Get Into The Godly Habit Of Godly Expression

Good habits are helpful and godly habits lead to spiritual strength. The Holy Scriptures encourage us toward numerous godly habits and the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesian church brought out the need for all disciples to express themselves in a special way.
Get Into The Godly Habit Of Godly Expression
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete)

An objective of any true disciple of Christ is to honor God and be a blessing to His Church. As directed by the Holy Spirit, in a letter to the church at Ephesus Paul made a number of contrasts of how the unsaved conduct their way of living with how the true children of God are to behave. By the Holy Spirit he also focused upon how a real Christian should behave in the Body of Christ. 

The Church is comprised of all true disciples of Jesus Christ. Anytime and anywhere members of the Body of Christ meet, even if it

is only two or three, Christ said He is in the midst of them (Matthew 19:20). The meeting does not have to occur in a church building. It can occur anywhere and I would also say that includes when we interact with other Christians on the Internet. While it is important how a Christian conducts their life in public, it is also important how one conducts themselves with fellow Christians.

How a disciple expresses themselves with fellow believers is addressed in Ephesians 5:19-20. For context, and for the sake of those who have trouble at times accessing or navigating the Internet, I will now present verses 1 to 21:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 
2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them [1];
12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
14 For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you."
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Verse 4 will have a bearing upon this message as will verses 15 to 17. Verses 18 to 20, the text for this message, shows the true disciple how to express themselves in a godly manner which will bring about three loving results: Be strong in Christ, Bless the Body (The Church), and give thanks to the Head (Christ).

I. Be Strong In Christ 18-19a

"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another . . ."

If we, by the grace of God, are going to make the Body of Christ strong then we ourselves must be strong in Christ (1 Corinthians 12:26). While verse 18 presents a contrast between being drunk with wine and being filled with the Holy Spirit, given the balance of Holy Scripture, "being drunk with wine" can allude to being negatively influenced by the world. This negative influence includes temptation, ways of thinking, fear and more.

By Christ's help cast those things out and push them away. Then, be filled with His Spirit, and not the spirit of the world. Looking at the New Testament Holy Scriptures we see that while every true child of God has a level of the Holy Spirit every true child of God is encouraged to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And, there is a level described in Pentecostal circles as "filled to overflowing" where the initial outward evidence is speaking as directed by the Holy Spirit in a language one has not learned (Acts 2, 10).

Being filled with the Spirit (a "normal" occurrence in the very early Church) is a foundation of the expressions we have in verse 19. If one reads this verse in the King James Version they will see it begins “Speaking to yourselves . . .” While it does mean “speaking to one another,” “speaking amongst yourselves,” etc., the thought of “speaking to your own self” does find support in other portions of Holy Scripture, and we really should start with that truth.

If we are going to express ourselves in a godly manner with other Christians we must begin with how we speak to our own self, and the root being how we think within ourselves. In regard to this, please see “Bless Your Mind” [2] where by God’s help from the Holy Scriptures I present enjoying godly meditation in three awesome ways.

II. Bless The Body (The Church) 19

"speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;"

For the purposes for this message I will look at this verse mainly as a whole, not discussing at any length the somewhat separate elements of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Instead, the point I feel led of God to bring out is that whatever we say to others, and in this case those of the Body of Christ, should be the Word of God or based upon the whole of the Word of God.

As you see, the godly expression in verse 19 is a musical one (Psalms was the ancient Jewish "hymnbook."). Foundationally, though, it was Holy Scripture based and Holy Spirit directed. Prior to this verse it is written, ". . . but be filled with the Spirit," Being filled with the Spirit we will be led by the Spirit. Being led by the Spirit we will not be speaking like the world, but speaking as God would have us to speak. That is why "filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting," must not be part of the way a real Christian expresses themselves. Many, like myself, have had struggles in this area but we eventually learn by the grace of God to purge ourselves from such things.
 
If we are truly saved it is important that we be a blessing to our brothers and sisters in Christ, strengthening them with His Word as directed by the Holy Spirit. As we see from verse 19


it was not acceptable to influence those in the Body with worldly expression. However, it was commanded that any expression would be God honoring and spiritually uplifting.

III. Give Thanks To The Head (Christ) 20

"always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;"

“giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the God and Father;” -- Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

As we look into verse 20 it would be good to glance back at verse 4, especially the last part of it: "and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks." When we stop something negative in our behavior it needs to be replaced by something godly. In this case it is thanks and for verse 20 it is clarified as thanks to God.

“Always"  is the first thing in verse 20 to describe giving thanks. This shows that godly expression should be a habit. While godly expression is a habit, being a real Christian is a state of being [3] that will produce that habit.

Always giving thanks might seem like a difficult goal to aim for, but not only does it say always giving thanks, it also says thanks for all things! If the goal seemed high at first it is now doubly high! But as we mentioned in the previous paragraph being a Christian is a state of being and that state of being is somewhat centered upon the fact that we are crucified with Christ and He lives through us.

Another aspect we must keep in mind is that if we are truly a disciple of Christ we are not saved by our works nor is our salvation maintained by our works. Salvation is a work of the grace of God in our life where Christ lives through us. He gives us the ability to do the right thing. The Holy Scriptures declare His grace makes us a son or daughter of God and point to the fact that God knows we need to grow in Him. We are to learn to let Christ live through us. Until we leave this earth we learn to grow in Him. Along with any sins we confess, provided we remain in Him and endeavor to grow in Him, our lack of growth is also forgiven and covered by His grace.

I have just checked and I did not know this before I checked, but my emphasis above upon the grace of God through Christ lines up with the actual structure of this sentence in the Greek. We believe that God not only gave these men He used to write the Holy Bible the words they needed to write, but also the way in which they were to write them, including the order of the words. According to what I learned in Greek class, the thoughts that were emphasized in a sentence were placed closer to the beginning of the sentence.

I looked at verse 20 in the Greek and was a bit amazed to see that “Father” really occurred last in this sentence. This was confirmed upon checking the YLT. So what the Holy Spirit is telling us through the actual sentence structure is that it is with the power of Christ that a true Christian, at least eventually endeavors to, always gives thanks for all things. This includes the “bad” things that happen. It is completely against our natural human state to give thanks during trouble, but it is not against the spiritual nature of Christ. The sentence structure in the ancient text is showing us it is Christ within us, for “in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ” could be understood as “upon and by the authority of the Name of Jesus Christ.” We are to be reminded that Paul by the Holy Spirit says in Philippians 4:13 (KJ21*), “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.“

The thanks goes to God. Real Christians are often in the habit of saying “Thank You Jesus.” This is totally fine since Christ is God veiled in the flesh. The Holy Scriptures are indicating in this verse that we are able to do the will of the Father by expressing ourselves in a godly manner because the Son, Who lived the perfect life that was needed, lives within us. We have the right and power to do so. The Son can be considered as the “bridge” between us and God.

With Christ we can do all things including expressing ourselves in a godly manner at all times. We cannot do these things alone, but Jesus and us can and will deal with it. Provided we remain in Him He will empower us throughout our life here on earth unto the time we must leave this world and continue on to glory. I encourage you to be in, and remain in, Christ.

Notes:

[1] The actual verb in the Greek includes the possibility of “put them to shame.”

[2] Please read Bless Your Mind at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/bless-your-mind

[3]  Please listen to my message, Most Blessed State Of Being For Now by selecting its link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M349 . The link for the article is dead because I think Triond has died or is dying. That article, and most of the rest,  might be migrated to Experts Column some day so keep a watch out for it.

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by September 30, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#419 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 27-08-2016 56 1

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  • nbillett  08-02-2017
    "Spirit of the Living God, fall a fresh on us. Melt us, mold us, fill us and use." Thank you imploring upon us the necessity to be spiritually filled.
    reply 0
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