Study Notes

Ephesians 5:1-10


Paul has sternly spoken to us about walking the Christian walk, most recently telling us to speak the truth instead of falsehood. To deal with anger in a godly way. To work so that we have enough to share, and to be careful that our speech is edifying and full of grace.

5:1 Imitators Of God

If we're going to be truthful, sharing, and graceful in speech, we need to be imitators of God, who is our perfect example. Many times in counseling situations, people who are told that they need to be like Jesus excuse their sin by saying, "Well, I'm not God, I'm just a man. I can't be like Him." This is a cop-out for any Christian to say. Because if you'll notice, we're not called to be super-human. We're called to be...

Eph. 5:1 ...imitators of God, as beloved children

Most children are imitators of their parents. I know that for my entire childhood, I wanted to be like my Dad. He was into drafting, and I had my own little drafting table on which I would make my artwork. He loved working with a garage full of tools, and I desired the same thing - still do, as a matter of fact. He was into computer programming in the earliest days of home computers, and I imitated that as well.

This is the way that we are called to imitate God - not as all-powerful beings worthy of worship, simply as beloved children who want to be just like their Dad.

5:2 Walk In Love

One thing we can't miss when we look at the Lord is His self-sacrificing love. Jesus gave up His life because of the love of God for each of us.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son..."

Rom. 5:8 ...God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

If we are going to imitate the love of God, it must be a self-sacrificing love that puts others' needs before our own.

5:3 Do Not Let

It seems that Paul has just covered these topics in recent verses. You might ask yourself, "Why is he going over them again? I've got it already!" But honestly - have we got them already? I don't know about you, but there have been Bible topics I've heard preached for years, before one day the light just turned on, and I said, "Oh, duh. Why haven't I been convicted about this before? Why didn't I recognize this behavior as sinful previously? Why haven't I done anything about this until now?

So, we will go over these topics again, because although we covered some of them as recently as last Sunday, the fact is that many or most of us haven't applied them yet, and hopefully today will be the turning point.

Immorality, Impurity, And Greed

The Greek word for "immorality" here is "por-NI-ah." It doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out what English words are derived from it. It is any sexual activity outside of the bond of a man and woman in marriage.

"Impurity" is exactly what it sounds like - anything that is not pure and clean. Impurity can defile your physical flesh (Gal. 5:19), your mind, or even your conscience (Titus 1:15).

"Greed" is a word we've looked at in a recent study as well. It literally means "a greedy desire to have more," whether it is directed towards money, or anything else someone is looking for satisfaction in.

Not Even Named Among You

Notice that these three things - immorality, impurity, and greed, are not to "even be named among you." This word means "to utter, to make mention of the name." This is something that many Christians need to hear: it's not just commanded in the Bible to abstain from these things, but also not to even talk about them. Somehow we've been duped into thinking that we can watch it, read about it, talk about it, and joke about it, as long as we're not guilty of doing it. But Paul had said to us earlier,

Eph. 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such {a word} as is good for edification according to the need {of the moment,} that it may give grace to those who hear.

Now he is telling us what unwholesome words are: talking about things like these. He'll get even more specific, too. Read these next verses:

5:4-7 Speech Not Fitting

Four kinds of speech are listed here: three negative and one positive.

The word "filthiness" means anything spoken that is "obscene, dishonoring, or shameful."

The word for "silly talk" is from the same root as our word "moron." It is often translated "fool." The fool in the Bible is the one who lives like there is no God. "Silly talk," is to speak impiously, or irreverently.

Third on the negative list is "coarse jesting." It is anything that disrespectfully humorous.

I asked you last week to consider what was coming out of your mouths. What did you discover? Unwholesome language? Scoffing and mocking? Scornful, deriding words? Arrogance and boastfulness? Shameful or disrespectful speech?

Has anything changed over the last seven days? Not in the mouths of many, unfortunately. Because Paul says it again, I say it again: only edifying and graceful words, please! How about simply giving thanks?

No Inheritance In The Kingdom

It's not okay to joke about these kinds of things or with those who do them, because people who do them are on their way to hell to experience the wrath of God? Why is it funny? Although it makes our fleshly nature laugh, our spirits should be terribly grieved. I have to admit, that the more God continues to work on me in this area, the more saddened I become being around this kind of speech and humor. Please, let's not be partakers with the world as they laugh themselves towards the lake of fire.

5:8-10 Walk As Children Of Light

We're not counted with the darkness of the world anymore. We are children of God, children of the light.

Matt. 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

That is the fruit of the light: shining in all goodness and righteousness and truth. Let's focus our minds not on the latest crass comment, cutdown, or one-liner, but instead on learning what is pleasing to the Lord.

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