Ephesians Chapter Five part 4, A study of Ephesians 5:18, Ephesians 5:19 & 20, and Ephesians 5:21 including our Common Man's Commentary

Ephesians 5:18

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." NIV translation

Here we have an example of understanding the will of God. As a former drunk, I know that the more drunk you get the more evil and detestable things you get into and that is what Paul is saying here. There are many who say that God is sending them out to drink with people in hopes of winning them to the Lord. We are free, in Christ, to drink but going out drinking is not a way to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your drinking friends will probably end up pulling you down and out of the will of God for your life. As Paul says here, it is way better to get full of the Holy Spirit than any alcohol or drug. There is no drug available that can compare to the "high" of walking in the Spirit with the very Creator of the universe. If you are struggling in your efforts at overcoming addiction, the answer is found in this verse as Paul says to get full of the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:19 & 20

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." NIV translation

Now, Paul encourages us to be the light to fellow believers and to lift them up in our worship. When we come to worship in groups, that prayer and praise can help to build up our brothers and sisters in Christ. He reminds us to give thanks for everything and that includes the trials that we all face. 

When others see us in worship and they know that we have had some trials and may even be going through some at that time, they will also learn to praise God in the midst of their storms.

Ephesians 5:21

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." NIV translation

The word "submit" here causes some confusion for many people as a better translation would be "respond". Submit makes us think of doing what someone tells us and that is not what it is talking about here. Respond is where we do something based on what someone else has done. Paul is telling the Ephesians (and us as well) to respond to other people in the same way that Christ would and that is with love. We do this not because of the person we are dealing with but because of Jesus and what he has done for us. We submit to Him and respond to others as He would.