-Paul continues his crusade on how to properly conduct the Christian walk filled with the Spirit of God and love in this chapter. He offers first that we need to be imitators (followers in nature) of the Lord as beloved children. We are instructed to walk in love and give ourselves up for others just as our Savior had done, which is a pleasing fragrant aroma and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2, Romans 12:1-2). All sexual immorality, impurity, covetousness (wanting things from others selfishly), filthiness, foolish talk, crude joking, and idolatry should not even be named among the believers (Ephesians 5:2-5). Instead, there should be thanksgiving “always and for everything to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:4, 20).” *Application* This list of do’s and don’ts is important for us to consider. If we are walking in love and thanksgiving with our Lord we will be imitating what He demonstrated to us through His life and Word. God is NOT about these things on the don’t list. Neither should we be about these things.
-Paul then warns about deception and partnering with people that are in the darkness with shifting shadows (Ephesians 5:6-8, James 1:17). We are instructed to walk as children of the Light and expose with discernment the works of these wicked ones who do shameful things in secret. We are to take no part with them, but instead be wise, awake, and alive in all our dealings (Ephesians 5:8-15). We need to make “the best use of our time, because the days of evil (Ephesians 5:16).” We need to process and understand the perfect will of the Lord for purpose and clarity in our walk (Ephesians 5:17). This means that it is foolish then to spend time in debauchery (partying it up, playing around, seeking selfish pleasure) by things such as some under the influence of alcohol. Instead, we are to come under the influence of the Holy Spirit who can fill us and control us for every good work of God (Ephesians 5:18). Paul lists some of the fruits of that Spirit filled life. People that are on track with God will make melody with their hearts by singing (praising) psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs and giving of continual thanks. They will submit to one another in humble service and reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:19-21). *Application* We will either be controlled by the Lord and the good things of His Spirit in life, or we will follow the wide road to destruction and submit ourselves to the evil ways of the world (Matthew 7:13). There are really only two choices we can make before God, yes or no. Decide, who you will choose, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).” Expose the darkness and walk in the victorious Light!
-Now some instructions and encouragement are given for families in the context of husband and wife relating to Christ and His body, the church. The whole idea revolves around this idea of submission to one another, which is a major theme in the chapter (Ephesians 5:2, 21). Husbands should submit to their wives as the head of the home, just like Christ did in a giving up of Himself for the common good and benefit. This includes deep and abiding love that is genuine with sanctification (setting apart, holiness) and cleansing. Loving your wife is the same as loving yourself and the point that we are all in this together as a union is reiterated. The wives are to submit to their husbands, as to the Lord, in everything. They must recognize the authority that God has placed in their lives for protection and security with reverence and respect (Ephesians 5:22-33). *Application* Headship in the home starts with a loving, submissive man in total and selfless love for his wife whom he cherishes with all his heart. This is how Christ loves us and gives of Himself for our well being and eternal hope. We are to be imitators of Him. This love must be reciprocated by the wife, and in the big context the church of the Lord (His bride and body), in faithful obedience and submission out of total respect. Our problems in marriage and in the church of the Lord are, at the grass roots, selfishness. We get into trouble when we serve our own needs above the other. This is where pride, domineering, and rebellion creep in and destroy all that God wants to do in a marriage and in His church. Meditate long and hard on these Scriptural principles and you will do well. Now you know, so go love your spouse and your church!
Verses to Memorize- Ephesians 5:18, 20-21