Read thru New Testament Devotional – October 3, 2017

Ephesians 5
Ephesians 3:1-6:20-The message of God given to the Gentiles (continued) Ephesians 4:17-5:21-How to live in your daily life (continued)

Ephesians 5:1-2-Now, because of our existing relationship with God as His children (:1)...Paul encourages us to be "imitators of God" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 270-"...follow as an example, strive to resemble"). The following is an excellent definition of “imitator”.

Imitate, Imitator:

akin to A, "an imitator," so the RV for AV, "follower," is always used in a good sense in the NT. In 1Cr 4:16; 11:1; Eph 5:1; Hbr 6:12, it is used in exhortations, accompanied by the verb ginomai, "to be, become," and in the continuous tense (see A) except in Hbr 6:12, where the aorist or momentary tense indicates a decisive act with permanent results; in 1Th 1:6; 2:14, the accompanying verb is in the aorist tense, referring to the definite act of conversion in the past. These instances, coupled with the continuous tenses referred to, teach that what we became at conversion we must diligently continue to be thereafter.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, =NASB

The example that Christ gave us that we are to imitate is that He loved us in such a way that He gave Himself up for us as an offering to God as a fragrant aroma (Exod. 30; Lev. 1-3).
Ephesians 5:3-7-Paul lists examples of behavior that are contrary to this walk of love...1.-immorality, 2.-impurity, 3.-greed (:3), 4.-filthiness, 5.-silly talk, 6.-course jesting (:4). Paul is very strong in what he says. He wants us to be absolutely convinced of what he means. “For this you know with certainty...”. People who do these kind of things are not part of God's kingdom (:5).

Ephesians 5:6-Paul warns against being fooled by people with "empty words"...words that are incorrect in teaching and that are not backed up by a consistent lifestyle. Evidently, there are people who will try to say that it is okay for believers to hold to a manner of life that is morally and ethically tolerant and permissive. Standards of behavior do not matter. But Paul is adamant that they do matter. How we behave is the truest identifier of what we believe. God will punish those who teach to the contrary.

Ephesians 5:7-10-Paul tells us to not be "partakers with them". We are not to participate in their attitudes or actions...behaviors that are in keep with a lifestyle of "darkness" (:8). But, we are to live as "children of light"...which Paul says is characterized by 1.-goodness, 2.-righteousness, and 3.-truth. Our goal should be to please the Lord.

Ephesians 5:11-14-Paul says that not only are we to not participate in a lifestyle of "darkness"...but we are even to "expose them"...because eventually they will be made evident, anyway.

Convict (Including the Av, Convince): signifies

(a) "to convict, confute, refute," usually with the suggestion of putting the convicted person to shame; see Mat 18:15, where more than telling the offender his fault is in view; it is used of "convicting" of sin, Jhn 8:46; 16:8; gainsayers in regard to the faith, Tts 1:9; transgressors of the Law, Jam 2:9; some texts have the verb in Jhn 8:9;

(b) "to reprove," 1Cr 14:24, RV (for AV, "convince"), for the unbeliever is there viewed as being reproved for, or "convicted" of, his sinful state; so in Luk 3:19; it is used of reproving works, Jhn 3:20; Eph 5:11, 13; 1Ti 5:20; 2Ti 4:2; Tts 1:13; 2:15; all these speak of reproof by word of mouth. In Hbr 12:5; Rev 3:19, the word is used of reproving by action.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, =NASB

When we live by the light, then the things of darkness will be made evident...the standard of our lives will reveal them.
Ephesians 5:15-17-Paul says that we are to "be careful how we walk, not as unwise men, but as wise" (:15), "making the most ("redeeming") of your time, because the days are evil" (:16), "do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (:17).

Ephesians 5:18-Paul warns against getting drunk because it leads to the kind of living that he has just warned against. The word "dissipation" means "abandoned, reckless, to behave in an unbecoming manner" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 58). It is used of the prodigal son in Luke 15:13. Instead, we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The word "filled" means "full of, abounding in, wholly occupied with, completely under the influence of, or affected by" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 328). I am reminded of the power of the Holy Spirit in 3:16.

Ephesians 5:19-20-When I am under the influence of the Holy Spirit my behavior will be characterized by the things that I say to other people and the content of my prayers.
Ephesians 5:21-My submission to the influence of the Holy Spirit will affect the way that I relate to other people..."be subject to one another". The word "subject" (the verb is a present tense, passive action, middle participle-meaning that I am participating in this action with the Holy Spirit) means "to place or arrange under; to bring under influence...render obedience" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 419). The point is that how I relate to other people should always be influenced by my relationship with Christ...and, by what His goal and purpose for their life is. It is to be "in the fear of Christ".

Paul now becomes very practical and gives three specific contexts of how this principle of subjection in Christ operates...husband/wife, parent/child, slave/master. Notice that in each example...being "subject" has implications in both directions. Also notice that it operates on the strength of love...not based on what the relationship gains for me, but on what I give for the benefit of the other person (though obviously there will be personal benefits, as well, 5:28; 6:3; 6:8).

The love for Christ is the example for my love.
Ephesians 5:22-6:9-How to live in your family life
Ephesians 5:22-24-How wives are to be subject to their a manner that is in keeping with the leadership of Christ over the church...He is the head. Ephesians 5:25-33-How husbands are to be subject to their a manner that is in keeping with the love of Christ for the church...He is the sanctifier (to make holy, set apart for God’s use).
Prayer: Lord, I submit my life wholly to the Holy Spirit's work...that I might be an "imitator of God". Please help me in every aspect of my life to be a reflection of You. I need Your help to make this practical because people can make it difficult. It's one thing for me to want to be like Jesus in my heart. It's another thing for me to be like Jesus in my relationships. People can be hard to live with. Holy Spirit, please fill me completely. Help me to love people the way and to the extent that Jesus did.

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