Ephesians 5:1-21: Be imitators of God, Walking in Love, Light and Wisdom

In the fifth chapter of his letter to the Ephesians the apostle Paul now continues to describe the attributes of the Christian walk. Previously he called on his audience to walk in unity, in truth and holiness. Now he addresses walking in love, in light and in wisdom.

Paul continues his epistle with specifics as to the duty of believers within Christ’s church isolating character traits acceptable to God and those clearly not in tune with Christ.

1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Paul uses the word “mimētēs” which translates to imitator, follower of God, of Jesus Christ. the apostle calls on his readers to live their lives in the image of Christ, in love.

3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” (Ephesians 5:3)

Here Paul reminds his audience, the Ephesians church that sexual immorality, impurity and greed are not acceptable to God. At a time when accountability was scarce, the apostle targets the weak among the church in an effort to remind them of the narrow path, that which leads to heaven, that which is pleasing to God.

4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:4)

In this verse Paul reinforces the fact our lips speak our hearts. Numerous passages throughout the bible are in tune with this scripture. That which comes out of our mouths defines who we are. The apostle Paul invites all Christians to refrain from profanity, obscenity and all verbiage other than thanksgiving to God almighty.

5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:5)

This verse is not only controversial, it is at the root of Christianity and the focus of much division among Christians. What Paul is writing about here is as clear to me as water. Only those made pure in Christ have inheritance in the kingdom of God.

Since no one other than Christ is sinless, in these verses Paul testifies that the only way to God is through the blood of Jesus shed on the cross for us.

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” (Ephesians 5:6)

Mightier than any human can fathom, God’s wrath upon the disobedient stretches beyond agony. Much like a father disciplines his child in love, God’s wrath is in tune with His perfect plan for all those He created.

7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:7-10)

Paul then write about relationships among the Ephesian church calling on believers to distance themselves from the unfruitful, from those who live in darkness.

11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” (Ephesians 5:11-12)

As faithful disciples of Jesus christ, when we are faced with or come in contact with the lost we are commanded to expose those in darkness as we spread the gospel and minister to those in the world.

13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:13-14)

To God nothing is secret. To man much that is secret needs to be unveiled, to be exposed so that the light may find that which is hidden. It is up to believers to expose unbelievers otherwise they will never know of the light that is the love and power of God.

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:15-18)

In these verses Paul invites us to live our lives according to God’s will, in ways pleasing to the Lord. The apostle then calls on believers to communicate with one another with love and thanksgiving to God.

19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20)

More importantly, Paul lays down the law by which all Christians should live with one another: In submission out of reverence for Christ.

Those in Christ baptized in the Holy Spirit voluntarily submit to God’s control in their lives literally out of fear because of sin, the Lord and His wrath are to be feared, from the Greek “phobos” meaning “to be put in fear, alarm, fright or terror”.

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)

Targeting relationships among Christians, in the verses herein the apostle Paul invites us to walk in love, in light wisdom and in wisdom. Is your walk filled with love? Are you spreading God’s light onto those in darkness? Are you using God’s wisdom in your life and allowing His word to guide your footsteps?

Ever since Adam and Eve allowed themselves to be divided from God the world is a damned place where evil reigns. As such believers are called to fulfill our mission according to God’s perfect plan, walking in love, in light and in wisdom.

Surround yourself with godly people, submit to them in reverence to God and allow the Holy Spirit to flow through you like water down a gentle mountain stream. Walk in Christ’ footsteps and be imitators of Him, who’s love and wisdom is within reach through His word. Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through trials,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Fill our hearts Lord with humility, gentleness and your love,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.