I really like the way that the Common English Bible translates Ephesians 5:18-21. I’ve argued here that the five participles that follow the command to “be filled by the Spirit” are participles of means and not of result. That is, Paul lays out the sort of things that churches should do in order to be places where God dwells by his Spirit. They are temples of God’s Spirit (cf. Eph. 2:20-22) and should manifest that by speaking to one another in renewed ways, singing, giving thanks, and submitting to one another.
The CEB nails it by adding the phrase, “in the following ways.”
Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and submit to each other out of respect for Christ.
2 thoughts on “CEB on Being the Dwelling Place of God”
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Just finished reading your piece on “filled BY the Spirit.” Outstanding, Tim. I think you are right on target. What you’ve described IS how the Spirit works. However, the way people talk about the Spirit leaves the impression that he works in a magical, mystical manner. It’s as though he magically changes the chemical configuration our brains, we think. But the way he works is much more practical and it is, as you point out, in a corporate manner. Paul mentions “speaking,” singing,” etc. We could add, I judge, Suppering, baptizing, praying, and gathering.
A very useful Piece, Tim. Thank you.