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John Brown :: Ephesians 5:1-18

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A. As we return to the book of Ephesians, we continue our study on Christian behavior.

1. The Apostle Paul has just given the Ephesian Christians, (and us) a "list" of ungodly behaviors in Chapter 4 and exhorted them to have no part in them!

a) It is a list of "put on's" and "put off's" if you will.

b) Things that we as Christians should allow the Holy Spirit to remove from our lives and likewise a few things we should allow Him to build into our lives.

B. Chapter 5 is but a continuation of they way a Christian should behave.

1. Paul's first subject is how a Christian should deal with evil.

2. Then he moves on to the place the Holy Spirit should have in the life of a believer.

3. Then to the home life of a Christian, that extends into Chapter 6.

a) Let's take a look.


A. Ephe 5:1 (NKJV) Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

1. "Therefore" = based upon all the ungodly behavior already mentioned.

a) "Mimic" the Lord, not the world!

B. Ephe 5:2 (NKJV) And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

1. John 15:13 (NKJV) "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

2. 1Joh 3:16 (NKJV) By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

a) In other words, real love is not greedy and self-consuming, it is sacrificial!

b) Although I might have a right to do something, I will consider the feelings of those around me.

C. Ephe 5:3-4 (NKJV) But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

1. Sexual sins, anything immoral, and even greedy jealousy should not even be part of a Christian's life!!

a) In other words, these things should be so far removed that no one can even suspect us or accuse of these sins.

b) 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (NKJV) Abstain from every form (KJV = appearance) of evil.

2. Paul goes on to mention a few other things that are not "fitting" for the Christian.

a) "Filthiness" = obscenities = dirty language!

b) Foolish talking is pretty self explanatory.

(1) In fact, foolish talking and coarse jesting go hand-in-hand.

(2) Paul doesn't say that some of those things might not be fun or funny, but that they are inappropriate for a Christian.

(a) That is why they are so dangerous, because they do appeal to the flesh.

c) The Apostle tells us our time would be better spent giving the Lord thanks!

D. Ephe 5:5 (NKJV) For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

1. Of course, all of these people will be in Heaven!

a) But, they will have repented and accepted Jesus as a covering for their sins.

2. The people in this verse are the one's content with "practicing" their sin and making a mockery of the cross.

3. I think it worth mentioning that idolatry is worship of anything other than the Lord.

a) D.L. Moody - "You don't have to go to heathen lands today to find false gods. America is full of them. Whatever you love more than God is your idol."

E. Ephe 5:6-7 (NKJV) 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 be partakers with them.

1. If you see repetitive ungodly behavior, even if it is in your friends, quit hanging out with them!!!

F. Ephe 5:8-11 (NKJV) For you were once darkness, but now [you] [are] light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose [them].

1. When we were in the darkness, without Christ, we at least had an excuse.

2. But now, the Holy Spirit that live within, knows what is acceptable to the Lord!

a) So, instead of cohabiting with ungodliness, or making excuses for it, we need to expose it!

(1) It always amazes me when a Christian is caught in adultery, or some other gross sin, that many churches wants to cover it up instead of exposing and dealing with it!

(a) And if anyone want to expose the sinner for what they are, they are labeled as judgmental and unloving and unforgiving!

(b) Since when is it the church's job to protect the sinner, and crucify the saints that are trying to deal with the sin?

(c) That's not the way Paul say to deal with it!

G. Ephe 5:12-13 (NKJV) For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.

1. He told us in verse 8 that we are "now light in the Lord" and that we should "walk as children of light."

2. Here in verses 12 and 13, he illustrate that if we are doing that, then we will expose sin, not cover it up, because that is what light does!

H. Ephe 5:14-16 (NKJV) Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

1. A quote taken from Isaiah 26:19 and Isaiah 60:1

2. As Christians, we have been "awakened" and the "light" of Christ indwells us!

3. Because of that, we cannot afford to "walk carelessly."

a) A fool walks carelessly, not considering that his time is running out!

b) We, as Christians know that the time is running out and that the days are evil, so we must make the most of them!

4. Now Paul move very briefly to the relationship we have with the Holy Spirit.

I. Ephe 5:18-20 (NKJV) And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1. A Christian should never get drunk!!

a) Paul says that drunkenness is the same as riot and excess! = (dissipation)

b) Now this presents a problem for the Christian who allow drinking in their lives.

(1) When are you considered "drunk"?

(2) How does a Christian know when He/she has crossed this line?

2. Paul says that in place of this, we should sing and praise the Lord.Giving thanks for all that He is and all that He has done!

Ephesians 4:17-32 ← Prior Section
Ephesians 5:18-24 Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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