NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 2021
This Sunday is the 12th and last Sunday after Pentecost Covenant will observe this liturgical church year. Next week we will begin the observance of the newest, but lesser known and least observed of the liturgical seasons, “Kingdomtide.”
This Sunday, however, is a continuation of the same theme of last Sunday but includes an intriguing, often misunderstood and badly interpreted passage; Ephesians 5:18, which says “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” In the conservative evangelical church background in which I grew up, they interpreted this passage of scripture as Biblical evidence that a person should not drink alcoholic beverages. NOT!
Nowhere does the Bible say, “do not drink alcoholic beverages”. And Paul is not even addressing that issue in this passage. Paul is using this verse as a means of comparison and contrast of two things to help the Ephesians Christians to “live pleasingly to the Holy Spirit.” Look at the comparison and contrast. A person who is drunk is under the influence of alcohol. A spirit filled person is under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit. But that’s where the similarity and comparison end and the contrast begins.
Alcoholic intoxication often results in the loss of our self-control where we find ourselves doing destructive things that hurt ourselves and others. Being filled with the spirit is just the opposite. Allowing ourselves to be Holy Spirit controlled means we are the most self-controlled we will ever be. Being voluntarily Holy Spirit controlled releases every fruit of the Spirit into our lives and we find ourselves following God’s will that enriches our lives, helps others, and brings glory to God. Such is a life that does “Live Pleasingly to the Holy Spirit.”
Join us at Covenant for worship this Sunday in-person, by zoom or Facebook livestream. Continuing with the assigned scripture from Ephesians, my sermon will be “Live Pleasingly to the Holy Spirit – Part 2” based on Ephesians 5:15-20.