Whew! This morning has been a marathon. I spent two hours at the gym.
Before that I spent three hours in Bible study in Ephesians. I love what John Stott says about this command in Eph. 5:18.
He makes four points about the verb:
1. It's in the imperative mood. Being filled with the Spirit is obligatory for the believer, not optional.
2. It is in the plural, not singular. All of us in the church are to be Spirit-filled.
3. It is in the passive voice. Stott notes that the NEB renders these words as "Let the Holy Spirit fill you." His point is that the filling of the Spirit is not automatic. It is essential that we take action. What is needed, says Stott, "is such a penitent turning from what grieves the Holy Spirit and such a believing openness to him that nothing hinders him from filling us."
4. It is in the present tense, implying continuous or habitual action. "We need to be filled with the Spirit and go on being filled every day and every moment of every day."
And that's just a few of the notes I took today during my Bible time!
Have you ever felt left out of studying the Bible because you don't know the original languages? Well, I am here to tell you today that you don't have to feel that way, thanks to the many resources like Stott's great commentary on Ephesians.
So let me ask: Do you love the Lord with all your mind? The Bible does not yield its fruit to the intellectually lazy. So get ready to exercise some mental muscles. And to think grammatically about a text!