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Ephesians 5 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-2 - A very literal translation of this opening verse accurately describes the Christian life, setting the tone for the rest of the chapter: "Become an imitator (literally a mimic) of God, since you're His beloved child." You don't need to wonder what this sort of lifestyle looks like, since Christ modeled it perfectly. He did this by:

    • loving the church,

    • and giving Himself up for the church.

  • v3-14 - There should not be the slightest instance of garbage in your life. This certainly means not doing immoral, impure or greedy things, but also ridding your life of these types of influences, like TV shows, movies and music which promote ungodly living (even subtly).

  • Replace this garbage with thanksgiving.

    • You can be certain that anyone who is filled with garbage will not share in the blessings of the Kingdom.

    • Therefore, don't get tangled up with these kinds of people who stumble around in the darkness, because you're a child of the light.

  • v15-33 - Since you are a child of the light, carefully watch the way you live. Here's how:

    • Be wise;

    • Be filled with the Spirit instead of imitators. An awesome way to do this is by singing often (watch the 30 Second 'Splainer video for more insight as to why we sing).

    • Live in submission:

      • Wives submitting to husbands in the same way that the church submits to Christ. What are some of the ways the church submits itself, and how do these ways provide an excellent model for marriage?

        • For example, the church submits by setting aside one day in seven for worship, but yet Christ gives freedom to the church to express that worship in ways that reflect the local cultures. The church submits financially, but yet is given the freedom to make its own financial decisions (what ministries to support, etc).

        • What are some other examples of how submission and freedom are intertwined within the church? How do these examples relate to marriage?

      • Husbands must love their wives as Christ loves the church.

        • This passage often draws derision from the world because they mischaracterize the submission of wives as being unfair to women, but yet the burden placed on husbands here is much heavier:

        • Christ gave up His life for the church, and men are called to do the same for their wives and families (metaphorically, and occasionally literally).


The Bible does not frown on all uses of alcohol (in fact, a strong case can be made that it commends it from time to time). Yet it also gives clear warning in passages like Ephesians 5 of the dangers of over indulgence. Proverbs 23:29-35 give an even clearer picture of how subtle and dangerous alcohol (or other drugs like tobacco or marijuana) can be.


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Paul gives two standards or measures for how husbands are to love their wives. What are they? (See verses 25 and 28.)

Question taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God exemplifies the love we must follow (v1)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is (v17).



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