Ephesians Chapter 5
Ephesians 5:1 “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;”
“Be … followers of God”: The Christian has no greater calling or purpose than that of imitating his Lord. That is the very purpose of sanctification, growing in likeness to the Lord while serving Him on earth (Matt. 5:48).
The Christian life is designed to reproduce godliness as modeled by the Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. In whose image believers have been recreated through the new birth (Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Peter 1:14-16). As God’s dear children, believers are to become more and more like their heavenly Father (Matt. 5:48; 1 Peter 1:15-16).
Those who carry God’s name are to be “imitators” of His character. By His grace, it is possible to reflect Him seen in our present limitations. To know what God is like we must study His Word, His revelation of Himself and His great Self disclosure. The only way we can become imitators of God is for the Lord Jesus Christ to live His perfect life through us. We are totally dependent on His Spirit to become like Him.
Yet the more we learn of God’s character the more we learn how far above us He is and how impossible in ourselves it is fulfill the command to be like Him, to be absolutely perfect, just as He is.
A Christian is a believer in and a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what the verse above is saying also. If we really are Christians, then we should pattern our life after our Leader’s life. Children, who have honorable parents, will usually be honorable also. Parents are a living example to their children.
We are sons of God, if we are really Christians. We must follow the example that He gave us in Jesus. The great commission that Jesus gave all believers is found (in Mark 16):
Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
He said to heal the sick and many of the other things that He had done on this earth. If we belong to Jesus, we should be doing the things He would do.
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 sweet-smelling savor.”
“Christ also loved us … given himself for us”: The Lord’s the supreme example in His self-sacrificing love for lost sinners (4:32; Rom. 5:8-10). He took human sin upon Himself and gave up His very life that men might be redeemed from their sin, receive a new and holy nature, and inherit eternal life.
They are henceforth to be imitators of His great love in the newness and power of the Holy Spirit, who enable them to demonstrate divine love. Because forgiveness is the supreme evidence of God’s love, it will also be the most convincing proof of our love. Love will always lead us to forgive others just as love led God in Christ to forgive us.
The greatest evidence of love is undeserved forgiveness. Because Christ has paid the penalty for every sin, we have no right to hold any sin against any person, even a nonbeliever. Just as the depth of God’s love is shown by how much He has forgiven, the depth of our love is shown by how much we forgive.
Unforgiveness is also a measure of unbelief, because the person who feels no need for forgiveness feels no need for God. The person who sees the greatness of his own forgiveness by God’s love, will himself in love be forgiving. He forgives in love because his heavenly Father has forgiven in love, and he desires to be an imitator of His Father.
I believe Christianity to be a way of life. When we are saved that is not the end. We must walk in the salvation we have received. Every offering and sacrifice in the Old Testament law was fulfilled in Jesus.
To get the in-depth teaching on this, read the lessons in Leviticus. Jesus is the everlasting sacrifice and offering to God for all mankind.
“A sweet-smelling savor”: Christ’s offering of Himself for fallen man pleased and glorified His heavenly Father, because it demonstrated in the most complete and perfect way God’s sovereign, perfect, unconditional, and divine kind of love. Leviticus describes 5 offerings commanded by God for Israel. The first 3 were:
1. The burnt offering (Lev. 1:1-17), depicting Christ’s perfection;
2. The grain offering (Lev. 2:1-16), depicting Christ’s total devotion to God in giving His life to please the Father; and
3. The peace offering (Lev. 3:1-17), depicting His peacemaking between God and man. All 3 of these were a “soothing aroma to the Lord” (Lev. 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12, 3:5, 16).
The other two offerings, the sin offering (Lev. 4:1 – 5:13), and the guilt, or trespass, offering (Lev. 5:14 – 6:7), were repulsive to God because though they depicted Christ, they depicted Him as bearing sin (Matt. 27:46). While Christ was the sin bearer, God could not look on Him or rejoice in Him or be pleased in Him. In the end, when redemption was accomplished, the whole work pleased God completely.
Christ did not simply have a deep feeling and emotional concern for mankind. Nor did He sacrifice Himself for us because we were deserving. Romans 5:8, 10 tells us: “While we were yet sinners,” He gave Himself for us purely out of sovereign, gracious love, taking our sin upon Himself and paying its penalty in our behalf. And He continues to love us as believers, even though we continue to sin and fall short of His perfection and His glory.
Those who are given God’s nature through Jesus Christ are commanded to love as God loves. In Christ, it is now our nature to love just as it is God’s nature to love, because His nature is now our nature. For a Christian not to love is for him to live against his own nature as well as against God’s.
Lovelessness is therefore more than a failure or shortcoming. It is a sin, willful disobedience of God’s command and disregard of His example. If God’s love can reach out even to His enemies, how can we refuse to love our enemies? If He loves His imperfect children with a perfect love, how can we not love fellow believers, whose imperfections we share?
And if divine love led Christ to sacrifice Himself for unworthy and ungrateful sinners, how can we not give ourselves to fellow sinful people, unbelievers as well as believers, in His name?
Ephesians 5:3 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;”
“Fornication … covetousness (greed)”: In absolute contrast to God’s holiness and love, such sins as these exist (also in verse 5), by which Satan seeks to destroy God’s divine work in His children and turn them as far away as possible from His image and will.
Whatever God establishes, Satan will counterfeit. Where God establishes true love, Satan produces counterfeit love. Counterfeit love characterizes Satan’s children, those who are of the world, just as true love characterizes God’s children, those who are citizens of heaven.
Fornication (porneia, immorality) refers to all sexual sin, and all sexual sin is against God and against godly love. Loss of sexual control leads to its opposite, which is immorality and impurity (uncleanness). These consist of immoral thoughts, passions, ideas, fantasies, and every other form of sexual corruption.
The influence of the lustful world has been so pervasive and the church so weak and undiscerning that many Christians have become convinced that all sorts of sexual excesses and impurities are covered by grace or can be rendered morally safe if engaged in with the right attitude, especially if some scripture verse can be twisted to give seeming support.
Because of the strong sexual nature of human beings, sexual sins are powerful and can become perverted in unimaginable ways. If given free rein, sexual sins lead to complete insensitivity to the feelings and welfare of others, to horrible brutality, and frequently to murder as news stories testify daily.
As do many other Scriptures, this verse shows the close connection between sexual sin and other forms of impurity and greed. An immoral person is inevitably greedy. Such sins are so godless that the world should never have reason even to suspect their presence in Christians.
“As becometh saints” means that it is not proper for Christians or “saints” to be guilty of committing the sexual sins listed here. “Not be once named”, means such deeds should not even be the topic of normal conversation.
When we are saved, we are born again, not with a license to sin. We are a new man in Christ. We no longer live, but Christ liveth in us. The old man of sin is buried along with the lust of the flesh.
Christians are new creatures in Christ. We no longer have the desire in our heart to sin. We must walk in newness of life. All of the sins above are part of the old flesh man that was buried.
Ephesians 5:4 “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”
“Not convenient”: These three inappropriate sins of the tongue indicate any speech that is obscene and degrading or foolish and dirty, as well as suggestive and immoral. All such are destructive of holy living and godly testimony and should be confessed, forsaken, and replaced by open expressions of thankfulness to God (Col. 3:8). Convenient means “proper or fitting”.
“Filthiness” has to do with general obscenity, and talk that is degrading and disgraceful. It comes from the same Greek root as “disgraceful” (in verse 12), where Paul says that such vile things should not even be mentioned, much less participated in and is related to the term (in Col. 3:8), meaning dirty speech.
“Foolish talk, used only here in the New Testament, is derived from moros (which means dull or stupid and is the word from which we get moron), and lego (to speak). It is stupid talk, talk only befitting someone who is intellectually deficient. It is sometimes referred to as low obscenity, foolish talk that comes from the drunk or the gutter mouth. It has no point except to give an air of dirty worldliness.
“Jesting” refers to talk that is more pointed and determined. It carries the idea of quickly turning something that is said or done, no matter how innocent, into that which is obscene or suggestive. It is the filthy talk of a person who uses every word and circumstance to display his immoral wit (like a clever talk show host). But the low obscenity of silly talk and the “high” obscenity of coarse jesting come from the same kind of heart, the heart given over to moral filthiness.
Christians need not to do any of the things listed in the last three verses. We must not even give the appearance of evil. These sins are signs of a life full of sin. They come of those who are sold out to the flesh and the devil.
The unselfish and loving person, on the other hand, focuses his life and his concern on the needs of others. Instead of using others, he serves them. Instead of trying to turn the innocent into the immoral, he seeks to change the immoral into what is righteous and holy. He is thankful because the holy life is the satisfying life, and people see love for God in the thankful person.
Christians should spend all of their time doing good and giving thanks to God for the blessings He bestowed upon them.
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.”
“For this ye know”: Paul had taught this truth many times when he pastored the church at Ephesus and it should have been clear in their minds. God never tolerates sin, which has no place at all in His kingdom, nor will any person whose life pattern is one of habitual immorality, impurity, and greed (see verse 3), fornication, uncleanness and covetousness, be in His kingdom, because no such person is saved.
The “kingdom of Christ and of God” is a reference to the sphere of salvation where Christ rules the redeemed. Those who are characterized by the sins Paul has just condemned (in verses 3 and 4), will have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Such would contradict the truths of (Romans 6 and 2 Corinthians 5:17), as well as the instruction of (1 John), regarding the characteristics of believers.
This really tells it like it is. Our actions show to whom we belong to. If we are practicing the sins mentioned in the last few verses, we are not sold out to God. We are still living in sin. Therefore the life described here testifies to an unredeemed, sinful nature, no matter what relationship to Christ a person might claim to have.
A “whoremonger” is a male prostitute. The word comes from the word porno. The whoremonger would have to do with all unnatural sex, as well as adultery. This is speaking of all types of sexual sin that is classed by God as an abomination.
“Abomination” means disgusting sin. The unclean person here, is speaking of an unclean heart and soul. The covetous person wants things that do not belong to him. The “idolater” is someone who worships false gods.
You can easily see how God would say that people involved in this kind of sin have no reward waiting for them. These really are children of wrath.
Every person who is saved, and is therefore a part of that glorious rule of Christ and God, is instructed by the Holy Spirit and by the inclination of his new nature to forsake sin and to seek righteousness. The person whose basic life pattern does not reflect that orientation cannot claim God as his Father or the Kingdom of Christ and God as his inheritance.
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.”
“Deceive you”: No Christian will be sinless in this present life, but it is dangerously deceptive for Christians to offer assurance of salvation to a professing believer whose life is characterized by persistent sin and who shows no shame for that sin or hunger for the holy and pure things of God. They are headed for wrath (2:2), and believers must not partner in any of their wickedness (verse 7).
People will try to deny that those dominated with the sins in this chapter are damned to hell. Some will try to deny that, but Paul warns not to listen to them. Let no one deceive you with empty words, telling you that sin is tolerable and that God will not exclude unrepentant sinners from His kingdom. Empty words are full of error, devoid of truth and therefore they deceive.
Even worse than being a lost person who was committing these sins, would be someone pretending to be a child of God committing these sins. Judgment begins at the house of God.
The sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was that they disobeyed God. To be disobedient children of God is very serious. The wrath of God falls on these people. The way you could be deceived, is to believe that you would be above punishment from God.
God’s attitude toward perverted love and sexual sin is seen clearly (in Numbers 25:1-9), where the Israelites had relations with Moabite women and God slaughtered 24,000 of them. His attitude toward sexual sin has not changed and perverted love attracts God’s wrath like a fully lit city attracts enemy bombers.
Ephesians 5:7 “Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”
We must not fellowship with people involved in these sins. We might be guilty by association. It is strange how the ways of the sinner seem to be picked up more readily than the ways of the saint, when they fellowship together.
In a final warning, Paul says, “be not ye therefore partakers with them”. Don’t join the world in its evil, he says. Don’t be partners with them in wickedness. Be partners with Christ in righteousness. Don’t imitate the world, but rather be imitators of God, as beloved children (v.1).
Ephesians 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”
“Darkness … light”: “Darkness” describes the character of the life of the unconverted as void of truth and virtue in intellectual and moral matters (1 John 1:5-7).
The realm of darkness is presided over by the “power of darkness” (Luke 22:53; Col. 1:13), who rules those headed for “outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12; 2 Peter 2:17). Tragically, sinners love the darkness (John 3:19-21). It is that very darkness from which salvation in Christ delivers sinners.
John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Matthew 4:16 “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”
“Darkness” indicates that the readers used to be spiritually unenlightened, and accompanying this ignorance was immorality with its resultant guilt and misery. “Light” denotes that the recipients are now to be religiously informed. Their knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness.
Before we came to Christ our total existence, our being as well as our behavior, was characterized by darkness. There was no other aspect to our spiritual life than that of darkness. We were children of darkness and “sons of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6). We were not simply victims of Satan’s system but were contributors to it. We were not merely in sin; our very nature was characterized by sin.
It is difficult even for Christians to imagine that the law abiding, decent and pleasant unbelievers we run in to every day are children of Satan. Yet every person is either a child of the devil or a child of God.
There are no other kinds of spiritual childhood, although there obviously are degrees in both kinds as far as life style is concerned. But the unbelieving, well dressed, sophisticated philanthropist will spend eternity apart from God in the same hell as the demon serving witch doctor.
Walking in darkness is the condition of everyone, before they come to the Light of Jesus Christ. (In verses 8-14), the focus is on our imitating God in relation to light. As we have said, Light does away with darkness.
“You are the light of the world,” Jesus said (Matthew 5:14). Because we now share Christ’s own nature, we share in His light. Just as He is the “light of the world” (John 8:12), His people are also “the light of the world”. Because we are in the Lord, we who were once children of darkness are now children of light and it is such children that we should walk.
Ephesians 5:9 “(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)”
The three supreme characteristics or fruit of our walk as children of light are “all goodness and righteousness and truth”. These are the tests of true faith, of a true saving relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ.
A decision for Christ, church membership, faithful attendance at worship services, being baptized, financial support of the Lord’s work and many other such things are often used as evidence of salvation. Yes, the faithful Christian should do all of these things, but they are behaviors that are easily done in the flesh and are therefore unreliable in themselves as evidence.
On the other hand, the three characteristics Paul mentions here are spiritual works that cannot be achieved in the flesh. The “all” in this verse reflects the perfection of the divine standard. The “goodness” used here is like agape love that finds its fullest and highest expression in that which is willingly and sacrificially done for others.
The second test is “righteousness” and has to do first of all with our relationship to God. “To the one who does not work, but believes in His who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5; Eph. 4:24; Phil. 3:9). But righteousness also has to do with how we live. Those who are made righteous are commanded to live righteously, to present themselves “to God as those alive from the dead, and their members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13).
The third test is “truth” which has to do with honesty, reliability, trustworthiness and integrity in contrast to the hypocritical, deceptive and false ways of the old life of darkness.
Without that fruit (the three tests), there is no evidence of the life of God. “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,” Jesus warned, “but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Every person bears fruit of some kind. Those who are darkness bear bad fruit, and those who are light bear good fruit.
The person who does not bear some fruit of righteousness in his life has no claim on Christ. There is no such thing as a fruitless Christian. The complete absence of any fruit of goodness, righteousness and truth proves the complete absence of salvation (2:10).
This is speaking of that which is produced by walking in the light (1 John 5-7), namely moral excellence of heart, righteous behavior and truthfulness (honesty or integrity).
Spirit here, is speaking of the Holy Spirit of God. Fruit comes from whatever tree it is of. Peaches come from a peach tree and apples come from an apple tree. The fruit that came from the Holy Spirit would be goodness, righteousness and truth. The Holy Spirit brings all truth to the believer.
Our righteousness is the righteousness that Jesus gave us, when He took our sin.
Ephesians 5:10 “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”
“Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord”: “Trying to learn”, carries the idea of testing or proving to learn by clear and convincing evidence what is truly honoring to God. The point is that, as believers walk in the light of the truth, the knowledge of the Lord’s will becomes clear.
See (Romans 12:1-2), where Paul says the same thing, stating that it is only after presenting ourselves as living sacrifices to God that we can know His acceptable will. This relates to assurance of salvation also (see 1 Peter 1:5-11).
Because of constant temptations and solicitations to evil, believers must always be “proving” or discerning “what is” and what is not “acceptable unto the Lord.”
The desire of a true Christian is to please God in all that they do, and all that they are. With the Holy Spirit guiding, all our fruit would be pleasing to God.
Assurance of salvation cannot be reliably determined by what has happened in the past, no matter how dramatic or meaningful at the time. It can only be based with certainty on the evidence of present fruit being produced by a spiritual life.
Ephesians 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].”
“Have no fellowship … darkness”: Paul’s instruction is plain and direct: Christians are to faithfully live in righteousness and purity and have nothing at all to do with the evil ways and works of Satan and the world. The two ways of living are unalterably opposed to each other and mutually exclusive (1 Cor. 5:9-11; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14).
“Rather reprove them”: The Christians responsibility does not stop with his own rejection of evil. He is also responsible for exposing and opposing darkness wherever it is found, especially when it is found in the church.
The child of light should not become involved in evil even by association. To compromise God’s standards is to weaken our witness as well as our character. No act of unrighteousness is permissible. We are not even to have contact at all with a fellow believer who is openly sinning. “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people,” Paul said to the Corinthians.
I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler, not even to eat with such a one” (1 Cor. 5:9-11; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14).
“Reprove” is better translated “expose.” The believer’s duty is expressed here in two ways. Negatively, he is not to “have” and “fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,” that is, not to indulge in the sins of the unsaved.
Positively, he is to “expose” (reprove), those sins. That is, bring them to light and show them for what they really are, so that the unbeliever may see their hideous nature and their terrible consequences. To ignore evil is to encourage it; to keep quiet about it is to help promote it. We are to confront sin with intolerance.
When those around us see us helping rather than exploiting, and hears us talking with purity instead of profanity. And observe us speaking truthfully rather that deceitfully. Our example will itself be a rebuke of selfishness, unwholesome talk and falsehood. Simply refusing to participate in a dishonest business or social practice will sometimes be such a strong rebuke that it costs us our job or a friendship.
The works of those dwelling in darkness produce no profitable fruit. To fellowship with someone means that you are partakers with them. We should not only not join in with them in their evil deeds, but we should tell them of their evil deeds, so that they might be encouraged to change.
Ephesians 5:12 “For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”
“Shame even to speak”: Some sins are so despicable that they should be sealed off from direct contact and not even mentioned, much less discussed, except in order to contradict and oppose them.
Paul goes on to say that it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. Some things are so vile that they should be discussed in as little detail as possible, because even describing them is morally and spiritually dangerous. Positive proclamation of the pure truth in the light of the Word exposes all evil (Prov. 6:23; 2 Tim. 3:16).
“For” tells why the Christian must expose the sins of the lost. If it is shameful even to discuss their iniquities in decent company (verse 3), how much the worse is the committing of these sins. Hence, the need to bring them to light.
This speaking is as if you are condoning what they have done. Let their evil deeds be judged of God. Speaking of the devil and his works, even in condemnation, seems in some way to glorify them to some extent. It is best just not to mention them at all.
Ephesians 5:13 “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”
This phrase should probably be part of (verse 14), and is better translated “for it is light that makes everything visible.” The pure and illuminating light of God’s Word exposes all the secrets of sin. Our commission as children of light is to hold everything up to the light of Scripture, to expose and seek to remedy whatever is evil.
This verse may be paraphrased: “All sins that are exposed are made visible by the gospel, for whatever sin is made visible becomes light.”
When the Light of the Lord Jesus shines on anything, it is suddenly revealed what it really is. This Light is so bright that it reveals everything good and bad. The Light is a revealer. Most sin is done in total darkness to cover up the evil deed. The Light exposes everything. It cannot stay hidden, when the Light is shined on it.
Light is that which makes things manifest, that which shows them to be as they actually are. When sin is revealed, it loses its “hiddenness” and is seen for the ugliness it is.
Ephesians 5:14 “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
Using this quotation from (Isaiah 60:1), Paul extended an invitation for salvation to the unsaved, in order that they may be transformed from children of darkness into children of God’s holy light (Prov. 4:18). These words may have been part of an early church Easter hymn used as an invitation to unbelievers. They express a capsule view of the gospel (the invitations of Isaiah 55:1-3, 6, 7 and in James 4:6-10).
Since exposing sin is beneficial, God invites the unbeliever (“thou that sleepest”), to turn from his sin (“arise from the dead”), with the promise that he will be granted the spiritual enlightenment and help needed (“Christ shall give thee light”).
Those living in sin are for all good purposes dead. When they receive the Light of Jesus, they receive life. When you receive Light, then you must let that Light shine brightly for all the world to see.
Ephesians 5:15 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,”
“Walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise”: To live morally is to live wisely. Biblically, an “unwise man” is not so named because of intellectual limits, but because of unbelief and the consequent abominable deeds (Psalm 14:1; Rom. 1:22). He lives apart from God and against God’s law (Proverbs 1:7, 22; 14:9), and can’t comprehend the truth (1 Cor. 2:14), or his true condition (Rom 1:21-22). Certainly, believers are to avoid behaving like fools (see Luke 24:25; Gal. 3:1-3).
The word that “circumspectly” was translated from means carefully, exactly, diligently, or perfect. This then is saying, walk on the narrow path that leads to life everlasting.
Its meaning: “therefore watch carefully how you live.” Paul commands all believers to “walk … as wise” men. Just as they are to walk in humility, unity, separation, love, and light, they are also to walk in wisdom. In other words, they are to live like the people they are. In Christ, we are one, we are separated, we are love, we are light, and we are wise, and what we do should correspond to what we are.
A fool wanders around on the broad path that leads to destruction. The believer begins his new life in Christ with all the wisdom necessary to live for His Lord, but he is also to continually grow in wisdom, that he can be even more mature, more faithful and more productive in His service. It is wise to follow on the narrow path that leads to heaven.
When Christians sin and fall into Satan’s traps, they do so because they live as unwise men, rather than as wise. They revert to following the wisdom of their old lives, which was really foolishness. As we learn from David and many others in scripture, believers are not immune from reverting to foolishness. The first way a believer plays the fool is by not believing God completely. He believes God for salvation but does not continue to believe Him in and for everything else.
Ephesians 5:16 “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
“Redeeming the time” (or, “making the most of every opportunity”): The Greek word for “time” denotes a fixed, measured, allocated season. We are to make the most of our time on the evil earth in fulfilling God’s purposes, lining up every opportunity for useful worship and service.
Be aware of the brevity of life. (Psalms 39:4-5; 89:46-47; James 4:14, 17).
Having sovereignly bounded our lives with eternity, God knows both the beginning and end of our time on earth. As believers, we can achieve our potential in His service only as we maximize the time He has given us. “Redeeming”, thus the idea of redemption is implied in this verse.
We are to redeem, buy up, all the time that we have and devote it to the Lord. The Greek is in the middle voice indicating that we are to buy the time up for ourselves, for our own use but in the Lord’s service. For His own reasons, God allows some of His children to live and serve far into old age. Others He grants only a few years or even a few weeks. But none of us knows how long or short his own allocation of time will be.
Contextually, the specific opportunity in view is that of exposing the sins of the lost and being a witness to them. “Because the days are evil” assigns a reason to seize each opportunity. It is because the sins being committed during these days are so evil. Our opportunities for freely doing righteousness are often limited.
When we have opportunity to do something for His name’s sake and for His glory, we should do so with all that we have. How God’s heart must be broken to see His children ignore or halfheartedly take up opportunity after opportunity that He sends to them. Every moment of every day should be filled with things good, things righteous, things glorifying to God.
People who have too much time on their hands and are not involved in productive activities, wind up getting into sin. Make use of your time. Do something good for God. In turn, you will be keeping yourself out of mischief.
The following Scripture shows one thing that happens when you are idle.
1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn [to be] idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
Less than a hundred years after Paul wrote the Ephesian epistle Rome was persecuting Christians with growing intensity and cruelty. Believers were burned alive, thrown to wild beasts and brutalized in countless other ways. For the Ephesian church the evil times were going to become more and more evil.
Several decades after Paul wrote this epistle, the Lord commended the church at Ephesus for its good works, perseverance and resistance to false teaching. Christ said in Rev. 2:2; Rev. 2:4: “But I have this against you that you have left your first love. Because the church continued to languish in its devotion to the Lord, its lampstand was removed, as Christ had warned it would be if the believers there failed to “repent and do the deeds they did at first” (Rev. 2:5).
Sometimes during the second century the church in Ephesus disappeared, and there has never been a congregation there since. Because the church at Ephesus did not heed Paul’s advice and the Lord’s own specific warning, it ceased to exist. Instead of helping redeem the evil days in which it existed, the church fell prey to them.
Ephesians Chapter 5 Questions
1. Be ye followers of God, as _______ ___________.
2. A Christian is a ________ in and a __________ of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. What should Christians pattern their life after?
4. What is the great commission Jesus gave to the Christians?
5. Walk in _____.
6. Every offering and sacrifice of the law was fulfilled for us in ________.
7. What 3 things should not be named among the saints?
8. When we are saved, we are born again, not with a license __ ___.
9. Christians are new __________ in Christ.
10. We must walk in _________ of life.
11. What things are not convenient in verse 4?
12. What are the sins a sign of?
13. What shows who we belong to?
14. What is a “whoremonger”?
15. What word did this come from?
16. What does “abomination” mean?
17. Who is an “idolater”?
18. What is even worse than being a lost sinner?
19. Where does judgment begin?
20. Walk as children of _______.
21. The fruit of the Spirit is in what?
22. What is the desire of a true Christian?
23. Who are Christians not to fellowship with?
24. Whatsoever doth make manifest is _______.
25. What does the word translated “circumspectly” mean?
26. Why should we redeem the time?