Psalms Hymns Spiritual Songs


by Mike Ratliff

18 And do not become drunk with wine in which is dissipation, but be filled by the Spirit, 19 speaking among yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord, (Ephesians 5:18-19 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

In our last post, Be Filled By the Spirit, we studied exegetically what Paul meant by commanding Christians to be filled by the Holy Spirit. Joy is one of the primary evidences of the Spirit-filled life and how that is often expressed is in song as Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:19 (above). The Spirit-filled Christian is a singing Christian regardless of talent. In this post we will look a few aspects of what is often called “church music” using the terms Paul used in this verse. I believe if you compare this study with what goes on in the name of “worship” in many churches nowadays there will be big difference.  Continue reading

Be Filled by the Spirit


by Mike Ratliff

18 And do not become drunk with wine in which is dissipation, but be filled by the Spirit, (Ephesians 5:18 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

What does it mean for a Christian to be “filled” by the Holy Spirit? In my translation above the preposition “by” renders the Greek word ἐν (en), “in, with, by, among, at, on, when, to, as, for, through, while, within, of, about, into, because, during, throughout, before, under.” Why did I render it as “by” instead of “with?” As Louis Sperry Chafer said, “It is not a matter of acquiring more of the Spirit, but rather of the Spirit of God acquiring all of the individual.”1 The believer who is Spirit-filled is influenced by the Spirit and nothing else while those who are not, are more influenced by the temporal. To be filled by the Spirit is to have our thoughts, desires, values, motives, goals, priorities, and all else set on spiritual things and spiritual growth.  Continue reading

Christian Unity


by Mike Ratliff

1 Therefore, I, the prisoner of the Lord, encourage you to walk worthy of the calling by which you were called, 2 with all humility of mind and meekness with long-suffering forbearing one another in love,  3 being eager to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

About the time  I completed my exegetical study of Ephesians 1-2, which was titled “God’s Purpose for the Church,” we learned that my nephew Travis, who had had a brain tumor removed about 4 years ago and had been declared cancer free earlier this year, had begun to have severe headaches and seizure-like symptoms again. Tests showed that he had another tumor in a different part of his brain that was growing rapidly. His surgeon was able to remove most of it and utilized some very new treatments that will, hopefully, kill it. We thank all of you for your prayers for Travis and his family as well as my sister and her family. I learned a great deal from this in the matters of grace and the working of the Spirit in the body of Christ. Genuine Christian faith is genuine Christian faith regardless of whether everyone who possesses it agrees completely on matters of religiosity or not. We do not determine that, God does.  Continue reading

The Great American Worldview Test


The following is from Dr. Al Mohler: American presidential elections are the world’s most public display of the democratic process. The global media follow the American elections with a fervor that is easily understood — what happens in an American presidential election matters all over the world. Our presidential campaigns are political pageants and electoral dynamos. But, as any honest thoughtful observer will understand, our elections are also great worldview exercises. We reveal our worldview by our vote.

To read the rest of the article go here.