New Defender's Study Bible Notes
5:18 drunk with wine. The first command here could better be translated: “Do not begin to be drunk with wine.” Since even a small amount of an intoxicant has a damaging effect on the brain, this command in effect calls for total abstinence from alcohol. Proverbs 23:31 warns against even looking on the wine, lest it tempt one to drink.
5:18 filled. The connotation of “filled” here is “be being filled.” That is, the filling with the Spirit is not a once-for-all experience, like the baptism of the Spirit into the body of Christ. Instead, we are urged to be continually being filled with the Spirit—that is, controlled by the Spirit. In a way analogous to how alcohol may control a person’s thoughts and actions, the better way is to allow the Holy Spirit to have control. The word “filled” is the same as “fulfilled.”
5:20 Giving thanks always. This all-inclusive command to thankfulness for everything is found frequently in the New Testament (e.g., Philippians 4:6, I Thessalonians 5:18). To obey this command would be clearly impossible apart from a strong belief in Jesus Christ as both omnipotent Creator and living Savior. But with this assurance, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28), and therefore can be thankful for “all things.”