People's New Testament
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
5:1 Duties Which Become the Children of God
SUMMARY OF EPHESIANS 5:
Walking in Love. Flee All Impurity. Let Speech Be Pure. Covetousness a Species of Idolatry. No Fellowship with the Wicked in Their Deeds. Enjoyment to Be Sought in the Spirit Rather Than in Wine. The Mutual Duties of Wives and Husbands. The Mystery of the Marriage Union and of Christ with the Church.
Be ye therefore. Therefore refers to God's kindness, spoken of in Eph 4:32.
Followers of God. Literally, imitators, forgiving one another as God... hath forgiven you (Eph 4:32).
As dear children. As beloved children seek to do like their father.
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us. Thus imitate God, and Christ who gave himself for us.
An offering and a sacrifice to God. In the Jewish temple there were offerings which were not sacrifices. Christ gave himself as an offering and was sacrificed.
A sweet-smelling savour. See Ge 8:21 Le 1:9 2Co 2:15. An expression denoting an offering grateful to God.
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
5:3 But. Sundry sins are now forbidden which were utterly opposed to the duties just commended.
Fornication. This was hardly accounted a sin among the Gentiles.
Uncleanness. Every kind of impurity.
Covetousness. This sin is emphasized. The Greek term pleonexia means greediness for more. It implies an insatiable desire for wealth and for the things which gratify appetite. It is therefore a greed which leads to many sins.
Let it not be once named among you. Such sins must be banished not only in deed, but in word.
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5:4 Filthiness. All kinds of indecency.
Foolish talking. Buffoonery.
Jesting. Wit of doubtful morality, words and suggestions of doubtful and double meaning.
Are not convenient. Are not becoming. It is more becoming to Christians to engage in thanksgiving.
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
5:5 No whoremonger, nor unclean person. No fornicator (Revised Version). No person of licentious life, words or thoughts.
Nor covetous man, who is an idolater. See PNT Eph 5:3. The covetous man gives his heart to the object of his greed rather than to God, and hence is virtually an idolater.
Hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. None of these are heirs of the kingdom and hence have no promise of heaven.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words. With artful pleas that sinful things are not sinful.
For because of these things cometh the wrath of God. Because of just such sins as they excuse, God's wrath will be visited upon all who live in disobedience.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. Have no share with them in their sins.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
5:8 Ye were sometimes darkness. Not only lived in darkness, but gave off no light and darkened others.
Now are ye light in the Lord. Shining with the light that comes from Christ.
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
5:9 For the fruit of the Spirit. To walk as children of light (Eph 5:8) is to bear the fruit of the Spirit. This is shown by goodness and righteousness. See Ga 5:22.
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. Showing by walking in the light what is acceptable to God.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. See Eph 5:7. Works of darkness are those which please the powers of darkness. The Christian must have nothing whatever to do with these. We must not countenance any sinful device,
but rather reprove it. This would prevent the patronage of many things which the world countenances.
For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
5:12 Of those things which are done by them in secret. In the works of darkness are many secret sins, some too shameful even to be named.
But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
5:13 But all things that are reproved. These works of darkness are to be reproved by Christians that their true character may be brought to light (Eph 5:11).
Are made manifest by the light. If the light is thrown upon them they will be seen.
For whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Whatever is brought to light is light. Even if wicked, when it is brought to light it enlightens men by revealing its real nature.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
5:14 Wherefore he saith. Who says, or where, is uncertain. There is a similar thought in Isa 60:1,2 26:19:00 He probably means that God, in substance, says.
Awake thou that sleepest. The sleeper represents one not converted.
Arise from the dead. From death in sin (Eph 2:1). Conversion is often described as a spiritual resurrection (Ro 6:4-6 Col 2:12).
And Christ. Christ gives light to all who come to him. The Greek quotation is in verse, and has been translated,
Sleeper, awake; rise from the dead, And Christ on thee his light shall shed.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly. The Revised Version makes the meaning clear: Look therefore carefully how ye walk.
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Using every opportunity; buying them by giving up present enjoyment.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
5:17 Be ye not unwise. That is, so foolish as to not understand the will of the Lord.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
5:18 Be not drunk with wine. Wine was at that time the usual intoxicating drink. The passage forbids intoxication, which was a common vice of the time.
Wherein is excess. Riot, in the Revised Version. How true! Enjoyment is not to be sought, as the world seeks it, in wine, but rather in being filled with the Spirit. Then your songs will not be bacchanalian.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms. Under the influence of the Spirit when together you will sing psalms, such as those of the psalmist.
And hymns. Songs of praise.
And spiritual songs. Songs which express spiritual emotions. We find Christian hymns in the church at a very early period.
Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. While the lips sing, the heart must join in the melody by an uplifting to God. Too much singing in the churches is only of the lips.
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
5:20 Giving thanks always. This is often done in songs.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. All our worship is in the name of Christ.
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another. Filled with the Spirit, we speak in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Eph 5:19), give thanks, (Eph 5:20), and submit ourselves to each other
in the fear of God. This last duty belongs to the relations of life. One of these relations is of husbands and wives (Eph 5:22-32); another of children and parents (Eph 6:1-4); another still of servants and masters (Eph 6:5-9).
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands. Mutual duties are named. The husband should love his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph 5:23), and the wife should submit to this loving husband as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
5:23 The husband is the head of the wife. Every organization must have a head. The husband is the head of the family, but must be willing to give himself for it. The head of the family can only rule the wife in the most devoted love (Eph 5:25,33).
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
5:24 As the church is subject unto Christ. The relation of the wife to the husband is like that of the church in Christ, a close, tender relations, in which there is no bondage, but freedom, because the service is that of the heart.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
5:25 Husbands, love your wives. We have here not only the duty, but the measure of the duty.
Even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Loved so well as to be willing to give all things, even life, for her welfare. The union of husband and wife were here described is ideally perfect. The tenderest love on one side, and loving obedience on the other.
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
5:26 That he might sanctify... it. The great love of Christ for the church, his bride, is shown as an example to Christian husbands. Christ gave himself for the church. His object was to sanctify it, make it holy. In order to do this it was needful to
cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. All commentators of repute in all bodies refer this to baptism. All in the church pass through the waters of baptism. But the washing of the water would be of no avail without the word. The power is in the word of the Lord which offers the gospel and commands baptism.
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church. A church cleansed from sin; a bride without a blemish.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. The church is the Bride of the Lamb (Re 21:9), but it is also Christ's body (1Co 10:16 12:27 Eph 4:12).
He that loveth his wife loveth himself. As he loved his body, so every husband ought to love her who by the mystery of the marriage tie has become bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh (Ge 2:23).
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
5:29 No man ever yet hated his own flesh. Or his own body. Yet, wife and husband are one flesh (Eph 5:31).
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
5:30 We are members of his body. We are all members of Christ's body, the church. But the church is his Bride.
Of his flesh, and of his bones. The language of Ge 2:23, where Adam declares that his wife is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, applies to our relation to Christ.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
5:31 For this cause, etc. This verse is quoted from Ge 2:24. It speaks not only a fact of the marriage state, but also implies that Christ left the Father for the sake of his mystical Bride.
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
5:32 This is a great mystery. The wonders of this marriage tie, but especially that the marriage of the first Adam should prefigure the relation between the second Adam and the church.
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
5:33 Nevertheless. Without regard to the mystery,
let every one, etc. The rest of the verse states the mutual duties already so tenderly explained.