18 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,” (Ephesians 5:18–19 (ESV)
What follows the command to be filled with the Spirit are some explicit actions. The Apostle Paul does not provide an exhaustive list of the Spirit’s filling in the soul of the believer in Christ. However, he does provide three actions resulting from and exhibiting the Spirit’s filling in believers’ lives.
One example of the Holy Spirit’s filling in the believer is the individual in question worships the Lord. They do not always worship in isolation but also in communion and community with other believers in Christ. This is demonstrated by today’s text.
The phrase addressing one another (λαλέω ἑαυτοῦ; laleo heautou) means to speak to fellow believers. We do this by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. As we worship the Lord we also are singing with, and in communication, with each other. Psalms are songs derived from the Old Testament Psalter. Hymns are praises to God composed by believers, which may be drawn from many portions of Scripture. Spiritual songs may refer to a general term of music, or perhaps to a testimonial song of praise concerning one’s walk with the Lord.
As believers participate in corporate worship they are singing and making melody to the Lord with their heart. They are not just singing words, but consciously attentive to praising God with their minds, emotions and will. In other words, they are praising the Lord with their soul. Church music should be a way believers’ may minister to each other, and singing should be a means of praising the Lord.
One author writes, “When we come to corporate worship, it is vital that we come not to be entertained but to show the Lord reverence and awe. We are meeting with the Sovereign who loves us and who is worthy of all the honor and glory we can ascribe to Him. Let us keep the Lord’s glory in our minds as we come to worship so that we will have the awe that is appropriate to entering His presence.”
Soli deo Gloria!