Amplified: Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Express your joy in singing among yourselves psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making music in your hearts for the ears of God! (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
SPEAKING TO ONE ANOTHER IN PSALMS AND HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS: lalountes (PAPMPN) heautois [en] psalmois kai humnois kai odais pneumatikais: (Acts 16:25; 1Corinthians 14:26; Colossians 3:16; James 5:13)
Notice that the first sign of being filled with the Spirit is the WORDS that come out of our mouths! It would seem to follow that we have some "barometer" of our filling by the Spirit by observig the words that come out of our mouths. Are you as convicted as I am?
Literally this reads speaking with yourselves which refers to believers as a community.
Boice discussed how D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (in his famous 8 volume work on Ephesians) began a new book of sermons on Ephesians 5:18 and entitled it Life in the Spirit (Eph 5:18-6:9)…
Wuest adds the qualifying note regarding the literal translation writing that…
John Calvin wrote that…
Oswald Chambers I think was correct when he wrote that…
Frank Gaebelein was also correct when he wrote…
The Net Bible has an interesting note writing that…
John Stott wrote that…
Speaking (2980) (laleo) originally just of sounds like chatter of birds, prattling of children then used of the highest form of speech. It was also used for a grunting of animals when they made those animal sounds. In its most basic sense laleo simply means to use the voice to make a sound and in this context the sound is a song. The speaking is the singing and it the singing that makes the sound. The qualifier is that these sounds come from a Spirit-filled heart. The present tense indicates it is a Spirit filled believer's lifestyle. The sounds that please the Lord are the sounds that come from a Spirit-filled heart. Have you ever experienced the joy of singing with a group all of whom were genuinely Spirit filled? You cannot come much nearer to heaven's door!
Eadie comments that…
Vincent says that laleo is
Kenneth Wuest adds that
As an example Wuest notes that when Jesus healed a deaf man who had difficultly speaking the multitude
Wuest explains that in this verse laleo is used to emphasize
Robertson says that laleo contrasts with the other NT word for speak (lego) in that laleo is
One another (1438) (heautou) is a reflexive pronoun in the third person = in the singular, a reflexive reference to a person or thing spoken or written about, and in the plural, a reflexive reference to any and all persons or things involved as subjects of the clause (including first, second and third persons)—‘himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.’ Heautou can also be a marker of reciprocal relationship as in this verse and is translated each other or one another.
Related Resource: Study the "one anothers" - most positive, some negative
Jamieson commenting on one another writes…
Psalms (5568) (psalmos from psállo = to sing, chant - see TDNT note below) refers to a set piece of music, sacred ode (accompanied with voice, harp or other instrument; a "psalm"). Psalmos originally meant a touching, and then a touching of the harp or other stringed instruments with the finger or with the plectrum. Later it referred to the instrument itself, and finally psalmos became known as the song sung with musical accompaniment.
Eadie says that psalmos is "from psallein—to strike the lyre, is, according to its derivation, a sacred song chanted to the accompaniment of instrumental music… This specific idea was lost in course of time, and the word retained only the general sense of a sacred poetical composition (Ephesians 5 Commentary)
TDNT - Psállo first seems to mean “to touch,” then it takes on the sense “to pluck” (a string), and finally it means “to play” (an instrument). Psállo occurs some 50 times for “to play a stringed instrument” (mostly in Psalms, 1 Samuel, and 2 Kings). The idea of a song of praise is often suggested. Psalmos means “plucking,” then “playing” (a stringed instrument). (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)
NIDNTT - In secular Greek psallo is used from Homer onwards, originally meaning to pluck (hair), to twang a bow-string, and then pluck a harp, or any other stringed instrument. The noun psalmos refers in general to the sound of the instrument, or the actual production of the sound. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan or Computer version)
Vine writes that psalmos - primarily denoted “a striking or twitching with the fingers (on musical strings)”; then, “a sacred song, sung to musical accompaniment, a psalm.” It is used (a) of the OT book of “Psalms,” Luke 20:42; 24:44; Acts 1:20; (b) of a particular “psalm,” Acts 13:33 (cf. v. Acts 13:35); (c) of “psalms” in general, 1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16. (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary)
There are 7 uses of psalmos in the NT -
Psalmos - 80x in the Septuagint (LXX)- 1Sa 16:18; 2Sa 23:1; Job 21:12; 30:31; Ps 3:1; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1; 7:1; 8:1; 9:1; 11:1; 12:1; 13:1; 14:1; 15:1; 19:1; 20:1; 21:1; 22:1; 23:1; 24:1; 25:1; 29:1; 30:1; 31:1; 38:1; 40:1; 41:1; 43:1; 44:1; 46:1; 47:1; 48:1; 49:1; 50:1; 51:1; 62:1; 63:1; 64:1; 65:1; 66:1; 67:1; 68:1; 71:22; 73:1; 75:1; 76:1; 77:1; 79:1; 80:1; 81:1f; 82:1; 83:1; 84:1; 85:1; 87:1; 88:1; 92:1; 94:1; 95:2; 98:1, 5; 99:1; 100:1; 101:1; 108:1; 109:1; 110:1; 139:1; 140:1; 141:1; 143:1; 147:1; Is 66:20; La 3:14; 5:14; Amos 5:23; Zec 6:14
Vincent adds that psalmos which is…
Hymns (5215) (humnos/hymnos) refers to a song of praise, a song in honor of God or generally to a song with religious content. It also came to mean praise to men. Whereas a psalm is the story of man's deliverance or a commemoration of mercies received, a hymn is a magnificat, a declaration of how great someone or something is (Lu 1:46-55, 67-79; Acts 4:24; 16:25). It is a direct address of praise and glory to God.
The only other NT uses of humnos is in Colossians 3:16 (note).
Humnos/hymnos - 16 uses in the Septuagint (LXX)- 2Chr. 7:6; Neh 12:46; Ps 6:1; 40:3; 54:1; 55:1; 61:1; 65:1; 67:1; 72:20; 76:1; 100:4; 119:171; 137:3; 148:14; Isa 42:10
NIDNTT explains that…
Eadie writes that hymns "are also sacred poetical compositions, the primary purpose of which is to praise, as may be seen in those instances in which the verb occurs, Acts 16:25; Heb 2:12. (Ephesians 5 Commentary)
According to Augustine a hymn has three characteristics: It must be sung; it must be praise; it must be to God.
The word "hymn" nowhere occurs in the writings of the apostolic fathers possibly because it was used as a praise to heathen deities and thus the early Christians instinctively shrank from it.
Obviously our English words "psalms" and "hymns" are transliterations from the Greek words.
Spiritual (4152) (pneumatikos from pneúma = spirit. + suffix = "-ikos" on the end of an adjective signifies “-like”) means something like pertaining to the (divine) spirit, “belonging to the spirit", "of the nature of the spirit", and thus "pertaining to that which is spiritual".
There are 26 uses of pneumatikos in the NT - Ro 1:11 (referring to spiritual gift); Ro 7:14 (referring to the law); Ro 15:27 (referring to blessings); 1Co. 2:13, 15; 3:1; 9:11; 10:3, 4; 12:1; 14:1, 37; 15:44, 46; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 1:3; 5:19; 6:12; Col. 1:9; 3:16; 1Pe 2:5
Eadie comments that "in all other passages where (pneumatikos) is used to qualify Christian men, or Christian blessings, its ruling reference is plainly to the Holy Spirit. Thus—spiritual gifts, Ro 1:11; a special endowment of the Spirit, 1Cor. 12:1, 14:1, etc.; spiritual men, that is, men enjoying in an eminent degree the Spirit, 1Cor. 2:15, 14:37; and also in Gal. 6:1; Ro 7:14; Ep 5:19; Col. 3:16; and in 1Cor. 2:13, “spiritual” means produced by or belonging to the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5 Commentary)
Songs (5603) (oide from aido = to sing, always signifying praise to God) is a generic term for any words sung or for songs in general, thus needing modification by "spiritual" in this context. The qualifier of "spiritual" was important because of the fact that the original use of singing among both believers and idolaters was in the confessions and praises of the respective gods.
Ode by itself might mean any kind of song, as of battle, harvest, festal, whereas psalm, from its Hebrew use, and hymn, from its Gr. use, did not require any such qualification.
Eadie writes that song or "ode is a general term, and denotes the natural outburst of an excited bosom—the language of the sudden impulses of an Oriental temperament. Such odes as were allowed to Christians are termed “spiritual,” that is, prompted by the Spirit which filled them. But the psalms and hymns are already marked out as consecrated, and needed no such additional epithet. For the prevailing meaning of the adjective. Odes of this nature are found in Scripture, as that of Hannah (1Sa 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) at her boy's consecration, that of the Mary, and that of Zachariah on the birth of his son. (Ephesians 5 Commentary)
John MacArthur has an interesting comment noting that…
Charles Hodge explains that…
Harry Ironside commenting on speaking to one another in psalms, etc writes…
R Kent Hughes rightly observes that…
SINGING AND MAKING MELODY WITH YOUR HEART TO THE LORD: adontes (PAPMPN) kai psallontes (PAPMPN) te kardia humon to kurio: (Psalms 95:2; 105:2; Matthew 26:30)
Phillips paraphrase says "making music in your hearts for the ears of God!"
Singing (103) (aido) means to sing, always of praise to God. Note that in this section, the singing is not ‘to one another’ but ‘to the Lord’.
I like the way Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones put it - "If it were possible to put the Holy Spirit into a textbook of pharmacology I would put Him under the stimulants, for that is where He belongs.
Jamieson writes that in your heart means…
John Stott has an interesting comment on making melody with your heart to the Lord … writing that this is …
Making Melody (5567) (psallo from psao = to rub or touch the surface, to touch lightly, twang or snap) means to play a stringed instrument or to sing a hymn. Musicians who play upon an instrument were said to pluck the strings. Psallo came to signify the making of music in any fashion. Because stringed instruments were commonly used both by believers and heathen in singing praises to their respective gods, it meant to sing, sing praises or psalms to God whether with or without instruments
Ephesians 5:19-22 illustrates what the Spirit-filled life should look like. This verse applies not so much to congregational singing, as to "melody in your heart." Such a life will be fruitful (Ephesians 5:9), active (Ephesians 5:16), understanding (Ephesians 5:17), joyful (Ephesians 5:19), thankful (Ephesians 5:20), and submissive (Ephesians 5:21). It will also be bold in witnessing (Acts 4:31).
An excellent illustration of Spirit filled singing is found in Acts 16, welling up from the dungeons sometime around midnight, Luke recording…
Wiersbe writes that…
In your heart - Stedman writes that this phrase refers to…
Eadie comments on making melody in your heart…
Moule writes that "The sounds were but to express the praising souls. And all this was to be done, not as "music-worship," (God forbid,) but as worship full of music, paid to the remembered, adored, loved, present Lord. Such singing—and no other—is audible upon the Throne. (Ephesian Studies- Expository Readings on the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Ephesians)
Heart (2588) (kardia) (Click word study of kardia) does not refer to the physical organ but is always used figuratively in Scripture to refer to the seat and center of human life. The heart is the center of the personality, and it controls the intellect, emotions, and will. No outward obedience is of the slightest value unless the heart turns to God. The heart is the wellspring of man’s spiritual life.
While kardia does represent the inner person, the seat of motives and attitudes, the center of personality, in Scripture it represents much more than emotion, feelings. It also includes the thinking process and particularly the will. For example, in Proverbs we are told, “As (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Jesus asked a group of scribes, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” (Matthew 9:4). The heart is the control center of mind and will as well as emotion.
Vine writes that kardia…
MacArthur commenting on kardia writes that…
Johann Sebastian Bach said it well "The aim of all music is the glory of God."
John MacArthur rightly states that…
Wayne Barber writes that…
John Wesley wrote the following interesting "Instructions in Singing"…
1. SING ALL - See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find a blessing.
2. SING LUSTILY AND WITH A GOOD COURAGE - Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being, heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan.
3. SING MODESTLY - Do not bawl, so as to be heard above, or distinct from, the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.
4. SING IN TIME - Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before, nor stay behind it; but attend closely to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can. And take care you sing not too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from among us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.
5. ABOVE ALL, SING SPIRITUALLY - Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing; and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve of here, and reward when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.
In the book "Fools Gold" in the section subtitled "Practicing Discernment in Your Local Church", Chapter 7 is called the "Solid Rock? What the Bible Says about Contemporary Worship Music". In this section John MacArthur gives an excellent critique on Christian music. Here is his introduction…
Sadly, Christians today need to exercise discernment in their local churches probably more than anywhere else. Whether due to poor preaching or a wrong philosophy of ministry, many local churches suffer because they lack the ability to distinguish sound doctrine from false teaching. To complicate matters, many believers have different opinions about preferential issues—sometimes causing unnecessary splits in the body of Christ. Discernment is needed for these situations as well, such that biblical principle and Christian grace may prevail. With this in mind, this chapter focuses on the often controversial topic of contemporary worship music. Should the church only sing hymns, should it only sing praise choruses, or should it land somewhere in the middle? And what are the biblical principles for determining these standards? This chapter addresses those very questions.
Comment: The interested reader is encouraged to read Dr MacArthur's fairly lengthy treatise on Christian music, especially if you are having "music wars" in your congregation - at the end of the chapter there is a checklist for assessing music that is appropriate to church worship and it asks and discusses 10 questions including - Is the music God focused? Is it orderly? Is the content of the words sound doctrinally? Does the music promote unity? Is the music performed with excellence? Does the music prepare the congregation for the preaching of the Word? Does the music adorn the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Does the music promote passionate worship? Is the church's overall philosophy of music based on sound Biblical principles? Fool's Gold is available in book form - Fool's Gold - Discerning Truth in an Age of Error (Here is an online article by Dr MacArthur - What’s the Biggest Problem with Contemporary Church Music?)
Amplified: At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Thank God at all times for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: giving thanks always concerning all things in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the God and Father;
ALWAYS GIVING THANKS FOR ALL THINGS: eucharistountes (PAPMPN) pantote huper panton: (Eph 5:4; Job 1:21; Psalms 34:1; Isa 63:7; Acts 5:41; 1Corinthians 1:4; Philippians 1:3; 4:6; Colossians 1:11,12; 3:17; 1Thessalonians 3:9; 5:18; 2Thessalonians 1:3; 2:13)
SPIRIT FILLED PEOPLE ARE THANKFUL PEOPLE
See Related Resources:
Exposition of Philippians 4:6; (Php 4:6)
Exposition of 1Thessalonians 5:18 (1Th 5:18)
Always giving thanks - is the second evidence of a Spirit filled believer, the first being an inner joy that places a song in one's heart and the third being a willingness to submit to one another as unto the Lord.
Literally Paul says the spirit filled life is one of…
If we experience this effect, allowing the Spirit to continually control us, we will discover that His constant filling is an excellent antidote against an attitude of always murmuring about all things!
John Stott rightly remarks that…
Ray Stedman illustrates this point with a story…
Harry Ironside commenting on giving thanks for all things writes…
Always (3842) (pántote from pás = all + tóte = then) means at all times.
Giving thanks (2168) (eucharisteo from eucháristos = thankful, grateful, well-pleasing - Indicates the obligation of being thankful to someone for a favor done <> in turn from eú = well + charízomai = to grant, give.; English - Eucharist) means to show that one is under obligation by being thankful. To show oneself as grateful (most often to God in the NT).
Moulton and Milligan note that eucharisteo originally meant “do a good turn to” or “oblige,” and in late Greek passed readily into the meaning “be grateful,” “give thanks”. Giving thanks is the quality of being grateful, with the implication of also having appropriate (Spirit filled) attitude.
This meaning is common in diplomatic documents in which the recipient of a favor reciprocates with assurance of goodwill. It is also used o express appreciation for benefits or blessings. Giving thanks was an important component of Greco-Roman reciprocity as demonstrated by a copy of a letter written by the Emperor Claudius to a Gymnastic Club expressing his gratification at games performed in his honour. The word eucharista was also common on ancient inscriptions.
Thanksgiving expresses what ought never to be absent from any of our devotions. We should always be ready to express our grateful acknowledgement of past mercies as distinguished form the earnest seeking of future mercies.
TDNT writes that "We first find eucharistos in the senses “pleasant” and “graceful.” Eucharisteo means “to show a favor,” but this imposes a duty of gratitude and the meaning “to be thankful” or “to give thanks” develops. We also find the sense “to pray.” The Greek world held thanksgiving in high esteem. With the ordinary use we find a public use (gratitude to rulers) and a religious use (thanksgiving to the gods for blessings). Thanks are also a constituent part of letters. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)
In the Gospels the verb eucharisteo frequently describes Jesus' example of giving thanks (Mt 15:36; 26:27; Mk 8:6; 14:23; Lk 22:17, 19; Jn 6:11, 23; 11:41) Paul was frequently thankful to God for the saints and the grace given to them (1Co 1:4, Ep 1:16 Php 1:3, Col 1:3, 12, 1Th 1:2, 2Th 1:3, 2:13, Philemon 1:4). The effect of the Spirit's filling is a thankful heart (Eph 5:20, cp Col 3:17).
Eucharisteo describes a person who is depending on God’s grace moment by moment. The present tense pictures this as one's lifestyle, a life only possible under the control of the Spirit.
Eucharisteo is found 38 times in the NT (and not in the non-apocryphal LXX) - Mt 15:36; Mt 26:27 (Jesus' practice was to give thanks - here before the "last supper"); Mk 8:6; 14:23; Lk 17:16 (only 1/10 cleansed lepers thanked Jesus for healing); Lk 18:11 (pretentious thanks from the Pharisee!); Lk 22:17, 19; Jn 6:11, 23; 11:41 (Jesus' thanks was directed to the Father); Acts 27:35; 28:15; Ro 1:8-note, Ro 1:21-note; Ro 14:6-note; Ro 16:4-note; 1Co 1:4, 14; 1Co 10:30; 11:24; 14:17, 18; 2Co 1:11; Ep 1:16-note; Eph 5:20; Php 1:3-note; Col 1:3-note, Col 1:12-note; Col 3:17-note; 1Th 1:2-note; 1Th 2:13-note; 1Th 5:18-note; 2Th 1:3; 2:13; Philemon. 1:4; Re 11:17-note. The NAS translates it - gave thanks(2), give thanks(9), given thanks(7), gives thanks(2), giving thanks(7),thank(9), thanked(1), thanks(1).
It is notable that one the chief traits of unregenerate men is the failure to give thanks to God and their attitude of ingratitude is not without "natural" sequelae" Paul explaining…
This call to thankfulness for everything is found frequently in the New Testament --
How is it possible to obey this command? When you are controlled by the Spirit and understanding the truth that nothing happens in your life that is not filtered through the hands of your Loving Father, Who is El Elyon, the Most High God (see study El Elyon: Most High God - Sovereign Over All). Then you can withstand the trial, the affliction, the suffering. He is in control and He has a purpose for the trial or suffering. It will not be wasted. He is sovereign (See attribute of God's sovereignty) and therefore in control of the heavens and the earth and all the angelic hosts of heaven and no purpose of His can be thwarted, as Paul has already taught in Ephesians 1 writing…
This same truth that God is in control of everything that occurs in our lives is seen elsewhere in Scripture…
Thanksgiving implies that the grateful person is in perfect submission to the will of God, however His will is manifest. Why? Because it is only when we are fully convinced that God is working all things together for good (Ro 8:28, 29-note) that we can really give God thanks. Paul is cautioning against a whining, complaining, murmuring spirit which is really just an express one's lack of faith in God's goodness. James in the context of asking God for wisdom in trials writes that we are to
Boice adds that "Shakespeare wrote in King Lear, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!" True! Ingratitude in children wounds and sometimes kills. But how much more unnatural and repugnant is ingratitude in those who have become sons and daughters of the living God (living God = Mt 16:16, 26:63, Acts 14:15, Ro 9:26, 2Co 3:3, 6:16, 1Ti 3:15, 4:10, Heb 3:12, 9:14, 10:31,12:22, Re 7:2). It is so unnatural that a person may wonder if such a one has actually become a Christian in the first place. (Ephesians Commentary)
For (5228) (huper) means because of or in view of and in this context is used as a marker of cause or reason, often as in this verse with the implication of something which has been beneficial-
All things (3956) (pas) means all without exception!
Not all prayer is spoken; singing is a high communication to the Lord and should be done from the heart. This verse is the first of two Pauline injunctions to thank God in all things.
Matthew Henry - We must continue it throughout the whole course of our lives; and we should give thanks for all things; not only for spiritual blessings enjoyed, and eternal ones expected (for what of the former we have in hand, and for what of the other we have in hope), but for temporal mercies too; not only for our comforts, but also for our sanctified afflictions; not only for what immediately concerns ourselves, but for the instances of God's kindness and favour to others also. It is our duty in every thing to give thanks unto God and the Father, to God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father in him, in whose name we are to offer up all our prayers, and praises, and spiritual services, that they may be acceptable to God.
Michael Green records the following story from the life of the fourteenth-century German Johann Tauler, which aptly demonstrates something of the attitude Jesus is calling His disciples to maintain…
R Kent Hughes writes that "the fullness of the Spirit does call us to a radical spirit of gratitude. We are to thank God in the midst of difficulties for everything which is consistent with his Fatherhood and his loving Son… The fullness of the Spirit rules out a grumbling, complaining, negative, sour spirit. No one can be Spirit-filled and traffic in these things. In America we, as a people, have so much. Yet we characteristically mourn what we do not have: another's house, car, job, vacation, even family (see word study on envy)! Such thanklessness indicates a life missing the fullness of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, a positive, thankful attitude announces the presence of the Spirit. I once met a pastor in a remote little western town. His church met in rented facilities, and his car had seen better days, as had his house-trailer. But as we walked down Main Street, stepping around the tumbleweeds, he remarked, "I can't believe how good God is to me. I have a wonderful wife, a church to serve, and sunshine 365 days a year!" And then he spent the day helping me set up a week-long outreach. What an argument for the reality of Christ and the life-changing power of the gospel in a world which has forgotten to be thankful (cf. Romans 1:21-note). (Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ (Preaching the Word -Preaching the Word 1990.)
Wiersbe has some excellent advice writing that "When a Christian finds himself in a difficult situation, he should immediately give thanks to the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Spirit, to keep his heart from complaining and fretting. The devil moves in when a Christian starts to complain, but thanksgiving in the Spirit defeats the devil and glorifies the Lord. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1Th 5:18-note). The word gratitude comes from the same root word as grace (charis). If we have experienced the grace of God, then we ought to be grateful for what God brings to us. Thank and think also come from the same root word. If we would think more, we would thank more (Ed: "Amen!"). (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor) (Bolding added)
Faber writes that…
W. L. Watkinson writes that…
Paul himself is an example of constant thanksgiving for all of his Epistles (except Galatians, 1Timothy, and Titus) open with thanksgiving. And how could the Philippians forget Paul's example in the dungeon at Philippi when at
MacArthur explains that God’s promises support the reasonableness of saints always offering thanksgiving to God regardless of the circumstances for He
Hiebert writes that…
Barnes commenting on 1Thes 5:18 notes that believers…
J Vernon McGee commenting on 1Thes 5:18 writes that give thanks in everything means…
Bible Background Commentary wrote that even the…
Merrill Unger wrote that thanksgiving is…
In his book FOLK PSALMS OF FAITH, Ray Stedman tells of an experience H. A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited his to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don't." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat."
The man said, "Oh, you're one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don't have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!"
Ironside said, "Yes, you're just like my dog. That's what he does too!" (Ray Stedman, Folk Psalms of Faith)
In a sermon at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, Gary Wilburn said: "In 1636, amid the darkness of the Thirty Years' War, a German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year, and average of fifteen a day. His parish was ravaged by war, death, and economic disaster. In the heart of that darkness, with the cries of fear outside his window, he sat down and wrote this table grace for his children:
'Now thank we all our God
Who, from our mother's arms,
Here was a man who knew thanksgiving comes from love of God, not from outward circumstances. (Don Maddox)
Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself…
Much to his surprise, however, Pastor Whyte began by praying…
That's the habitual attitude of gratitude Paul says should characterize Spirit filled saints, beloved. Gratitude is an attitude that like all spiritual disciplines, needs to be consciously developed and deliberately cultivated in the dependence on the Holy Spirit (cp Ep 5:18-note) and the grace in which we stand (Ro 5:2-note). There are some practical steps that can cultivate the gracious attribute of gratitude. For example, you can make thanksgiving a priority in your prayer life (Col 4:2-note) rather than focusing only on petitions and requests. There may even be blessed times when your prayer time consists of nothing but gratefulness to the Almighty. You can always thank Him for the various wonderful aspects of your salvation (adoption & sovereign care, forgiveness, inheritance, the gift of His Spirit, freedom from sin's power and Satan's authority, etc) Have you had any prayer times like that recently?
And you can thank Him for the "smaller" blessings of life, those things we all to often take for granted. You can ask Him to make you very sensitive to grumbling and mumbling complaints which are the polar opposite of a thankful spirit. You can utilize spiritual songs (Eph 5:20) to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness, allowing the words of a wonderful hymn to lift your eyes and heart in a way that nothing else can. Thank people who bless you in even the smallest ways. It will complete your enjoyment of the blessing, and it will increase your capacity to thank God. Reflect on and serve those less fortunate than you. This will remind you of how gracious God has been to you, how far He has brought you, and how much He has blessed you—which will in turn motivate you to be grateful to God.
Spurgeon admits that in regard to giving thanks…
As John Piper asks
IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO GOD, EVEN THE FATHER: en onomati tou kuriou hemon Iesou Christou to theo kai patri: (John 14:13,14; 15:16; 16:23-26; Colossians 3:17; Hebrews 13:15; 1Peter 2:5; 4:11)
As Moule explains that in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ means…
Name (3686) (onoma) the proper name of a person or object. In antiquity "the name" meant much more than it does today. We use a name as little more than a distinguishing mark or label to differentiate one person from other people. But in the world of the NT the name concisely sums up all that a person is. One's whole character was implied in the name. We see this principle especially in the OT Names of God, where each new name conveyed a new attribute or characteristic of God. See Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower - Summary Chart
Christ (5547) (Christos from chrio = to anoint, rub with oil, consecrate to an office) is the Anointed One, the Messiah, Christos being the Greek equivalent of the transliterated Hebrew word Messiah.
Father (3962) (pater) is defined as the genitor, by whom one is begotten. Father in the Bible speaks of the Supreme Deity, Who is the responsible for the origin and care of all that exists. The OT only rarely uses Father in reference to God (some 14x), which made Jesus' instruction on the pattern of the disciples' prayer in Mt 6:9-note somewhat of a radical teaching (i.e., telling the disciples to address God as their Father!)
God is not the Father of every human being but only those who are "born again" (John 3:3). Father is God's family name which can be uttered with its full significance only by His children, those in the family having been born again by His Spirit.
Pater is one of the titles for God and is a name which combines the aspects of supernatural authority and care for His people. Note that the word “Abba” is the Aramaic word for “Father.” Aramaic is the language which the Jews spoke in Palestine in the first century. Thus the words “Abba, Father,” were a formula familiar to the bilingual Palestinian Church.
In the spiritual sense, God becomes our Father when we are saved we are brought into His family…
Now as His children we can approach Him as a child does his father for we are objects of His special watch care and love! This is a blessed thought which should encourage our praying, fully confident that He hears us.