This next series of thoughts will take several blogs to unpack. So I encourage one to be patient as this make take a while. There is a song of the same name out there by Katy Perry. The song glorifies the aspect of how they got sooo drunk that there behavior was detrimental to the ability to make sound judgment. But it was sooo much fun she cant wait to do it again. Many a Charismatic/Pentecostal has sung that tune, but only changed the words. This practice is known as getting “drunk in the Spirit.” (It may be splitting hairs but I see a distinct difference between the practice of getting drunk in the Spirit and being Slain in the Spirit.) Same root concept but different results though the two are often linked together.
This where a very important verse takes efffect:
- 2 Timothy 2:14-15 NASB – 14 Remind [them] of these things, and solemnly charge [them] in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless [and leads] to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
Notice that the context has to deal with “wrangling about words” which leads to ruin.” This verse always gets applied to accurately handling the word of truth by having good doctrine. But instead you know you are accurately handling the word of truth when you do not use it as a means to debate others. There is an old political saying that says “The problem with tossing mud at your opponents is like wrestling with pigs, you both get dirty, only that the pig enjoys it.” So I must issue a word of caution, Using these concepts to throw mud is NOT the purpose here, pressing on to maturity through love IS.
I hear many a well intended Christian make the following statement. “God says not to be drunk with wine but instead be drunk in the spirit.” Which is no where to be found in Scripture. The verse actually reads
- Ephesians 5:18 NASB – 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
Notice the Holy Spirit is not encouraging us to get drunk off the Holy Spirit but instead be filled by the Holy Spirit. Many a Christian assumes that the getting the drunk in the Spirit is the replacement for being drunk with wine. The unspoken theology is that God does not want us to go with without having any fun in Him, just replace your old behavior with its Christian equivalent. So let us examine the concept.
Is the replacement for stealing to “steal in the Spirit?” No, it is to work with your own hands (1 Thess 4.11). Is the replacement for sexual immorality to have “adultery in the Spirit”? That’s absurd . . . the answer is to be faithful to your spouse (Mat 19.5). Is the response to being a glutton getting fat in the Spirit? No, it is to eat in moderation (Prov 23.2).
Over and over again the response to sin is not to engage in a holy form of sinful behavior, but to replace it with its polar opposite. Being filled with the Spirit is not the same as of getting drunk, it is the anthesis of getting drunk.
The verse goes on to clarify that you know you are filled with the Spirit when you encourage one another, worship the Lord, give thanks, and consider how your behavior impacts others in the faith.:
- Ephesians 5:19-21 NASB – 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Now tie that back into previous posts where we examined the purpose of prophesy is to encourage one another. Worship is the hallmark of wanting all of the Spirit. Not appearing as “mad” to others but be clearly understood. And not being a passive Christian whereby you do not consider how your behavior affects others.
Many people like to memorize the fruit of the Spirit as separate entities. However the Greek used had no punctuation but was derived from context and declension (a concept for another time). I always liked the teaching that fruit of the Spirit is Love; <-(notice my use of the semi colon in place of a comma), the rest were just attributes of love.
- Galatians 5:22-23 NASB – 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
And it goes on to say:
- Galatians 5:24-26 NASB – 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
If we truly beleive that we understand that there is no command to be drunk in the Spirit then we will learn to love those who misunderstand. And we will love through joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness via self control. If one is going to use my encouragement to sling mud at our brothers and sisters in Christ then we are just as mistaken as they, as we are now practicing Godly slander instead of worldly slander. Be forewarned:
- 1 Corinthians 8:11-12 NASB – 11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.
As always, love much my friends . . .