can be sung by all religious group (Buddhist, Hindus, Islam, etc.) because it only mentions the word God. But who is this God? It never mentions it was Christ. Contemporary Church Music is the Trojan horse of Apostasy. (David Cloud)
D. Singing is not only public but also private. We can sing praises unto the Lord within our hearts. My voice will never qualify me as a choir member in the church but it does not hinder me from singing praise and worship songs to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in my heart.
Illustration: Theology and Music
Martin Luther said, “The devil takes flight at the sound of music, just as he does at the words of theology, and for this reason the prophets always combined theology and music, the teaching of truth and the chanting of Psalms and hymns.” “After theology, I give the highest place and greatest
honor to music.” Source unknown
II. Spiritual Talk (Eph. 5:19)
A. In our lives we should be spiritual.
1. We should talk spiritual things to our children. Teach them about God for everyopportunity we have. (Deut. 6:7, 11:19)
2. Our talks with our brethren and if possible to all people we meet, we should talk on matters which concerns the things of God. (Ps. 145:11)
3. Spiritual talks should become a habit for us Christians. (Mal. 3:16).
4. Specifically, Christ should be the main topic. His birth, death, burial, resurrection and second coming will always arouse interest not only to the young but also to the old.
5. Spiritual talks will also make other people be interested on spiritual things and be will make them zealous about God.
6. Spiritual talks can also be expressed in music, but be very careful not to use contemporary church music. (Eph. 5:19)
III. Thanksgiving. (Eph. 5:20)
A. We Christians keep asking the Lord for all things we need and all things we want.
B. The thing is once we get what we wanted, we always forget to thank the Lord.
C. One of the easiest thing to forget and to set aside is thanksgiving.
D. If spiritual talks should become a habit, so is thanksgiving.
E. Thanksgiving to God is a command we should always follow and never forget or neglect.
F. We should give thanks in everything (Phil.4:6), that includes good times, bad times, easy times, difficult times, in sickness, in health, in any situation we are into.
G. We thank God for who He is and for what has He done for us through His only
begotten son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
Illustration: Thankfulness—A Lost Art Today
Thankfulness seems to be a lost art today. Warren Wiersbe illustrated this problem in his commentary on Colossians. He told about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him. Our Daily Bread February 20, 1994
IV. Submission (Eph. 5:21)
A. Submission means to be subordinate, to be under authority.
B. Every Spirit filled Christians should show submissiveness and total surrender to the will of God.
C. We are all equal in our standing before the Lord and nobody is more superior than others.
D. Within the church context, we should submit under the authority of the pastor and other church leaders no matter what is your position or standing in our social life outside the church. The Bible commands submission to local church authority. (1 Pet. 5:5)
E. As we grow spiritually, our desire to be submissive to the Lord grows and our desire to be more faithful servant increases. Our submissiveness shows our humility.
Illustration: God-Ordained Authorities in which we are to Submit
Government: Rom. 13, 1 Peter 2:17
Employer: Eph. 6, 1 Peter 2:18
Husband: 1 Peter 3:1, Col. 3:18, Eph. 5:22
Parent: Eph. 6
Elders: Heb. 13:17
Singing, spiritual talks, thanksgiving and submissiveness are just some of our duties as Christians. More on this next week. Will you be willing to do the above? Try it and be blessed.