Sunday, February 14, 2010

The #Churches' Walk> In #Love, #Light, & #Wisdom: #Ephesians 5

Theme: Christ's body, the church.

2. Its Walk (4 - 6)
     C. In love (5:1-6)
     D. In light (5:7-14)
     E. In wisdom (5:15-6:9)

Because of her position in Christ, Paul charges the church to walk in love (1-2), light (3-14), and wisdom (15-33).

Believers should walk in love (1-2). As great High Priest, Christ offered Himself, in the place of sinners, as a spotless sacrifice to God (2; cf. Hebrews 9:14; John 10:11,15, 17-18). His voluntary death --typified as a sweat aroma-- (cf. Lev. 1:17), released and made available His righteousness, to the meritless sinner who trusts Him as Savior (2 Corinthians 5:21). As Christ loved and gave Himself up for us (cf. Galatians 2:20; John 3:14-16), so believers should give themselves for the well being of others (cf. Eph. 5:25).

Believers should walk in light (3-14). Rather than practice immorality, impurity, greed, filthiness, silly talk, or coarse jesting, the believer should give thanks to God (3-4). Those whose lives are characterized by immorality or greed, reveal they are not really saved, have no inheritance with believers in heaven, and are slated for God's wrath (5-6). By refusing to participate in the evil deeds of the world, and by giving thanks to God, the believer, like light, exposes such shameful deeds of darkness (7-14; cf. 4:18ff.).

Believers should walk in wisdom (15-33). In contrast to the "foolish" deeds above, believers should make the most of their time (15-16). To do this, you need to understand God's will (17), and this means yielding to the Spirit's control, rather than the influence of alcohol (18). A believer who yields to the Spirit's control (cf. Romans 6 - 8:16), will, himself, sing in psalms (lit. "a twanging", perhaps OT Psalms put to stringed music), hymns (probably songs which praise or extol the deeds of God [such as the saving benefits He has wrought for us in Christ--Eph. 1 - 3]), and spiritual songs (pertaining to the spiritual realm, rather than songs of the world). Colossians describes this as "wisdom", since it allows the Word of Christ to dwell in you richly (3:16), and teaches and admonishes other believers. The Spirit filled believer gives thanks to God the Father for all things, and ranks himself under other believers (Luke 22:21-27; cf. John 13:1-17).

In addition to a believer's general, humble attitude toward one another, there are specific relationships which require voluntary submission. This includes wives to husbands (22-24), children to parents (6:1-4), and slaves to masters (6:5-9). The example of Christ comes to mind, who, although He is equal to God (Philippians 2:6ff.), always voluntarily submits Himself to God's will.  To submit to someone then is not an indication of inferiority, but an acknowledgment of God's order.
Wives should voluntarily submit (lit. "to place or rank one's self under") to their husbands. The basis for this self submission is that marriage is a representation of the relationship between the church and Christ her Lord.  God has made man the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church (23; cf. 1:19-23; 1 Corinthians 11:3). 1 Peter 3:1-6 illustrates a proper attitude of submission:  
"In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. And let not your adornment be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear" (NAS).
Husbands, on the other hand, are instructed to love their wives (25-33). A husband loves his wife by giving himself up for her, just as Christ did for the church (cf. comments on 5:2). Since His goal was to present Himself with a holy and blameless bride (25-27), Christ took the place of sinners, dying on the cross, and providing a righteous grounds for cleansing believers (Romans 3:21-28; Ephesians 1) through faith in God's preached Word (26; cf. John 17:14-17; Romans 10:8, 17; Ephesians 6:17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Hebrews 9:14).

In the same way, a husband should love his wife. Treating her like his own flesh, he should "nourish" ("feed"), and "cherish" ("keep warm") her (28-29). Since the Word of God is the agent of a believer's spiritual birth (John 3), cleansing (1 Peter 1:21-23), and nourishment (1 Peter 2:2-3), it does seem that a husband should use God's word to promote the edification and cleansing of his wife.

The institution of marriage illustrates the relationship of Christ to the church. As a husband becomes one flesh with his wife, so the church becomes one with Christ, as His bride and body (30-33; cf. 1:22-23; John 3:29; 14:16-20; 17:21, 23; 2 Corinthians 11:2).

Because of its position in Christ, Paul charges the church to walk in love, light, and wisdom.

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The Gospel

Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).


The grand purpose of creation is to bring glory and pleasure to God in Christ (Eph. 1:1-10; Rev. 4:11). The gospel of Christ's death and resurrection for our sins, achieves this goal by magnifying God's grace and mercy towards undeserving sinners. The purpose of faithguard, is to glorify God, by defending and confirming the gospel of Jesus Christ.