Being Filled with the Spirit: Music (Ephesians #36)

Text: Ephesians 5:18-19

Be filled is a command, so it’s not something you wait on to happen.  He’s going to tell you how to do it and what it looks like in the following verses.  Paul begins with music.

You’re going to be filled with something.  Someone said that a Christian doesn’t stop drinking, you just change bottles.  Drink in the Spirit of God instead of alcohol.

Being filled with the Spirit of God is like being drunk on alcohol.

  • It will affect how you walk.  
  • It will affect how you talk.
  • It will affect your courage.
  • It will affect your sorrow.
  • Christians substitute things like alcohol, pills, food, for the Holy Spirit.

Music and filling go hand in hand

  • Music will put a spirit in you.
  • Go to the bar, listen to music, get drunk.
  • Go to the backyard BBQ, listen to music, get drunk.
  • Music is one of the best teachers around, bad or good.
  • Memorize Bible songs that minister to you.  Or remember old music. Either way, music has a way of filling a vessel like nothing else does.  Because of this, here are some principles of music.
  • The outline for these notes came from Mark Rogers, a fellow that has been traveling to churches preaching and playing music, writing, singing for years.

If music is that powerful to be able to fill a vessel with either garbage thoughts or godly thoughts, first off, music should glorify God

  • The purpose and end of all things is the glory of God.  Bach said, “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
  • Psalm 150 & Revelation 4:11, 5:13.  
  • Music can be aimed at many things.  Sometimes it’s aimed at hooking your emotions or lusts so it can get hold of your wallet.  Sometimes music can be aimed at unclean spirits.

It should direct your thoughts toward godliness

  • Music instructs the heart.  Sunday School bible songs like the B-I-B-L-E.
  • Colossians 3:16teaching one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
  • dark sayings are opened on the harp – Psalm 49:4
  • a minstrel played and the hand of the Lord was on Elisha – 2 Kings 3:1
  • spiritual music accompanied prophecy – book of Psalms, 1 Chronicles 25:1-3, 1 Samuel 10:5-6
  • When the right kind of music is played and sung, God is present
  • 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 and Numbers 10:9-10
  • Convey truth the way it’s affected you.  Be joyful.

It should reflect the new nature in Jesus Christ

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • People should say they’ve been with Jesus, not that they’ve been to the bar.
  • Hymns like Victory in Jesus probably won’t be heard in the honkey tonks, bars, and dance halls.

It must NOT be a stumbling block to others

  • Romans 14:3
  • It shouldn’t confuse young believers or immature believers on what it is.

It must NOT control us

  • 1 Corinthians 6:12
  • If God said, OK, I want you to give up your country music for a week.  And you say, God would never say that, then you’re hooked. You don’t control the music, it controls you.
  • The world seems to have much more understanding of its own music and how to use it than Christians do of our hymns and spiritual songs.

It must work in concert with the Holy Spirit, spiritual

  • 1 Samuel 16:14-23 – In other words, spiritual music will clear out evil spirits and assist the preaching of the words of God.  Haven’t you listened to a good hymn, played skillfully and it just lifted your spirit and you got to thinking about how good God is.  What happened is that music just cleaned house. Flushed out the spirit that was there and introduced the Holy Spirit
  • Alternative is seen in Exodus 32, a degeneration in the music – the worship started with a demand to cater to the desires of the people

It must be Biblically accurate

  • Galatians 1:6-9, For some people, the only time they will vocally speak Biblical truth in their day or week is when they sing out loud to the Lord.

It must be clearly understood

  • 1 Corinthians 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

It must NOT foster worldliness

  • 1 John 2:15-17, You would never use God’s music for the world.
  • Psalm 137:3-4 – the world can’t stand the right kind of Christian music
  • and you would never use the world’s music for God – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 “Crossover” was the word Amy Grant used in the 80s.  Build a bridge where God didn’t build a bridge.
  • My testimony with music – Christian rock that tried to sound like the world.  End up just going back to the world because that was the real thing.

It must avoid vain repetition

  • This is a heathen form of worship – Amos 6:5 chant, mantra, repetition
  • 1 Kings 18:26-29 – It is done to entrance the worshipper – disengages the mind
  • Praise choruses – 7/11 choruses – 7 words sung 11 times