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Thursday, December 6, 2012


Most of us are aware that the wonderful directions for worship in Ephesians 5 are plural. We are to sing and pray and give thanks together. But most of us have not thought much about verse 21 the concluding verse of the passage. “Submit to one another in the fear of Christ.” Grammatically this verse is part of a sentence that begins with verse 18. The only active verb from verse 18 through verse 21 is “Be filed.” All of these things, singing, giving thanks and submitting to one another are applications of the filling of the Spirit. We tend to think of the Spirit’s filling as individual. But the verb “be filled is also plural. There is obviously some individual participation in this matter but the picture is of the church being filled together with the Spirit of Christ. In this context verse 21 brings in the fear of the Lord. We often take these words as the reason for submitting to one another. And frankly, I believe that to be a legitimate application. But I also think it is calling us to tremble in together in our worship. The fear of the Lord can be contagious in worship as the Spirit of God moves on the body of Christ.

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