CITIZENS part 9 – Finding Out (Eph 5:1-21) – Steve Sudworth
Ephesians Study Material- Eph. 5:1-21
Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians as a general letter to a large region of churches during his first Roman imprisonment. The letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the church in Colosse were most likely written around the same time and delivered at roughly the same time. The letter to the Ephesians is a passionate and beautiful letter, riddled with hymns and exhortations, rich in theology and eschatology setting it apart from all other Pauline Epistles. The letter emphasizes the nature of the church and the relationship of Christ as the head of the church. Chapter 4 stands as a transition chapter, moving from building a theological foundation in the first 3 chapters to practically living out that theology in the chapters that follow. In the first half of Chapter 4 Paul is writing to the Ephesian Christians concerning their citizenship in Heaven and how to live as people of God here on earth. Now, in the second half of the chapter Paul is calling the Church to live in a manner reflective of the work of Christ; to be Holy as He is Holy.
Text: Eph. 4:17-32
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Paul is calling the Church to live a life of purity; renewing their minds, imitating the Lord. This imitation can only come for an intimate knowledge of the Lord, thus pointing he church back to Paul’s initial theological arguments in the first half of the chapter.
Suggested Discussion Questions
- In what ways are we called to imitate the Lord?
- In what ways are you struggling to imitate the Lord?