oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - Be filled with the spirit and not with wine : echoes of the Messianic Banquet in the antithesis of Ephesians 5:18

Volume 5, Issue 03
  • ISSN : 1996-8167



Ephesians 5:18 contrasts wine drinking with being filled with the Holy Spirit. There are a number of reasons, both in the text and the socio-cultural context, to suggest that Paul is not primarily addressing an ongoing problem of alcohol abuse in the congregation. Instead, this article will suggest that he is using the antithesis as a double-edged theological foil to descriptionbe the practical inauguration of the Messianic Banquet in the life of the church. Collaborating evidence for this interpretation, which highlights the celebratory mood of the passage, will also be found in Ephesians 2 & 4. Christian worship and mutual submission that is fuelled by the liberating power of the Holy Spirit is a practical foretaste of the forthcoming Messianic Banquet.

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