This Sunday, November 14th, I’m beginning a new two part series entitled, “Thanksgiving, a celebration of Christ.  Here is the first sermon.

Thanksgiving: a celebration of Christ part 2

Joy in the name of Christ.

Ephesians 5:18-20 HCSB – 18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which [leads to] reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit:  19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Introduction: Last week we started our series, “Thanksgiving: a celebration of Christ.”  We preached from Psalm 100 about celebrating the Shepherd.

Today we are going to look at “Joy in the name of Christ,” unpacking Ephesians 5:18-20.  Let’s begin.

Joy in Christ is not found in drunkenness, but in Spirit-fullness. (verse 18)

Ephesians 5:18 – And don’t get drunk with wine, which [leads to] reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit.

  • We live in a culture that loves to celebrate, especially during holidays.  And there is nothing really wrong with wanting to celebrate special occasions and holidays.  But the world’s idea of celebration is to lose control and total inhibition through alcohol and other methods.

  • But that is not God’s design for those in Christ.  Let’s look at what the text says.

Don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions.

  • The Greek word for reckless actions is asotia (as-o-tee-ah). It means, “reckless actions, excess, riot, reckless living, debauchery, unsavingness.
  • Dictionary.com definition for debauchery is, “excessive indulgence in sensual pleasure; intemperance.”
  • So I believe I can say that true Christian celebration is not about losing control; but being controlled.
  • Notice the remainder of the verse.

But be filled by the Spirit.

  • Christians are to be filled by the Spirit in their celebrations.
  • In Greek grammar this is a PRESENT PASSIVE IMPERATIVE.  Which means, “you must continue to be filled by His Spirit.”
  • So our celebrations and holidays should be Spirit-filled and Spirit-inspired.
  • Thanksgiving should not be some boring holiday filled only with turkey and dressing and football games.  For the believer – It should be filled with thankfulness and joy for the fact that Christ has saved us and delivered us from our sin.

Our joy is displayed in joyful songs (verses 19-20).

Ephesians 5:19a – speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs…

Our songs aren’t self centered, but edifying to others (verse 19a).

  • You know how sometimes you hear a song and it gets stuck in your head the rest of the day; well that is what Christians should do.
  • We should literally speak to one another in songs, so that those hearing those songs can then speak to others, and the edification just rolls like a flowing stream…one to another.
  • Songs have a way of speaking to people and lifting up their spirits.

Ephesians 5:19b – singing and making music from your heart to the Lord…

Our songs come from a heart God has claimed as His (verse 19b).

  • God has saved us; He’s taken out our old stony heart filled with sin and depravity and given us a new fleshy heart that He daily molds and shapes with His loving hand.
  • Because of this our songs come from the heart.

Ephesians 5:20 – giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Our songs thank God no matter what we go through – all because of Jesus (verse 20).

  • The joy of spiritual songs can take us beyond the concerns and sorrows of life.
  • We can taste heaven in the midst of the muck of earth as we sing from our heart joyfully to the Lord.

Conclusion: During this thanksgiving take time to celebrate Jesus in joyful song.

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