Eph 5:15 –17 “Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
And what is the Lord’s will?
Eph 5:18-20 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Let’s take a closer look at these words!
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery” — asotia, as-o-tee’-ah; unsavedness, profligacy:–excess, riot. (Or, in other words, unrestrained immorality.)
“Instead, be filled” – pleroo (Greek) pronounced play-ro’-o; to make replete, (literally) to cram (like to cram a fish net with fish), or to level up a hollow in the ground by filling it full, “with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.”
The Full Life Bible commentary tells us that the tenses of the two imperatives in 5:18 indicate a “never do so” in reference to indulging in intoxicating wine and an “always do so” in reference to being filled with the Spirit. The actual expression of the second imperative is unusual. Paul does not say, “Be full of the Spirit”, as though one were full of Spirit in the same way that another is full of wine, but rather, he says, “be filled by the Spirit” with the emphasis on being filled to the full by the Spirit’s presence or with the fullness which the Spirit gives.
(We do not put the bottle up to our lips and drink the Spirit as we would wine. We ask; the Spirit gives; we receive.)
Now check this out!
The precise form of the verb “be filled” (pleroo, play-ro’-o) is significant for four reasons.
First, it is an imperative, and is thus a command. Being filled with the Spirit is not an option or a tentative suggestion, as if we are at liberty to take-it-or-leave-it. It carries an urgent weight of importance.
Secondly, it is plural, and thus applies to the body of Christ collectively. All of God’s people are to be filled.
Thirdly, it is passive, and thus could be translated, “Let the Spirit fill you.” There should be such an openness and obedience to the Holy Spirit that nothing hinders Him from filling us.
Fourth, it is a present tense, and thus carries the idea of an ongoing action. Just as our physical bodies need the constant renewal that sleep brings, so the body of Christ needs the constant renewal that the Spirit makes possible.
Thus, we have an imperative, plural, passive, present tense in the single word “pleroo” translated “be filled”. In other words, we are being commanded (because it is an imperative), corporately (because it is plural), to receive the filling of the Spirit (because it is passive), all the time (because it is a present tense).
In summary – We are being commanded/ corporately/ to receive the filling of the Spirit/ all of the time!
One may ask, “But how?” There is no religious formula or specially anointed person required. Its as simple as this: we ask, we believe, we receive.
So then – be filled, believer! God is only waiting for you to believe and be filled. And all to the glory of God.