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Ephesians 5

Dig Deeper:

FLASHING RED LIGHT: The word 'therefore' in v1 ought to set off alarm bells in your head each time you see it, especially in the Bible. It means that the facts previously presented - in this case, the doctrines of grace Paul writes about in the first four chapters - are going to be applied to how you ought to live. Remember, theology is the science of applying what God's Word says to life, and chapters like Ephesians 5 help show us how to do that.

NOT EVEN A LITTLE? Paul goes beyond not even a little... he writes that 'there must not be even a hint' of sexual immorality, impurity, greed, obscenity, foolish talk (literally 'moronic words') or coarse jokes (v3-4). Maybe you're pretty good at this, or maybe you struggle with it. But what about what you watch and listen to? Remember: you are what you eat... and watch on TV... and listen to. There must not even be a hint of these sinful influences in your life.

SO WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO THEN? Instead of wallowing in the shadows of evil, we must live in thanksgiving (v4b). Be filled with the Spirit; stay close to the fellowship of God's people in worship (v19).

UH-OH... THIS ISN'T POLITICALLY CORRECT: The second half of chapter 5 is often pointed by people who claim the Bible is irrelevant for the 21st century and that its misogynistic in how it teaches that women must live in submission to men. Certainly there are lots of sad occasions in history when this teaching has been isolated from its context and used as rationale to maintain abusive environments. But when it's read along with the whole of Ephesians, it quickly becomes clear that it is wholly incompatible with any form of abuse. Yes, women are called to submit themselves to their husbands (v22), continuing a pattern set forth in creation. But husbands are called to an even deeper submission: to love their wives as Christ loved the church. This sort of love does not tolerate even the slightest abuse (not even a hint). v33 summarizes this difficult passage nicely.

Don't let the world define your understanding of God's Word. Keep reading it for yourself!

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

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




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