September 13th Ephesians 5 (The Church of Christ)
Be disciples of Christ
1: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 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 sweet smelling savour. 3: But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4: Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 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. 6: Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7: Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8: For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10: Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12: For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13: But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14: Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15: See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16: Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17: Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Paul is drawing his teaching to an end in this letter and so he continues to give practical instruction to them. This is not a separate part of his letter, rather these practical exhortations are built on the doctrine found in the earlier chapters. So says Paul in the light of what l have previously said, become therefore my dear children imitators of God and live lives which are an expression of love. In the same way that Christ loved us and gave himself as an offering in life and a sacrifice in death, as a wonderful sweet smelling sacrifice to God. And then Paul draws a sharp contrast. BUT do not let fornication, uncleanness and covetousness be even once named among you, because you are to live as the holy ones of God. Let there be no verbal obscenities, or talk which is utter foolishness, and dirty jokes, which are inappropriate for the believer. But rather we are to give thanks which our voices. You know for definitely that no pimp, or pervert, or lustful man or an idolater has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God. Do not let anyone deceive you with empty arguments (trying to tell you that these things are ok) because you know that it is because of these very things that the wrath of God comes on the ungodly. Do not join in with their sins. Paul, says, you were once in the darkness of sin but now you are the light of the Lord. So go on living as children of the light. If you live in the light then the fruit of the Spirit will be seen in your life in goodness, righteousness and truth. And you will be proving to yourself what is acceptable to the Lord. Do not have fellowship with those who practise the sinful works of darkness, which bear no fruit of the Spirit for God but rather reprove them. It is a shameful thing to even talk about the things that they do in secret. When you reprove them everything they do is brought into the light. And so wake up !! You that sleep in the grave, arise from the dead and Christ will give you light. And so think carefully and watch your step, be wise in everything you do. Make the best use of your time because these are evil days. Do not be unwise but know what the will of the Lord is. Do not be filled with wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit. And when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, lift up you voices in singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and making harmonies in your soul unto the Lord. And in all this give thanks to God for everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We might think of the Apostolic church as being dreary and quiet, far from it, they had hearts overflowing in thanksgiving and praise and made much use of psalms, hymn and spiritual songs. When we get to glory what great singing there will be.
- How does Paul warn the believers of the pitfalls of practical Christian living?
- What should be the response of Christians to wicked people – even if they call themselves Christians?
- What practical exhortations does Paul give Christians in this passage?