Ephesians 5:1-17 describes the walk of the believer. In this section, the things that are permissible and the sins that are not permissible are described.
Ephesians 5:18-21 provides a description of the inner life of a spirit-filled believer.
Ephesians 5:22-33 describes the married life of Spirit-filled believers.
The Christian Walk (Ephesians 5:17)
Ephesians 5:1 - “Be imitators of God.”
Ephesians 5:2 - “Walk in love.”
Do we love God? The standard of that love is to love as Christ has loved us. Christ’s love was a burnt offering to God. As we love our brethren and sisters in this way, it ascends as a fragrant aroma to God.
Ephesians 5:3-4 - These verses reveal the sins that should not be once named among us. These sins are detestable to God. They consist of fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthy stories, obscenity, silly talk, suggestive talk, and off color jokes. These have not to be named once among us. We should not engage in these sinful things, but rather give God thanks for “the many blessings.”
Ephesians 5:11 - You were once darkness. These are the sins you practiced “in Adam.” Now, “in Christ,” we are light. Therefore, we ought to walk as children of the light, exhibiting goodness, righteousness, and truth. 2 Peter 2:9 speaks of us as being called. [Illustrate “from darkness into light”] See also 2 Peter 2:10, which says how “Men loved darkness.”
Proving what is acceptable unto God means proving what is well pleasing. In Romans 12:1-2, acceptable is mentioned twice. We are to be proving or testing what is well pleasing. Our conversation, standard of living, clothes, books, pleasure, friendships, and sports should be acceptable to the Lord. “Take my life and let it be.”
Ephesians 5:14-17 - There are many believers today who are asleep and they have been asleep for so long that they appear to be dead—just like the unbelievers around them. This verse is a message to any believer in this condition; it is a command that states, “Awake, thou that sleepest.” Ephesians 5:15 talks about how we as Christians are to constantly be walking circumspectly. Ephesians 5:16 speaks about redeeming the time and Ephesians 5:17 talks about how our concern should be to understand what the will of the Lord is.
1 Peter 2:9 “That we might show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
The Spirit-Filled Believer (Ephesians 5:18-21)
These verses describe God’s will for every believer. This is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. This is seen through acts such as speaking, singing, giving thanks, and submitting. Psalms and hymns are spiritual songs. Psalms are the composed writings of David and Asaph, while hymns are uninspired songs, which give God praise and glory. Spiritual songs are songs that deal with spiritual themes.
The Spirit-filled life is a fountain bubbling over with joy (see Acts 13:52). There are four results of the Spirit’s filling:
Boldness to witness—Acts 4:8-12, 31; Acts 13:52, Acts 14:3
Powers for service—Acts 1:8, Acts 6:3, 8; Acts 11:24
Exaltation of Christ—Acts 9:17-20, 10:44-46
Married Life Among Believers (Ephesians 5:22-33)
Here, Paul describes the married life of Spirit-filled believers. Paul illustrates this by the relationship between Christ and the Church. In Ephesians 5:22-24, Paul outlines the relationship of the wife to her husband. Every well-ordered society rests on two supporting pillars: authority and subjection. Wives are to be subject to their husbands. The husband is the head of the wife. And in the same way the Church is subject to Christ, the wife should be subject to her husband. God did not take material from Adam’s head so that he would lord it over her, nor did He take it from his feet to be trampled by him. God took her from his side, to be his partner, close to his heart that he might love her.
Ephesians 5:25-28 tells us that husbands are to love their wives. In what way has the husband to love his wife? Ephesians 5:25 says that “He has to love her as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.” Thus, subjection would not be a problem. Ephesians 5:28 says He ought to love her as his own body. She is his flesh and bones—the two become one. If these principles were carried out, problems in the home would disappear. Our homes would be a foretaste of heaven itself. The divorce counts would be shut down. The final exhortation comes in Ephesians 5:33. The husband is reminded that he has to love his wife as he loves himself, while the wife is told she must reverence her husband.