Loading

Ephesians Five

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

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 sweetsmelling savour.

Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Ephesians 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

jesting. It seems surprising at first glance that “foolish talking” and “jesting” would be condemned as in the same category of sins as fornication and filthiness. Nevertheless, there are many Biblical warnings against “every idle word” (e.g., Matthew 12:36), and it may be significant that the only Biblical reference to “jesting” is a warning against it. There are also many such Biblical commands as: “Let your speech be alway with grace” (e.g., Colossians 4:6). It seems that the popularity of many Christian speakers today is measured by the amount of humorous anecdotes and witticisms they can inject into their messages, but one never finds this element in the sermons of Christ, the letters of Paul or anywhere in the Bible. Sin and salvation are sober, serious issues.

convenient. That is, “appropriate” or “fitting.”

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.

idolater. Another surprising revelation is that “covetousness” is equivalent to “idolatry.” In fact, “Thou shalt not covet” is the last of God's Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:17), whereas the first two are commands against idolatry (Exodus 20:3-5). Covetousness, in God's sight, is equivalent to the worship of the creation more than the Creator (Romans 1:25), the same as the worship of other aspects of nature as personified in various gods and goddesses. The god of money and material things is Mammon, and Jesus stressed that “ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).

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.

Ephesians 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

children of light. A number of beautiful metaphors are used in the Bible to apply to those who have become “children of God” (xTerm 3:10) by the new birth. They are “children of the day” (1 Thessalonians 5:5), “children of the kingdom” (Matthew 13:38), and children of wisdom (Matthew 11:19), among others. In contrast, note also the metaphors applied to the “children of wrath” (see note on Ephesians 2:3).

Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

fruit of the Spirit. Compare Galatians 5:22-23. “Goodness and righteousness and truth” are outward evidences of “love, joy, peace,” ... etc.

Ephesians 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

acceptable. Compare Romans 12:1-2. “Proving” is “demonstrating” and “knowing.”

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

reprove. The Christian should not only refuse to compromise with the “unfruitful works of darkness,” but openly reprove and rebuke them.

Ephesians 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

Ephesians 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

Ephesians 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

he saith. This quotation is evidently a rather free translation and interpretation of Isaiah 60:1-3, as used and applied by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Redeeming the time. Note also Colossians 4:5. Time is our most valuable possession and should not be squandered. Lost health can often be regained, and so can money and earthly possessions, but time wasted is gone forever. See notes on Psalm 90:10-12.

Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

drunk with wine. The first command here could better be translated: “Do not begin to be drunk with wine.” Since even a small amount of an intoxicant has a damaging effect on the brain, this command in effect calls for total abstinence from alcohol. Proverbs 23:31 warns against even looking on the wine, lest it tempt one to drink.

filled. The connotation of “filled” here is “be being filled.” That is, the filling with the Spirit is not a once-for-all experience, like the baptism of the Spirit into the body of Christ. Instead, we are urged to be continually being filled with the Spirit—that is, controlled by the Spirit. In a way analogous to how alcohol may control a person's thoughts and actions, the better way is to allow the Holy Spirit to have control. The word “filled” is the same as “fulfilled.”

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Speaking to yourselves. Ephesians 5:19-21 illustrates what the Spirit-filled life will be. Ephesians 5:19 applies not so much to congregational singing, as to “melody in your heart.” Such a life will be fruitful (Ephesians 5:9), active (Ephesians 5:16), understanding (Ephesians 5:17), joyful (Ephesians 5:19), thankful (Ephesians 5:20), and submissive (Ephesians 5:21). It will also be bold in witnessing (Acts 4:31).

spiritual songs. The words “psalms” and “hymns” are transliterations from the Greek, and “songs” (Greek ode) is a generic term for songs in general, thus needing modification by “spiritual” in this context.

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Giving thanks always. This all-inclusive command to thankfulness for everything is found frequently in the New Testament (e.g., Philippians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:18). To obey this command would be clearly impossible apart from a strong belief in Jesus Christ as both omnipotent Creator and living Savior. But with this assurance, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28), and therefore can be thankful for “all things.”

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Wives, submit yourselves. The instructions concerning the proper relations between husbands and wives—the wife submitting to her husband, the husband loving his wife with deeply sacrificial love—found in Ephesians 5:22-33 should be understood as included in the exhortation to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). They follow both from the original created purpose for men and women (Ephesians 5:30-31) and the relation between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

by the word. Sanctification and cleansing of “the church”—which certainly must include individual members—is accomplished through the Word. Note also John 17:17.

Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

glorious church. There is no spotless church in existence today, but when Christ returns, “we shall be like Him” (xTerm 3:2), and shall all be in “the general assembly and church of the firstborn;” with “the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:23).

Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

hated his own flesh. A modern pseudo-psychological cliche is that the troubles in modern life are due to lack of “self-love” in criminals and anti-social misfits. The Scriptural fact is, however, that no man hates himself—everyone loves himself too much. The first prophesied characteristic of the “perilous” last days is that “men shall be lovers of their own selves” (2 Timothy 3:2).

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

his bones. See Genesis 2:23. The amazing truth of the union of Christ and His church thus is tied to the historical reality of the union of Adam and Eve. Just as Adam gave himself for Eve, so that she could be given life from his opened side, so “Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

father and mother. This phrase is cited from Genesis 2:24. This passage was also quoted by Christ in His teaching on the permanence of marriage (Matthew 19:5-6). Thus both Christ and Paul confirmed the historicity and vital significance of the Genesis record of the creation of man.

Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.