Ephesians 5:20 Giving Thanks

by | Jun 20, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

I. Giving Thanks V. 20

A. Giving Thanks Is An Attitude

1. The opposite of a “thankful life” is a “complaining life”.

a. Nowhere in Scripture is an “unthankful or complaining attitude” encouraged.

2. Unthankfulness is a defining characteristic of the unsaved or the unspiritual Christian.

a. 2 Timothy 3:1, 2 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy…
b. Romans 1:20, 21 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
c. Philippians 2:14, 15 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…

3. Some “Spirit filled people” aren’t very thankful.

a. One might claim to be a “Spirit filled Christian” because they can speak in tongues or because they believe in the miraculous.
b. Certainly, those aspects of the Christian life are energized by the Holy Spirit.
c. But giving thanks “always and for all things” is also a work of God’s Spirit.
d. In some cases, it may more clearly and powerfully reflect the work of God’s Spirit.
e. Momentary exercise of a spiritual gift does not necessarily require a thankful heart.

4. Remember that in verse 18, Paul said that a Spirit filled life includes many things, including thankfulness “always and for all things”.

B. Giving Thanks Is An Action

1. In verse 19, we are exhorted to not just feel worshipful, but to actually worship.
2. In the same way, we are called to give thanks, not just be silently thankful.
3. Jesus lived a life of giving thanks to the Father.

a. Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.
b. Matthew 15:36 And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks…

II. Always And For All Things

A. How We CAN Give Thanks Always And For All Things

1. It would be easy to object to this command.

a. There are many tragedies and unfair events that happen to Christians.
b. From the human perspective, it’s not realistic to give thanks always for all things.

2. 20giving thanks always for all things– literally: in each thing, in everything, each time, etc.
3. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
4. God doesn’t ask us to give thanks for sin and tragedy, but each time something happens.
5. How then can we develop the ability and mindset to always be able to give thanks?
6. We can grow to be always able to give thanks for all things by…

a. Remembering the promises of God- See Romans 8:28-39
b. Remember the eternal intentions of God- See 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
c. Remembering that God’s wisdom is infinitely high than ours Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
d. Story of Joseph– wrongly sold into & cast into prison; used by God to save Israel
e. 1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

7. In order for the Christian to sincerely give thanks in all things, he must be willing to not allow his emotions to or “logic” to rule, but must choose to surrender both emotions and human wisdom to the sovereign promises of God.
8. Besides being able to thank God during the difficult times, Christians more than any other people group, have more reasons to be thankful.

a. We must believe and remember that God loves us.
b. We must also believe and remember that nothing gets past God; He is sovereign.
c. We have salvation, the forgiveness of our sins. There is NO condemnation for us.
d. God the Spirit dwells inside of us.
e. We experience God’s provision, comfort, companionship, power, etc.
f. We are empowered to live the Christian life.
g. The Spirit enables us to understand the things of God.
h. The Christian is never, ever, separated from the love of God.

B. Why We Should Give Thanks

1. Because we are commanded to.
2. Because we ought to.
3. How could we not? It is a display of immaturity to be an unthankful Christian.
4. It shows that you are focused on the passing things of this world. Carnally minded.
5. We give thanks because Paul tells us that this is a result of the Spirit filled life.
6. What has the Spirit of God done in a thankful person’s heart?

a. The Spirit has brought that person to Christ, convincing them of their need for Jesus
b. The Spirit has indwelt that person
c. The Spirit has brought confirmation to that person that they are saved.

III. To God The Father, In The Name Of Jesus

A. Some People Are Just “Thankful”

1. “Thank goodness”; “thank my lucky stars”; etc.
2. “Thankfulness” is a pleasant disposition to have, but the Christian is called to more.
3. “Goodness” is not a person that gives us things, but a characteristic that one has.
4. “Lucky Stars”, besides being a breakfast cereal, is a phrase to ancient religions re. the stars determining one’s destiny. Stars are not persons who can give anything.
5. A thankful heart isn’t enough if one is thanking “goodness and stars”.

B. The Christian Is Called To Thank God

1. The Bible says that come to God’s throne through the mediation of Jesus Christ.
2. It is through faith in Him that we are able to approach the Father to thank Him.
3. The Spirit filled Christian is aware and thankful to God the Father, and to His Son for
providing all these things.
4. We don’t simply say, “In Jesus’ name”, though we do say that.
5. In the Name of Jesus means, by His authority, through His person, because of what he
has done for us, and because we have accepted His sacrifice for us.