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Followers of God ; imitators of him, especially in his love to men. We have reason for everlasting gratitude to God that he has given us a perfect example; and it should be our great object perfectly to imitate it.
Sweet - smelling savor ; peculiarly pleasing and acceptable to God.
Covetousness ; the excessive desire of worldly gain, leading to its unlawful pursuit.
Filthiness ; obscenity in words or actions.
Not convenient ; not fit, proper, useful. A grateful temper, and the habit of expressing it in thanksgiving to God, form a safeguard against temptation and against improprieties of thought, word, and deed.
Covetous man ; one who regards supremely earthly good. See note to verse Ephesians 5:3 .
Let no man deceive you ; by inducing you to think such persons as are mentioned, verse Ephesians 5:5 , can go to heaven.
Those who maintain that continuance in sin will not exclude men from heaven are deceivers. As such they should be treated, and their doctrines be rejected.
Darkness ; living in ignorance and sin.
Light in the Lord ; enlightened and renewed by virtue of your union with the Lord Jesus.
As children of light ; those who belong to the kingdom of light, of which God in Christ is the head.
Proving ; in an experimental way, by the actual subjection of yourselves to the will of God. See note to Romans 12:2 .
It is a shame even to speak of those things ; they are too vile to be mentioned or even thought of but with abhorrence.
Are made manifest by the light ; by the light that reproof sheds upon them, thus revealing their heinous character.
Whatsoever doth make manifest is light ; rather, as the same word has just been rendered, whatsoever is made manifest, namely, by reproof, is light-it ceases to lie hid in the dark, and is seen in its true character.
He saith ; the Lord saith, namely, by the general tenor of his word.
Sleepest ; are stupid and senseless in the darkness and pollution of sin.
Arise from the dead ; wake from death in sin to a sense of thy guilty, lost condition, and look to Him who died for thee, and he will make thee light, and thus sanctify and save thee. The deadness of men in trespasses and sins is not such as to free them from obligation to awake and rise to newness of life. Of course ministers of the gospel are bound to call upon them thus to awake without delay; and under the influence with which God accompanies this call, all should hear and obey.
Circumspectly ; with caution and habitual regard to what is God’s will. Verse Ephesians 5:10 .
Not as fools ; regardless of danger. But as wise ; perceiving the evil, and avoiding it-the good, and pursuing it.
Redeeming the time ; time considered as furnishing opportunity for serving Christ; in other words, making the most of every opportunity.
The days are evil ; days of wickedness, such as will oppose many hinderances to your Christian activity.
Be not drunk ; for drunkenness will prevent you from understanding and doing the divine will, and bring upon you the wrath of God.
Excess ; abandoned wickedness of all sorts.
The Spirit ; the Holy Spirit. Invite his influences, receive his consolations, and yield yourselves to his guidance. Wine, in all countries, is intoxicating; and Christians who use it as a beverage, are exposed to the sin of drunkenness.
Submitting yourselves ; yielding cheerful obedience to proper authority, from regard to God, who established it. This general precept he then proceeds to expand by the mention of particular cases. The only security from the most debasing crimes is, in being habitually under the influences of the Holy Spirit, actively engaged in the service of God, and in the conscientious discharge of duty.
As unto the Lord ; as those who, in obeying their husbands, obey the Lord Jesus, because he requires such obedience.
And he ; Christ.
Is the Saviour of the body ; the church, which is his body.
In every thing ; see note to chap Ephesians 6:1 .
As Christ-loved the church ; with a pure, ardent, self-sacrificing love.
One of the great institutions of God for keeping alive in this world and securing to men the benefits of the knowledge and worship of himself, is that of the family; and the feelings and conduct of the wife towards her husband, and the husband towards his wife, may make it a nursery for and foretaste of heaven, or a preparation for and an emblem of hell.
Loveth himself ; with allusion to the scriptural declaration, "they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:24 . Their union is so intimate and indissoluble that their happiness is inseparable; and what promotes the interest of one, promotes that of the other.
As the Lord the church ; which is "his flesh and his bones," verse Ephesians 5:30 . As a man cares for himself, and as Christ cares for his church, so a husband should care for his wife.
Members of his body ; so that he loves and cherishes us as his own flesh.
For this cause ; on account of the oneness which God has formed between a man and his wife, which represents the union between Christ and believers, and is somewhat like the union between the soul and body. The union for life of one man and one woman in marriage, was designed by God to illustrate the union of Christ and his people; and the spirit which he manifests towards his church is that which they should manifest towards each other.
A great mystery ; the mystery of the union of Christ and believers, represented by the marriage union, and which makes it proper for the Holy Ghost to speak of believers as members of the body of Christ, of his flesh and of his bones, and of their being so joined to the Lord as to be one spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17 .
But I speak concerning Christ and the church ; in other words, My object is to direct your thoughts to the higher relation of Christ to his church, which is shadowed forth by the lower relation of husband and wife.
Nevertheless ; as much as to say, But to drop this mystical application of the marriage relation.
Reverence ; honor him, respect his authority, and thus promote the peace, usefulness, and happiness of the family. It is the duty and the privilege of husbands and wives, from supreme love to God, to love themselves and each other-to perform any labors, submit to any self-denials, and make any sacrifices which may be needful for his glory and their highest individual and mutual welfare.
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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Ephesians 5". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany