And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Note 27 at Eph 5:18: Just as it is a command not to be drunk with wine, it is a command to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This was not intended as an option.
Note 28 at Eph 5:18: Numerous scriptures speak against drunkenness, but wine itself is not forbidden. Jesus drank wine (Mr 14:23-25) and turned water into wine so that others could drink (Joh 2:3-11). Paul instructed Timothy not to drink the water but to use a little wine for his stomach's sake (1Ti 5:23).
In our day, many places have good water, so there is no health reason to drink wine instead of water. However, wine or strong drink cannot be forbidden on the basis of Scripture. It is drunkenness that is wrong. Fermented beverages in moderation are not violating any scripture.
Note 29 at Eph 5:18: Being filled with the Holy Spirit is in the present tense, making it a continual command for the believer. In the book of Acts, the same people who were filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost were filled again (compare Ac 2:4 with Ac 4:31). Most people don't get drunk on just one drink. Likewise, being filled with the Holy Spirit is not just a one-time experience. There is an initial filling of the Holy Spirit and many subsequent fillings (see note 5 at Ac 4:31).
Note 30 at Eph 5:18: Just as drunkenness can change people's personalities and make them act totally different, being filled with the Holy Spirit can make people act just like Jesus.
Some of the effects of being filled with the Holy Spirit are listed in Eph 5:19-21. They include instruction from the Scriptures, worshiping with spiritual songs, giving thanks unto the Lord, and submission to one another.
Note 31 at Eph 5:18: It is easy to say we are filled with the Spirit because of some emotional feeling that we have, but Paul related the filling of the Spirit to life's relationships. Those of us who are truly filled with the Holy Spirit will have godly actions to show for it. Three areas are mentioned--the husband-wife relationship (Eph 5:22-33), the child-parent relationship (Eph 6:1-4), and the slave-master relationship (Eph 6:5-9). Each relationship calls for a submission toward one another as being service rendered unto the Lord.
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