Study Notes

Ephesians 5:11-20


For the last few weeks, Paul has been speaking to us on the subject of our Christian walk:

- How we should interact with other people (Demonstrating humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, love, unity, peace, sharing, kindness, and forgiveness).

- What we should be occupying our time with (Serving the body of Christ, earning a living, doing what is pleasing to God).

- What we should be saying (Speaking the truth in love, saying things that edify and give grace, not course jesting or talking about anything unwholesome, immoral, or untrue.)

Some folks have a hard time with all of this. They say, "This sounds too much like religion, not relationship. I believe in grace, and don't agree that the Christian life is so full of these works-based rules."

My response is that real relationships take into account what the other person likes and doesn't like. If you truly love your spouse, you care what they think. You try and avoid doing what they don't want you to, and do what is pleasing to them. There's absolutely nothing religious about it. You want to be in right relationship with God, and He wants you to avoid certain things and do certain other things.

And don't forget the warnings which are all throughout Scripture - even as recently stated as verse five of this chapter - that those who do the opposite have no inheritance in God's kingdom. So it would certainly benefit us to pay attention to these commands in Scripture.

5:11-13 Unfruitful Deeds Of Darkness

Jesus taught us that fruit is what comes out of our lives when we do what is right in God's sight. You can produce fruit through repentance (Matt. 3:8), understanding the Word (Matt. 13:23) and grace (Col. 1:6), dying to self (John 12:24); abiding in Christ (John 15:5), walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:22), and living righteously (Phil. 1:11).

Unfruitfulness is the result of being preoccupied with the things of the world, like worry, money, and materialism (Mark 4:19). Nothing good comes out of your life when you're focused on this kind of stuff.

The Bible makes two very clear statements about this.

Number one: Jesus Christ...

Rom. 7:4 ...was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.

Number two: Anyone who...

Luke 3:9 "...does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

You can see why Paul is so emphatic that we have nothing to do with the unfruitful deeds of darkness.

Don't Speak Of Them, Expose Them

As we discussed last week, many Christians who would not consider committing certain sins have no problem talking about those same sins. This is shameful. We need to expose these things for what they are: darkness. When someone begins to joke about adultery, pornography, sorcery, homosexuality and things like this, we need to expose it for what it is.

Paul's word to the Corinthians is a great "flashlight" for this:

1Cor. 6:9-10 ...Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor {the} covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

5:14 It Says

He makes reference to what was most likely an early Christian song or saying commonly known to believers in those days. "This is the very reason why it says this. This is what we're supposed to be saying to those who speak of these things to us: 'Wake up, you're in the dark. I'm shining the light of the Word of God right in your eyes, hoping that you will wake up!'"

If you think about all of the catch phrases like "What Would Jesus Do?" and all the lyrics to so many songs that most believers know, it really is amazing to realize how few really understand them and apply their meaning. I can just picture Paul being so frustrated as Christians were singing, "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you," while their actions betrayed the fact that they had no interest in saying them to those who were dead in Christ.

5:15-16 Making The Most Of Your Time

Because of these things, we need to be careful how we walk, about what we say and do, how we act and react, and how we are spending our time.

I've gotten a lot of flack over the years for pointing out how much time we burn up watching sports and programs on television, playing video games, reading romance novels, surfing the internet, etc.

Frankly, watching two hours of baseball on TV probably isn't sinful in and of itself. But is this making the MOST of my time? Is this the BEST way I could have spent the last two hours? Paul said,

1Cor. 10:23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.

Sure, there will be SOME time you can do this or that, but should it be EVERY time? Thanksgiving is coming, and no doubt many of the men here will watch a few hours of football. No problem. But does it profit and edify you to spend hours week after week in front of the TV?

Make sure that your schedule is devoted to making the most of your time. The fact is, the days are evil, and many people are deceived about how busy they really are, or the priorities of what they are busy with.

5:17-18 Don't Get Drunk

I've had a big chip on my shoulder about alcohol for many years, but I'm trying to keep a biblical view of it. Honestly, the Scriptures do not forbid the consumption of alcohol for the average person. However, it does emphatically say, "Do not get drunk. Ever. It's a sin, and those who practice it shall not inherit the kingdom of God (1Cor. 6:10; Gal 5:21; 1Pet. 4:3; etc.)." As long as you understand what the will of the Lord is according to His Word, you will avoid this kind of foolishness.

5:19-20 Singing With Your Heart To The Lord

I am always hoping that the songs we sing in church are filtering into the rest of your life, providing you with words on which to meditate, giving you direction for your prayer life, and reminding you to worship the Lord.

He deserves our thanks, and I pray that this Thursday, you will be thinking of and vocalizing the many reasons He is worthy of our Thanksgiving.

Go to next study

Go to previous study