Ephesians 5:1-20 (NLT)
Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes – these are not for you. Instead let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But when the light shines on them it becomes clear how evil these things are. And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Last week we covered Ephesians 5:1-20, which is the first half of chapter 5. In this chapter Paul is speaking to the church of the Ephesians and telling them what things they shouldn’t be doing or participating in. However, he also includes what they should be doing. For instance instead of speaking bad things and using coarse language we should be thanking God. Instead of doing evil deeds we should be spending time doing good.
Most people that are not Christians sees this as a list of “Do Not” rules but they look over the “Do” part of the scriptures. I am so glad that God makes it clear in His word how we are supposed to act. That is how we use the Word of God to keep us accountable. It’s not some strict moral code. It’s a way of life and when you follow it you have a much happier and more fulfilled life.
As Christians we are to strive to follow the example that Christ set for us. (Eph 5:1). Without that example how would we know how to live a life different from those who are ungodly (or non-Christian)? We wouldn’t. I am so glad for the Bible because its our road map and there is so much truth and revelation in those pages I could spend all day searching for it. In the pages of our Bible, that is how we learn about God and build a relationship with Him. We read his Word. He uses it to reveal things to us about how to live our lives. It’s so awesome.
What do you think about what Paul is saying to the Church of Ephesus here?