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Theme: The church will be a bride; the engagement of the church; the experience of the church; the expectation of the church
There is really a mingling of images here. In chapter 4 the church is called a new man, and now the church is to be a bride. The importance of this chapter is on the future . . . the church will be a bride. The church is NOT a bride today . . . she is a new man walking in the world, and the church is espoused (engaged) to Christ but is not yet married to Him. The wedding has not taken place yet. The church will be a bride with Christ AFTER the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18).
Rev. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (KJV)
Rev. 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. (KJV)
On this Earth today, we are to walk as the future bride of Christ. We are engaged now. This is what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: 2 Cor. 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (KJV)
When a girl is engaged and preparing for her wedding, she does not have time for her old boyfriends. She is engaged (promised), and she has no interest in them anymore. SO . . . Can we who are engaged to Christ, live as the world lives? NO way! We are going to be presented to Christ Jesus as His bride someday, and then we shall live with Him throughout all eternity, and He is going to be our Lord and our Master.
Chapter 5 continues with the practical exhortations (urgings, warnings) begun in chapter 4. It contains the following points, telling us how we should live in this evil world:
#1. TRUE Christians must be followers of God, and to walk in love (verses 1-2).
#2. TRUE Christians must avoid the immoral and impure practices of the unbelieving heathens around us, and we must completely put off the evils and sins in which even they themselves had indulged (Eph.4:22), before we were converted to Christianity (verses 3-17).
#3. Paul cautions them against the over-use of wine, and the carousing which goes along with that. He urges them instead to be involved in the exercises to which the Holy Spirit would prompt them, and to praise and thank God for all things (verses 15-20).
#4. He urges them to a shared subjection; and especially instructs wives the duty of being subject to their husbands (verses 21-24).
#5. The chapter closes with a statement of the duty of husbands to love their wives, revealed by that which Christ showed for the church (verses 25-33).
An Appeal to Brotherly Love (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Because God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you, and for that reason, you must be followers of God and imitators of Him. TRUE Christians must resemble God’s loving kindness, especially in His awesome love and pardoning goodness, for if they do not live a life of God (Eph.4:18), they do not please God.
Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (KJV)
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children . . . especially in being kind, and forgiving injuries (Mat.5:45,48) . . .so that this relates to the last verse of the former chapter.
Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. (KJV)
And walk in love . . . our whole lifestyle should revolve around godly love.
As Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us . . . to die for us (Gal.2:20), as the greatest argument of His love (Jn.15:13; Rom.5:8).
An offering and a sacrifice to God . . . Christ gave Himself as an Offering, a Sacrifice that only He could provide on our behalf, for He paid the penalty for sin that we could NEVER have paid! That is LOVE!
For a sweet-smelling savour . . . this is a clear-cut reference to the Cross. It makes the death of Christ MUCH more than the public execution of a criminal. The Cross was the brazen altar where the Lamb of God was offered as the burnt sacrifice. That Sacrifice by Jesus takes away the sin of the world. It identifies Christ with every sacrifice that was offered in the Old Testament by God's command, which all pointed to Him. A sweet-smelling savour means Jesus’ sacrifice was highly acceptable and pleasing to God. It is in view of the substitutionary death of Christ upon the Cross that the believer is able to reach such an exalted plane of love. Remember that love is first on the list of the fruit of the Spirit in (Gal.5:22).
Cautions Against Numerous Sins (Ephesians 5:3-14)
Filthy lusts must be rooted out of your life. These sins must be feared and hated. What follows not only cautions against immoral and lustful acts of sin, but against what many people may make light of . . . that being things that are so far from being profitable, like false doctrine from false teachers that pollute and poison the hearers. Our lives should show itself as suits TRUE Christians, in what may always lead to God's honor and glory.
Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; (KJV)
But fornication . . . a common vice among the heathen then as it is now, and one into which they were in special danger of falling (Rom.1:29; 1 Cor.6:18).
And all uncleanness . . . all other unlawful, immoral lusts whereby men defile themselves. Impurity of life (Rom.1:24; Gal.5:19; Eph.4:19; Col.3:5). All uncleanness includes ALL forms of immorality.
Or covetousness . . . greed, an insatiable desire of gratifying their lusts (Eph.4:19), or an immoderate desire of gain, which was usual in cities of great trade, as Ephesus was (verse 5).
Let it not be once named among you as becometh saints . . . not heard of, not mentioned (Ps.16:4; 1 Cor.5:1). They should be pure and holy, not in their bodies and minds only, but in their words too.
Ephesians 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. (KJV)
Neither filthiness . . . obscenity in speech, filthy communication (Col.3:8).
Nor foolish talking . . . foolish, show-off, vain speech, unprofitable, to the hearers. It means that kind of talk which is senseless, stupid, foolish; which is not fitted to instruct, edify or profit. TRUE Christians’ goal should be to have their conversation sensible, serious, sincere remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, "that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment," (Mat.12:36).
Nor jesting . . . flippant, joking, teasing.
The sins described here are those which prevail among unbelievers. These are the common sins in the world today. All of them have to do with low forms of immorality. Paul is saying that the child of God cannot make a habit of the above sins. Even a slight tolerance brings about a disgust and agony of soul. If you can get into any sin and not be troubled by it, you are NOT a TRUE child of God. BUT . . . if there is conviction in your heart, you can rise and go to your Father, just as the prodigal son did (Luke 15). You are a son of the Father, and only sons want to go to the Father's house. I have never heard of a pig that wanted to go there. The sins listed here are low sins which characterize the ungodly person. STAY AWAY FROM THEM!
Fornication is accepted by the world as a norm today. It is a sin that is looked upon as not being very bad. It has been called the new morality. Fornication is a sin. Regardless of where you are or who you are, if you are living in fornication today, you cannot be a child of God. A child of God can confess a sin and come back into fellowship with God . . . BUT . . . a TRUE child of God cannot confess a sin and then keep on living in that sin. That is proof that such a person is NOT a child of God.
Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (KJV)
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater . . . because he serves Mammon (money) instead of God, loves his riches more than God, and places his hope in them instead of God.
Hath any inheritance . . . any person who keeps on in the above sins, or any sin, without remorse and repentance, has NO inheritance in Heaven. Only those who are heirs of God, or joint heirs with Christ (Rom.8:17), have a mansion waiting (Jn.14:2-3); and an incorruptible inheritance (1 Pet.1:4), waiting for them. ALL those that persevere and keep practicing such sins, Paul calls children of disobedience (verse 6). BEWARE!!! Also see: (Eph.2:2; Col.3:6).
In the kingdom of Christ and of God . . . this is not two different kingdoms, but one and the same, which belongs to God by nature, and to Christ as Mediator (Gal.3:19-20; 1 Tim.2:5; Heb.8:6; 9:15; 12:24). What Paul means is, that there is absolutely NO coming into the Kingdom of God except by Christ (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12).
It is very clear here that the unregenerate man (the old man, unbelievers, those who reject Christ, unsaved), who practices these sins has NO part in the Kingdom of Christ and God. If a professing Christian keeps on practicing these sins, he immediately catalogs himself . . . no matter what his testimony may be on Sunday or what position he may have in the church! Such a person is saying to the lost world that he is NOT a TRUE child of God. Anyone who keeps living in the corruption of the flesh reveals that he/she is a child of the devil (1 Jn.3:10), a child of disobedience (Eph.2:2; 5:6; col.3:6). BEWARE!!!
TRUE Christians: http://hisservants.org/christian_workers_h_s.htm
Unless a person possesses Christ in their heart and life, it is useless to profess Christ to the world (claim they are a Christian). God knows all hearts! You may be able to fool the world but you will NEVER fool God!
Five Groups Who Will NOT Inherit God's Kingdom
#1. Whoremongers . . . male prostitute; a sexually immoral man. Fornicator (1 Cor.5:9-11; 6:9; Heb.12:16). Whoremonger (Eph.5:5; 1 Tim.1:10; Heb.13:4; Rev.21:8; 22:15).
#2. Unclean persons . . . . homosexual, pervert (Lk.4:33). See #3 in 17 in Works of the flesh.
#3. Covetous men . . . envy, jealous, greed (Lk.12:15).
#4. Deceivers . . . cheaters, con artists, liars, frauds (Eph.5:6; 2 Tim.3:13; Tit.1:10; 3:3; Rev.12:9; 20:3,8).
#5. Children of disobedience . . . devil’s children, hypocrites, unbelievers (Eph.2:2-3; 5:6; Col.3L6; 1 Cor.6:9).
Seventeen Works of the Flesh
#1. Adultery . . . . unlawful sexual relations between men and women, single or married (Mat.15:19; Mk.7:21; Jn.8:3; Gal.5:19). Forbidden: (Mat.5;27-28; 19:18; Mk.10:19; Lk.16:18; 18:20; Jn.8:4; Jam.2:11).
#2. Fornication . . . same as adultery above including all manner of other unlawful relations (Mat.5:32)..
#3. Uncleanness . . . complete opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion (Gal.6:19; Mat.23:27; Rom.1:21-32; 6:19; 2 Cor.12:21; Eph.4:19; 5:3; 1 Thes.2:3; 4:7; 2 Pet.2; Jude).
#4. Lasciviousness . . . immorality, licentiousness, lustfulness, unchastity, and lewdness (Mk.7:22; 2 Cor.12:21; Gal.5:19; Eph.4:19; 1 Pet.4:3; Jude 1:4). Wantonness (Rom.13;13; 2 Pet.2:18) and filthy (2 Pet.2:7). Lasciviousness is promoting or partaking of that which tends to produce lewd emotions, anything tending to nurture sex sin and lust.
#5. Idolatry . . . image-worship, like the Catholics and others. (1 Cor.10:14; Gal.5:20; Col.3:5; 1 Pet.4:3). Idolatry includes ANYTHING on which affections are passionately set; extravagant admiration of the heart (Eph.5:5; Col.3:5).
#6. Witchcraft . . . sorcery, dealing with evil spirits; magical incantations and casting spells and charms upon one by means of drugs and potions of various kinds (Gal.5:20; Rev.9:21; 18:23; 21:8; 22:15). Do NOT mess with the devil! You will lose!
#7. Hatred . . . enmity (Lk.23:12; Rom.8:7; Eph.2:15-16; Jam.4:4); hatred is the opposite of godly love (Gal.5:20). Bitter dislike, abhorrence, malice and ill will against anyone; tendency to hold grudges against or be angry at someone.
#8. Variance . . . (Rom.1:29). Dissensions, discord, quarreling, debating; and disputes.
#9. Emulations . . . envies, jealousies; determined to excel at the expense of another; trying to surpass and out do others; uncurbed rivalry spirit in religion, business, society, and other fields of endeavor. Zeal (Jn.2:17; Rom.10;2; 2 Cor.7:11; 9:2; Phil.3:6; Col.4:13). Fervent mind (2 Cor.7:7). Envy (Acts 13:45; Rom.13;13; 1 Cor.3:3; 2 Cor.12:20; Jam.3:14-15). Jealousy (2 Cor.11:2). Indignation (Acts 5:17; Heb.10:27). Emulation (Gal.5:20).
#10. Wrath . . . anger, fury, rage. Wrath (Gal.5:20; Lk.4:28; Acts 19:28; 2 Cor.12:20; Eph.4:31; Col.3:8; Heb.11:27; Rev.12:12; 14:8,10,19; 15;1,7; 16:1; 18:3). Indignation (Rom.2:8). Fierceness (Rev.16:19; 19:15). Wrath is raging passions; domestic and civil turmoil; rage; determined and lasting anger.
#11. Strife . . . conflict, contention, fighting (Gal.5:20; 2 Cor.12:20; Phil.2:3; Jam.3:14,16). Contention (Phil.1:16; Rom.2:8). Strife is disputations, jangling; strife about words; angry arguments; fighting for superiority or advantage; determined effort to equal or pay back in kind the wrongs done to one.
#12. Seditions . . . divisions (Rom.16:17; 1 Cor.3:3). Seditions are parties, and factions (Gal.5:20). It is popular disorder; stirring up strife in religion, government, home, or any other place.
#13. Heresies . . . false doctrine, false teaching (Gal.5:20; 2 Pet.2:1).
#14. Envyings . . . jealousy, resentment, greed (Gal5:21; Mat.27:18; Mk.15:10; Rom.1:29; Phil.1:15; 1 Tim.6:4; Tit.3:3; Jam.4:5; 1 Pet.2:1). Envy is pain, ill will, and jealousy at the good fortune or blessings of another; the most dishonorable of all degrading and disgraceful passions.
#15. Murders . . . to kill, including abortion. Murder happens when something spoils or mars someone’s happiness. It really is hatred (1 Jn.3:15). Murder starts in the heart (Mat.15:18).
#16. Drunkenness . . . intoxicated; a slave to drink (Gal.5:21; Lk.21:34; Rom.13:13).
#17. Revellings . . . rioting, rebelling, revolting (Rom.13;13; Gal.5:21; 1 Pet.4:3). Revellings are lascivious and boisterous feastings, with obscene music, and other sinful activities; immoral pleasure; carousing.
Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. (KJV)
Let no man deceive you with vain words . . . . Paul clearly warns not to let anyone, by clever plans, persuade you that there will be no danger from practicing these vices. Vain words . . . mean false and deceitful, which can never secure to you the liberty they promise you, saying that those things are really not sins, or that they really are not so dangerous. BEWARE!!! Many are the false teachers today in this world! Smiley faces in the pulpits speaking sweet, worthless words only to get you to send them money! BEWARE!!! They are NOT bringing you Truth!
For because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience . . . or "sons of disobedience" (Eph.2:2-3). The children of unbelief in doctrine (Deut.32:20), are "children of disobedience" in practice, and these are "children of wrath" (Eph.2:2-3; 5:6; 6:4; Col.3:6). Dear friend, the holy and righteous wrath of God shall indeed come upon ALL the children of disobedience on Judgment Day. BEWARE!!!
Vain words: (Isa.29:13; Jer.29:8-9; Mat.15:9; Col.2:18-22; 1 Tim.1:4; 4;1-3,6-7; Tit.1:14; Heb.13:9). Unbelief is disobedience!
Ephesians 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. (KJV)
Be not ye therefore partakers with them . . . children of God (TRUE Christians) must NOT act as your fellow citizens do; nor go along with their views on life, and they are to avoid vain words that lead you astray from the narrow path of truth, because of the FACT that the wrath of God will be poured out on the children of disobedience because of these sins. TRUE children of God CANNOT participate in them without inviting the displeasure and judgment of God down on them. Will a child of God sometimes go astray? Yes! And when he/she does, God will judge him/her. David sinned (2 Sam.11). God judged David. When David sinned, God laid the lash on his back and never took it off. "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world" (1 Cor.11:31-32). IF you can sin and get by with it, you are NOT a child of God. WHY? Because God must condemn you with the world, and that would mean that you are not saved. BUT . . . when a child of God sins, God will chasten you (Heb.12:5,7,10,11), He will take you to the woodshed immediately! If God does NOT chasten you, you are in a dreadful condition. It means you are not His child, because God does not spank the devil's children. Heb.12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (KJV) . . . The devil’s child, NOT God’s child! (1 Jn.3:10).
Fifteen Commands for Christians in Ephesians Chapter 5
#1. Be not partakers with them (verses 5-7).
#2. Walk as children of light (verses 8-9).
#3. Prove what is acceptable to the Lord (verse 10).
#4. Have no fellowship with the works of darkness (verses 11-13).
#5. Reprove the works of darkness (verses 11-13).
#6. Awake from spiritual sleep and death (verse 14).
#7. Walk circumspectly (verse 15).
#8. Walk as wise men (verses 15 & 17).
#9. Redeem the time (verse 16).
#10. Understand the will of God (verse 17).
#11. Be not drunk with wine (verse 18).
#12. Be filled with the Spirit (verse 18).
#13. Enlighten yourselves with hymns and spiritual songs (verse 19).
#14. Give thanks to God in Jesus' Name (verse 20).
#15. Submit yourselves to each other (verse 21).
Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (KJV)
For ye were sometimes darkness . . . while you still lived as the devil’s child, you lived in darkness, and you did crimes.
But now are ye light in the Lord . . . when you were an unbeliever, you lived in spiritual darkness, serving many canal lusts and pleasures, but now ye have the light, the wisdom and teaching of the Gospel which come from God.
Walk as children of the light . . . (Jn.1:4-5), let the world see that ye are not slaves to the flesh, but free, willing, rational servants of the Most High God; not ruthless followers of devil gods.
In the Bible, Light is always associated with God and good, while darkness is associated with the devil and evil.
Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) (KJV)
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) . . . the fruit of the Spirit (Light) is in direct contrast with "the unfruitful works of darkness" (verse 11). This verse is parenthetic, meaning it gives us a little more information. Paul tells the Ephesians and us, we must walk as children of light, meaning in all good works and words, "for the fruit of the Spirit (Light); consists in all goodness . . . as opposed to malice (Eph.4:31), righteousness as opposed to covetousness (Eph.5:3), and truth as opposed to lying (Eph.4:25). Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (KJV)
Ephesians 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. (KJV)
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord . . . by walking in the light, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, according to the commands of the Gospel, you shall be able to please Him well in all things. Rom.12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (KJV)
Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (KJV)
Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them . . . do NOT practice them yourselves, but do NOT join with others in them, by consent, advice, assistance, or any other way in which you may be defiled by them. The unfruitful . . . means bringing forth evil fruit, destructive, pernicious (Mat.7:16,20; Rom.6:21; Gal.6:8). Unfruitful: (Mat.13:22; Mk.4:19; 1 Cor.14:14; Tit.3:14; 2 Pet.1:8). Works of darkness . . . wicked works, sin, so called because they proceed from darkness in the mind, the ignorance of God, and they are put upon people by the devil, the prince of darkness, and because they are afraid of the light. (Rom.13:12). But rather reprove them . . . persuade them, not only by your words, but by your actions, which is contrary to them, and will be evidence to them, and rebuke them as being, works of darkness (Lev.19:17; Mat.18:15).
2 Cor. 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (KJV)
Ephesians 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. (KJV)
For it is a shame even to speak of those things . . . and much worse to have fellowship with them in them (Rom.1:24-32).
Which are done of them in secret . . . the darkness adds boldness, as if what men did not see, and God did not observe. The wicked things secretly done by them, is a shame even to speak, for the details could only defile the teller.
Ephesians 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. (KJV)
This verse speaks of the all wicked things done in secret.
But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light . . . nothing but the light will do the work . . . and TRUE children of God are now light. Children of Light: (Lk.1:79; 2:32; 8:16; 11:33; 1 Thes.5:5; 1 Pet.2:9; 1 Jn.2:10)
For whatsoever doth make manifest is light . . . for everything that is being clearly exposed to the pure day, is light. Happy are they whose word and life, pierce the dark shadows and carry there the Lord's life-giving light!
We must walk as children of light, as having knowledge and holiness. These works of darkness are unfruitful, no matter how much profit they may boast; for they ALL shall end in the total destruction of the unrepentant sinner. There are many ways of assisting, or taking part in the sins of others: praise, advice, agreement or cover up. And my friend, IF we share with others in their sins, we must also expect to share in their plagues. BEWARE!!! IF we do NOT rebuke the sins of others, we have fellowship with them. A TRUE Christian will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do. We must understand that sin is sin, and it is absolutely shameful, and we must see it as breaking God's Holy Law. A TRUE Christian CANNOT sit on the fence! He must NOT take part in sin and he must NOT be in harmony with any sin. God says the sin is WRONG and we must agree with God . . . IF we do not agree with God, we agree with the sinner. Be very careful dear friend.
Ephesians 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. (KJV)
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light . . . this is a command that is not possible for anyone to obey. So . . . what does Paul mean by this? HOW can a person awake from the dead? HOW can a person awake out of spiritual death? What is spiritual death? For more on different deaths, see: http://www.hisservants.org/death_then_what_1.1.htm
I think what Paul means here is either that the believers who have fallen into a spiritual stupor should wake up, or that unbelievers should stop quenching the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives.
This verse is not a direct quote from Scripture but may have been taken from a hymn well known to the Ephesians (Isa.26:19; 51:17; 52:1; 60:1; Mal.4:2). Paul was most likely appealing to the Ephesians to wake up and realize the dangerous condition into which some of them had been slipping. I think it applies to us today as well. Many Christians get too comfortable in their position and fall away from their stand in Christ. BEWARE!!!
Warning to Contrary Behavior (Ephesians 5:15-21)
Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (KJV)
See then that ye walk circumspectly . . . being called to rebuke the evil lifestyle of others, Paul.
Not as fools . . . who lack spiritual wisdom, and through carelessness fall into sin or error, even though they were in the light of the Gospel.
But as wise . . . those that are taught of God, and are endued with wisdom from above, which comes in agreement with the will of God.
Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (KJV)
Redeeming the time . . . or buying the opportunity: a comparison taken from merchants, that diligently watch the time for buying and selling, and easily part with their pleasure for gain. It may mean to deny yourselves comfort and pleasure, to gain an opportunity to do good.
Because the days are evil . . . because of the wickedness of those that live in them, or because of men's hatred of you, and so deprive you of the opportunity of doing good, or expose you to dangers for doing it. By referring to these days as evil, Paul was communicating his sense of urgency because of evil's popularity. We too need the same sense of urgency because our days are also difficult. We must keep our standards high, act wisely, and do good any time we can.
Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (KJV)
Wherefore be ye not unwise . . . do not become like the heathens (verse 12).
But understanding what the will of the Lord is . . . understanding is diligently considering what the will of the Lord is, it is this understanding of which your chief wisdom consists. It is the will of God that ye should be sober, chaste, holy, and pure. We all must get a full understanding of this; and acquaint ourselves with God's will, that we may know how to honor and glorify Him.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (KJV)
And be not drunk with wine . . . drunkenness was a danger to which they were exposed, and a vice to which those around them were very much addicted (Lk.21:34). It is not unlikely that this verse refers to the orgies of Bacchus, or to the festivals celebrated in honor of that heathen god. He was "the god of wine," and, during those festivals, men and women regarded it as an acceptable act of worship to become drunk, and with wild songs and cries, run through the streets, fields and vineyards. To this wicked behavior, Paul instead suggests psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (verse 19, Col.3:16), as a much more appropriate method of devotion. This type of Christian worship stands out in strong contrast and opposition to the wild and immoral habits of the heathen.
But be filled with the Spirit . . . the Holy Spirit, at times compared to water (Jn.4:14; 7:37-39), or the joy of the Spirit (Gal.5:22), in opposition to being filled with wine (Acts 2:13), and that carnal entertainment which is caused by it. We should NOT be satisfied with just a little of the Spirit, but seek for a greater measure of Him, so as to be filled with the Spirit (Ps.36:8; Jn.3:34; 4:14; 6:35; 7:37-39).
Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (KJV)
Speaking . . . in opposition to the vain and lewd talk of drunkards over their overflowing cups.
To yourselves . . . among yourselves, both in church assemblies and families.
In psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs . . . under these worshipful words, Paul recommends all manner of singing to their over-all edification and God's glory. Some say that psalms were sung with musical instruments; hymns contained only matter of praise; and spiritual songs were, doctrinal, prophetical, and historical (Col.3:16).
Singing and making melody in your heart . . . not only with your voice, but with inward, heart-felt affection and emotion, contrary to the hypocrites.
To the Lord . . . to the honor and glory of God. When we sing to the Lord in a worship service, it must be because we love Him and are eternally grateful for all He has done for us.
Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (KJV)
Giving thanks always . . . God gives us fresh blessings and mercies daily! We must as TRUE children of God, for that reason, continue our thanksgiving throughout the entire course of our lives. We must never grow weary of loving Him, thanking Him, honoring Him and singing praises to Him.
For all things . . . all of His mercies . . . and too . . . all the afflictions that may come, for it is those afflictions that we learn just how good God really is to us! Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV) 1 Thes. 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)
Unto God and the Father . . . God even the Father, is the Fountain of all our good.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . only in JESUS’ Name, and by His merit alone, all good things are given to us, and only by JESUS, by whom we offer up all our prayers, and praises, and spiritual services, that they may be accepted by God the Father.
Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (KJV)
Submitting yourselves one to another . . . to those to whom ye ought to be subject in natural, civil, or church relations.
In the fear of God; either for fear of offending God, the Author of all power, who commands this subjection; or so far as is consistent with the fear of God, and so in those things which are not forbidden of Him.
I would like to make a comment here. The word submit is one that many people do not like. They simply do not like the idea of submitting (giving in to; succumbing, surrendering to, yielding to, conceding to) to anyone! Here in Ephesians, we have this word, and it is something that a TRUE child of God MUST do, whether you like it or not. May I make a suggestion: consider that submit means to cooperate voluntarily. Maybe then you won’t hate it so much. See our article on Submission: http://hisservants.org/submission_and_servanthood_h_s.htm
The Duties of Husbands and Wives Are Enforced by the Spiritual Relationship Between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33)
The duty of wives is, to submit to their husbands in the Lord, which includes honoring and obeying them, from a standard of love to them. The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure, and constant, aside from her failures. Christ gave Himself for the church, that He might sanctify it in this world, and glorify it in the next, that He might bestow on all His members a standard of holiness, and deliver them from the guilt, the pollution, and the power of sin, by the influences of the Holy Spirit, of which water baptism was the outward sign. The church and believers will not be without spot or wrinkle until they come to glory (Eph.5:27; 2 Pet.3:14). But only those who are sanctified now, shall be glorified hereafter (Rom.8:30). All the duties of marriage are included in unity and love. And while we adore and rejoice in the awesome love of Christ, let husbands and wives learn their duties to each other. The worst evils could be prevented, and many painful effects could be avoided.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (KJV)
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands . . . wives must honor and obey their husbands.
As unto the Lord . . . for the Lord's sake who hath commanded it, so that the wife cannot be subject to one without being subject to the other (1 Cor.11:3-9). The duty of the submission of the wife to her husband is elsewhere ordered in the Scriptures (1 Pet.3:1; Col.3:18; Tit.2:5). I think that Christianity is intended to elevate the character of the wife, and to make her a fit companion of an intelligent and pious husband. It does NOT intend to destroy all lowering of rank and authority. Man, by the fact that he was first created; that the woman was taken from him; that he is better qualified for ruling than she is, is evidently designed to be at the head of the little community that constitutes a family. In many other things the woman may be his equal; in loveliness, grace, beauty, tenderness and gentleness, she may be far his superior; but these are not the qualities adapted for government. God has given that privilege to man; and no family prospers where that arrangement is violated. Within proper limits, it is the duty of the wife to obey, or to submit herself to her husband. Consider the following:
Four Commands for Wives
#1. Submit to their husbands as to Christ (Eph.5:22).
#2. Recognize the headship of their husbands (Eph.5:24).
#3. Be subject to their husbands (Eph.5:24).
#4. Reverence their husbands (Eph.5:33).
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (KJV)
For the husband is the head of the wife . . . (1 Cor.11:3).
As Christ is the head of the church . . . just as Christ rules over the church, and has a right to direct and control it, so too
For the husband is the head of the wife . . . superior to her by God's ordination in authority as the head in the natural body.
Even as Christ is the head of the church . . . (Eph.1:22; Col.1:18). By likeness, Christ being the Head of the church in a more excellent way than the husband is of the wife.
And he is the saviour of the body . . . Christ is the Saviour of His church, represented as His body (Eph.1:23). The idea here seems to be, that as Christ gave Himself to save the church; as He practiced self-denial, and made it an object of intense love to preserve that church, so too should the husband manifest a similar love to make his wife happy, and to keep her from need, affliction and pain. The husband should regard himself as her natural protector; as bound to provide for her needs; and obligated to comfort her in trials, even as Christ does the church. This is a beautiful picture of the spirit which a husband should reveal in the care which Christ has shown for His "bride," the church (Eph.5:25-29).
Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (KJV)
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ . . . the church to Christ, is the example of that of the wife to the husband.
So let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing . . . every lawful thing; for it is not said that the wives should obey their husbands in anything criminal, or in anything harmful to their souls. IF the husband is an enemy to true religion, and uses his authority to stop his wife from the means of grace which she finds valuable to her soul . . . she is not to obey him.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (KJV)
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church . . . with a sincere, pure, ardent and constant love and affection. As the husbands resemble Christ in the honor they have of being the heads of their wives, so too, they must likewise in performing the duty of loving them, under which all marital duties are understood.
And gave himself for it . . . when Christ gave Himself for the church, He proved how great His love was for us (Jn.15:13).
The duty of the wife is to obey; the right of the husband is to command. But the husband, in all his association with the wife, should manifest the same spirit which the Lord Jesus did towards the church. If a husband truly loves his wife this way, the wife will have no objection to submitting to the husband.
Eight Commands for Husbands
1. To be head of the wife (Eph.5:23).
2. To love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph.5:25).
3. To love their wives as their own bodies (Eph.5:28,33).
4. To nourish, bring up, care for, protect (Eph.5:29;6:4; Rev.12:6).
5. To cherish, to foster, warm in one's bosom (Eph.5:29; 1 Thes.2:7).
6. To be joined as one flesh (Eph.5:30-31).
7. To leave their parents for their wives (Eph.5:31).
8. To cleave to their wives (Eph.5:31; Mat.19;5).
Sixteen Facts about Christ and the Church
#1. Christ is Head of the church (Eph.5:23).
#2. Christ is Saviour of the church (Eph.5:23).
#3. The church must be subject to Christ in all things (Eph.5:24).
#4. Christ gave Himself for it (Eph.5:25).
#5. Christ sanctifies the church with the washing of the Word (Eph.5:26).
#6. Christ cleanses the church with the washing by the Word (Eph.5:26).
#7. Christ will receive the church to Himself (Eph.5:27; Jn.14:1-3; 1 Thes.4:16; 1 Cor.15:23,51-58; Col.3:4).
#8. Christ is making the church glorious (Eph.5:27; 1 Cor.6:11; 2 Cor.3:18).
#9. Christ is making it spotless (Eph.5:27).
#10. Christ is making it perfect (Eph.5:27).
#11. Christ is making it holy (Eph.5:27).
#12. Christ is making it spotless (Eph.5:27).
#13. Christ nourishes it (cares for, brings up, protects it (Eph.5:29).
#14. Christ cherishes the church (fosters, warms in His bosom (Eph.5:29).
#15. The church is part of Christ (Eph.5:30-32; 1 Cor.12:12-13,27).
#16. The church is one with Christ (Eph.5:30-32; 1 Cor.6:17; Rom.12:4-5).
Christ is the Head, Saviour, Sanctifier, Purifier, Glorifier, Builder, Nourisher, Cherisher, Unifier, Protector, and the Receiver of the Church (Eph.5:23-33).
Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (KJV)
That he might sanctify and cleanse it . . . purify from its filth (sin), and sanctify it unto God: meaning taking it out of a state of sin and misery into a state of grace and life, involving the remission of sin, and renewal of nature (new man Eph.2:15; 4:24; Col.3:10).
With the washing of water . . . water baptism (Rom.6:3-4), represents the baptism of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.12:13), in which the external washing represents our being sealed by the Spirit (2 Cor.1:22; Eph.1:13; 4:30; Rev.7:3-4), and displays the internal cleansing from both the guilt and defilement of sin by the Blood of Christ (Heb.9:14; Rev.1:5).
By the word . . . the Word of the Gospel, especially the Promise of justification (Rom.5:1; 1 Cor.1:30), and sanctification by Christ, which received by faith is a means of this sanctification, and without which the external washing is utterly useless.
Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (KJV)
That he might present it to himself . . . in the future in Heaven; that the whole church of the elect may be present with Him (Mat.25:31-46; 2 Cor.5:6,8; 1 Thes.4:17).
A glorious church . . . perfect in knowledge and holiness, shining with a heavenly glory, and fully conformed to Himself (1 Jn.3:2).
Not having spot . . . spot, meaning sin, in reference to spots in garments.
Or wrinkle . . . any leftover of the old Adam, in reference to wrinkles in the body, which are signs of old age, and imply defect.
Or any such thing . . . anything that is contrary to the beauty of the church, and might make her unpleasing to Christ her Husband.
Without blemish . . . with NO fault to be found in her. Maybe Paul refers to the Old Testament sacrifices, which were to be without blemish (Lev.1:3; Song 4:7), as they looked forward to the Perfect Sacrifice of Christ.
We have seen the past, present and future. Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. He is sanctifying the church with the washing of water by the Word. In the future the church will be presented to Him as a radiant bride with all sin removed. Only then will the church be holy and unblamable.
Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (KJV)
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies . . . with the same kind of love that they love their own bodies. The woman, at first was taken out of the man, and because of that, the wife may be said to be a part of her husband.
He that loveth his wife loveth himself . . . there is the same love and the same union of body between Christ and the Church (verses 30,32).
Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (KJV)
No man ever hated his own flesh . . . none in his right mind; no man hates his own body, just the diseases or miseries of it.
But nourisheth and cherisheth it . . . he feeds and clothes it, and supplies it with things necessary for life.
Even as the Lord the church . . . which He (Jesus) supplies with all things needed for salvation.
Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (KJV)
We are members of his body . . . His spiritual body (the church).
Of his flesh, and of his bones . . . as Eve was of Adam's (Gen.2:23), only that was in a carnal way, the church is in a spiritual way, as by the communication of Christ's Flesh and Blood to us by the Spirit, we are united to Him, and members of Him. In Christ: (Eph.1:1,3,10,12,20; 2:6,10;13; 3:6,11).
Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (KJV)
For this cause; because the woman was formed of the flesh and bones of the man. He refers to Adam's words (Gen.2:24).
Shall a man leave his father and mother . . . let a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.
They two shall be one flesh . . . one body, or one man, by the marriage bond, whereby each hath power over the other's body (1 Cor.7:4).
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (KJV)
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church . . . this that was spoken before, of a marriage union between Christ and the church, and its being of His flesh and of His bones, is a indeed a great mystery. Paul explains Christ's marriage with His church; although not an instituted type appointed by God to indicate this, yet a kind of natural type, as having a resemblance to it.
What is a mystery in Scripture? It is NOT a whodunit or a mystery story, and it is NOT something you wonder about: Was it the butler who committed the crime? A mystery in Scripture means that God is revealing something, that up to that time, He had not revealed. There are two elements which always enter into a New Testament mystery: #1. It cannot be discovered by man, for it is always a revelation from God; and #2. it is revealed at the right time and not concealed, and enough is revealed to establish the fact without all the details being disclosed.
There are fifteen mysteries in the New Testament:
#1. The mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven (Mat.13:3-50; Mk.4:11; Lk.8:10).
#2. The mystery of His will (Eph.1:9).
#3. The great mystery of Christ and His church (Eph. 5:32; Col.4:3).
#4. The mystery of the Gospel (Eph.6:19). ,
#5. The mystery of Israel's blindness during this age (Rom.11:25).
#6. The mystery of the faith (1 Tim.3:9).
#7. The mystery of the translation of living saints at the end of this age (1 Cor.15:51-52; 1 Thes.4:13-17).
#8. The mystery of the N.T. Church as one body composed of Jews and Gentiles (Eph.3:1-12; 6:19; Rom.16:25; Col.4:3).
#9. The mystery of the Church as the bride of Christ (Eph.5:23-32).
#10. The mystery of being in Christ (Gal.2:20; Col.1:26-27).
#11. The mystery of Christ as the incarnate fullness of the Godhead embodied, in whom all the divine wisdom for man subsists (1 Cor.2:7; Col.2:2,9).
#12. The mystery of godlikeness restored to man (1 Tim.3:16).
#13. The mystery of iniquity (2 Thes.2:7; Mat.13:33).
#14. The mystery of the seven stars (Rev.1:20).
#15. The mystery of the woman (Rev.17:5,7).
My friend, even with all these, God has NOT revealed everything to us. There are many things God has NOT told us, because it is not necessary for us to know. When it is necessary, He will reveal them to us.
Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (KJV)
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself . . . the word nevertheless brings us down to earth. This is the practical part about marriage. Dear friend, sin has marred this glorious relationship, just as it has marred everything else in the world! BUT . . . this relationship can be the best . . . IF you want it to be the best. Paul brings the reader back to the normal routine of Christian living in the home. "Let each love his wife as himself." This shows the kind of husband to whom the wife is to submit to! The husband and the wife in the home are to set forth in ease the mystery of the coming glory.
And the wife see that she reverence her husband . . . the union of husband and wife joins two persons in such a way that little can affect one without also affecting the other. Oneness in marriage does NOT mean losing your personality in the character of the other. It means caring for your spouse as you care for yourself, learning to anticipate his or her needs, helping the other person become all he or she can be. The creation story tells of God's plan that husband and wife should be one (Gen.2:24), and too, Jesus also referred to this plan (Mat.19:4-6).
There will be failures and defects on both sides, in the present state of human nature, yet this should not alter the relation. All the duties of marriage are included in unity and love. And while we rejoice in the awesome love of Christ, husbands and wives must learn their duties to each other. The worst evils could be prevented, and many painful effects could be avoided.
Book of Ephesians
Eph. ch.1 . . Eph. ch.2 . . Eph. ch.3 . . Eph. ch.4 . . Eph. ch.5 . . Eph. ch.6 . . Ephesians Special Comments