Lectionary Calendar
Monday, June 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Ephesians 5

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

THE CALL TO A CHRISTIAN WALK (For Church Members at Ephesus)

1) "Be ye therefore followers of God" (ginesthe oun mimetai tou theou) "Become ye therefore imitators of God," in conduct, passions, temperament, or behavior, 1 Corinthians 11:1. To imitate or follow God is a reflection of peace and Iife with Him.

2) "As dear children" (hos tekna agapetoi) "As beloved children," as children of God, experiencing His love, Matthew 5:44-45; 1 John 3:1-3.

Verse 2

1) "And walk in love" (kai peripateite agape) "And walk ye in love," imitating the walk of Christ, Galatians 6:2; 1 Peter 1:8; 1 Peter 1:22; 2 John 1:5.

2) "As Christ also hath loved us" (kathos kai ho christos egapeson humas) "As also Christ loved you all." Christ is introduced as the great example of love, John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:11; 1 John 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 4:9.

3) "And hath given himself for us" (kai paredoken heauton huper hemon) "And gave Himself up in behalf of us," Romans 4:25; Romans 8:32; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:25.

4) "An offering and a sacrifice to God" (prosphoran kai thusian to theo) "An offering, even a sacrifice to God," 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13. This offering and sacrifice implies surrender and dedication to God’s purposes.

5) "For a sweet smelling savour" (eis osmew euodias) "Relating to an odor of sweet smell;" Leviticus 1:9; Leviticus 1:13; Leviticus 1:17; Leviticus 2:2. These Old Testament sweet odor sacrifices typify Christ in His own perfections and devotions to the Father’s will, Philippians 4:18; Hebrews 13:15-16.

Verse 3

1) "But fornication, and all uncleanness" (porneia de kai akatharsia pasa) "But fornication and all (kind of) uncleanness," moral impurity condemned by the Lord and His apostles, 1 Corinthians 6:18; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 3:4-7.

2) "Or covetousness" (he pleoneksia) "Or greediness,” bordering on gluttony, Luke 12:15; 1 Timothy 6:6-11; grasping for that. which belongs to another, whether money, person, or wife.

3) "Let it not be once named among you" (mede onomozestho en humin) "Let it "not be named or sanctioned among you all." This exhortation prohibits sanction or practice of any and every form of both fornication and covetousness, sins so prevailing among the religious and irreligious Gentiles.

4) "As becometh saints" (kathos prepei hagios) "As (it) is fitting or proper for saints," not to be greedy or covetous. The world may give license or sanction to fornication (co-habituating out of wedlock) and covetous greed in daily activities, but the life and language of the saint is to avoid such standards of behavior, 2 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:5.

Verse 4

1) "Neither filthiness" (kai aischrotes) "Even baseness or filth talk," (Let it not be mentioned or approved among you all). Such harms the influence of both the individual and the church of which one is a member. Filthiness, as here used, also refers to immoral conduct in general.

2) "Nor foolish talking" (kai morologia) "Nor also moronic or foolish yacking," 2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9; godless irreverence in speech regarding moral and ethical standards of behavior.

3) "Nor jesting" (he eutrapelia) "Or raillery," deriding scorn or scoffing, including frivolity, facetiousness, and scurrilous behavior toward righteousness, Matthew 12:36.

4) "Which are not convenient" (ha ouk anekin) "Which kind of things are not becoming, fitting, or proper," Romans 1:28.

5) "But rather giving of thanks" (alla mallon eucharistia) But rather or instead let gratitude or giving of thanks be named or sanctioned among you all," Ephesians 5:20, 1 Thessalonians 5:18. A walk of love, in contrast with covetous, loose irreverence, is to be a walk of gratitude and thanksgiving for the graciousness of God, 2 Corinthians 9:15.

Verse 5

1) "For this ye know" (touto gar iste ginoskontes) "For be ye continually knowing this," or holding this in your realization. Ye are aware or ye know of a certainty such sins as afore and hereafter named are not compatible with inheritance requirements of the kingdom of God, Ephesians 4:29.

2) "That no whoremongers, nor unclean person, no covetous man” (hoti pas pornos he akathartos he pleonektes) "That a fornicator, or morally unclean person, or greedy person," which is the same as an idolater, one who makes a mammon or god of one’s own greed much as a worshiper of an idol, Colossians 3:5.

3) "Who is an idolator" (ho estin eidololatres) "Who is an idolator, one who bows down, or is slave to fornication, moral uncleanness, or greediness," is declared to be an idolator as surely as one who worships and bows before a statute of Buddha, 1 Corinthians 5:11.

4) "Hath any inheritance" (ouk eshei kieronomian) "Has or holds an inheritance or heir-setting," 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. An heir-setting, a position of rulership with or reigning with Jesus Christ in the millennial age, seems to be restricted to a personal commitment to Jesus Christ and to be a follower of Him in His church in this age, Romans 8:17.

5) " In the kingdom of Christ and of God" (en te basileia tou christou kai theou) "in the king of the Christ, (the millennial kingdom) and of God;" 2 Timothy 2:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:22; Galatians 5:21.

While no child of God can lose salvation or eternal life, he may lose rewards and available positions of honor and service to the Master in the coming age, 2 John 1:8; 1 Corinthians 3:14-15.

Verse 6

1) "Let no man deceive you with vain words" (medeis humas apatato kenois logois) "Let no man delude you all with empty words." Vain is used in the sense of empty, without truth, sincerity, or reality. This is a solemn warning of exhortation against delusion by the religious or irreligious who call good evil and evil good, Isaiah 5:20.

2) "For because of these things" (dia tauta gar) "For through these kind of things," the things of the old man, the flesh, Galatians 6:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:22.

3) "Cometh the wrath of God" (erchetai he orge tou theou) "Is coming of its own nature the wrath of God," the provocation of God’s justice, Romans 2:4-11. This refers to certain pending Divine retribution that is to come upon the obstinate unregenerate.

4) "Upon the children of disobedience" (epi tous huios tes apeitheias) "upon the heirs or offspring of the unpersuaded or disobedient," Romans 1:25-26; Romans 1:28; Romans 1:32; Psalms 7:11-13. The term "children of disobedience" refers to responsible persons who, in an unregenerate state, hear the gospel, but obstinately and voluntarily reject it and its call to salvation and holy living, Romans 11:30; Romans 11:32; Romans 15:31; Hebrews 4:6; Hebrews 4:11.

Verse 7

1) "Be not ye therefore" (me oun ginesthe) "Become ye not therefore," of your own choice, will, or accord involved in vices that grace and a Christian profession forbid.

2) "Partakers with them" (summetochoi auton) "Partakers of them," of the kind of immoral and unethical things or intimately associated with the licentious and covetous kind of people, 1 Timothy 5:22. Do not fall back into the ways you walked in as an unbeliever.

Verse 8

1) "For ye were sometimes darkness" (ete gar pote skotos) "For ye were then (at that time) darkness:" a time forever behind them to which they were not to turn back, a former state of base, moral life, unworthy of a Christian, Luke 9:62; Acts 15:37-38.

2) "But now ye are light in the Lord" (nun de phos en kurios) "But now and continuing hereafter ye are light in the Master," Matthew 5:15-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:5. They were not merely enlightened, but "light" of the same nature and kind of their Lord, saved by His grace, delivered from the domain of darkness into that of the light, salvation, and service of God’s own Son, serving in His purchased church, Colossians 1:13; Acts 20:28.

3) "Walk as children of light" (hos tekna photos peripatete) "Walk ye all as children of light," 1 John 1:7. This is the walk of safety, security, fellowship, and knowledge, Psalms 119:105; Galatians 5:25. They were to share it with others and bear it to those in darkness and disobedience, Luke 16:8; John 12:36; 2 Corinthians 3:3-4.

Verse 9

1) "For the fruit of the Spirit" (ho gar karpos tou photos) " For the fruit of the light" the fruit of Jesus Christ, the true light of every believer, John 1:9; John 8:12; 2 Timothy 1:10. The term "fruit" (karpos) is figuratively used to reflect what the moral results of walking in the Light of Christ should be, Matthew 3:8; Philippians 1:11; Galatians 5:22.

2) "Is in all goodness and righteousness and truth" (en pase agathosune kai dikaiosune kai aletheia) “Is in all goodness and righteousness and truth," 2 Corinthians 6:14; Romans 10:10. Or exists in these fruits of Divine light, active goodness in sincerity and integrity of profession and conduct, as opposed to falsehood and hypocrisy, John 3:21; 1 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:18. Here Christian morality is expressed in three forms: 1) justice, 2) mercy, and 3) truth.

Verse 10

1) "Proving what is" (dokimazontes ti estin) "Proving, testing, or demonstrating." This is a continuation of the "walk" of the honorable believer, carried out in the light of constant trials of what pleases the Lord; as expressed also in Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 Corinthians 13:1-14.

2) "Acceptable unto the Lord" (euareston to kurio) "Well pleasing, approved, or acceptable toward the Lord." Let it be realized that what God approves He blesses, Colossians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 3:15; Romans 15:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:1.

Verse 11

1) "And have no fellowship with" (kai me sughoinoneite) "And do not have or hold common communion or fellowship with," in their works or deeds, Psalms 1:1-3. To sleep with or play with dogs one gets flea, with hogs lice, and with chickens he gets mites, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.

2) "The unfruitful works of darkness" (tois ergois tois akarpois tou skotous) he unfruitful or unproductive works of darkness:" the works of the flesh, as contrasted with the fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:19-25.

3) "But rather reprove them" (mallon de kai elegchete) But rather even reprove them," or speak out in disapprovement of them. It is not enough to avoid and refrain from former sins of the flesh; a Christian must also reprove them or speak out against them, by word of testimony and by a consistent moral and ethical walk.

Sins of the flesh must not be silently condoned by true believers, but openly rebuked and spoken against, that unbelievers may be convicted of their grave sins as against God, 1 Corinthians 14:24; 2 Timothy 4:2, Titus 1:9; Titus 1:13; Titus 2:15.

Verse 12

1) "For it is a shame" (gar aischron estin) "For it is shameful,” or consists of a shame, a demeaning moral state or condition, Philippians 3:18-19; Hebrews 6:6.

2) "Even to speak" (kai legein) "Even to repeat," or to speak of or talk about, Psalms 1:1-3; Matthew 12:36. It should be a sobering thought that even idle talk shall receive an accounting at the hour of judgment

3) "Of those things which are done of them in secret" (ta kruphe ginomena hup auton) "The hidden things being done by them, " or things they are having done under cover from man, Ephesians 5:3; fornication, moral uncleanness, and covetousness, as described in Romans 1:21-32; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Romans 14:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11.

Verse 13

1) "But all things that are reproved" (ta de panta elegchomera) But all kind of things that are reproved," the specific sins formerly named, odious in their nature, offensive to God, reproved by God, and should be spoken against by the testimony and conduct of the Christian.

2) "Are made manifest by the light" (hupo tou photos paneroutai) "Are manifested by the light," of Jesus Christ and His Word, John 3:21; John 8:12; Hebrews 4:13. Since hell and heaven are open before the Lord, how much more the hearts of men!! Proverbs 5:11. Shameful sins are recognized by many sinners only when held up to the light, Daniel 5:18-23.

3) "For whatsoever doth make manifest is light" (pan gar to phaneroumenon phos estin) "For everything being manifested is light," open, or disclosed, Psalms 119:105; Psalms 119:130. Hidden or secret wrong, exposed by Divine truth, become displayed for what it is and open rebuke is of higher character than hidden shame, Proverbs 9:8; Psalms 141:5.

Verse 14

1) "Wherefore he saith" (dio legei) "Wherefore he says," or speaks, The "he" who is personified as having spoken is the Lord, the Light of the world, according to the previous contextual setting, though it is not certain what writer Paul quoted, John 8:12.

2) "Awake thou that sleepest" (egeire ho katheudon) "Rise, thou sleeping ;ne. " Note this is an imperative from the living Lord, the shining Light, directed to sleeping, fruitless, unproductive believers of the Ephesus church and other churches of like faith and order in Asia Minor, Acts 20:17-35; Ephesians 1:1. Believers are to stir up the gift of salvation within them and bear witness of it to others as "doers of the Word," 2 Timothy 1:6; Acts 1:8; James 1:22.

3) "And arise from the dead" (kai anasta ek ton nekron) “And stand up out of the company of the dead one," the barren and unfruitful one, the unproductive one, James 2:17-20; 2 Peter 1:8. The person who lives in pleasure is said to be "dead while she liveth," 1 Timothy 5:6.

This means she is uninfluential for good, unfruitful in righteousness, or barren in usefulness to the Lord, The Sardis church came to this bad condition, Revelation 3:1.

4) "And Christ shall give thee light" (kai epipausei soi ho christos) "And the Christ will shine on thee," or bless thee. To arise from a life of barren, empty service and let one’s inner light, salvation, be known to others is to receive joy and blessings and real peace of life in daily living, Matthew 5:15-16; 2 Timothy 1:10.

Verse 15

1) "See then that ye walk circumspectly" (blepete oun akribos pos peripateite) "See ye therefore (how) that ye walk carefully." Take heed, that is, that ye walk not as one half slumbering or half-awake in which there is danger of failing or injury, a reference to strict Christian behavior.

2) "Not as fools" (me hos asophoi) "Not as unwise ones." To wit, that is, "Not as mentally irresponsible ones," wandering, meandering, purposeless from pillar to post, place to place, in the darkness, Ecclesiastes 2:14.

3) "But as wise" (all’ hos sophoi) "But walk ye as wise ones," as mental accountable ones, ones with character or moral and ethical balance, body-controlled and temperament-controlled, Isaiah 2:5; Romans 6:4; Romans 8:1; John 8:12.

Verse 16

1) "Redeeming the time" (eksagorazomenoi ton kairon) Redeeming the seasons, periods of life," the opportunities or use of every opportunity at hand to perform the Christian duties, Romans 14:11-14.

2) "Because the days are evil" (hoti ai hemerai ponerai eisin) "Because the days are (given over to) wickedness," or exist as evil days. This is a statement of the motive for ones buying up, utilizing or making the most of every opportunity because of the prevalence of corrupt moral evils of the day. The same motive prevails today, Romans 12:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:22.

Verse 17

1) "Wherefore be ye not unwise" (dia touto me ginesthe aphrones) "Therefore be ye not foolish," in your walk, talk, or course of Christian conduct. This call to a circumspect walk was a call to cultivation of wisdom, not of folly. Do not permit yourself to fall back into folly, a conduct lacking of moral intelligence is the spirit of the charge; for divine wisdom is available for the asking, James 1:5.

2) "But understanding what the will of the Lord is" (alla suniete ti to thelema tou kuriou) ’But perceive ye what the will of the Lord is," comprehending intelligently what is the will of the Lord for your walk, conduct, or course of life. Paul sought His will for his life, Acts 9:5-7. He admonished the Roman brethren to be transformed to His way, Romans 12:2. He also prayed and longed for this for the brethren in Colosse, Colossians 1:9.

Verse 18

1) "And be not drunk with wine" (kai me methuskesthe oino) "And be ye not in a drunken state or condition with wine." To be drunk with wine is to be controlled by wine, inebriated, reeling, staggering, stumbling, unstable, Job 12:25; Psalms 107:27.

2) "Wherein is excess" (en ho estin osotia) "In which is wantonness,” a lack or void of self-control; excess in gluttony, a debauched life, loud speech, exaggeration of truth, excess in looseness of morals and ethics, reveling, rioting, loose talk, etc. 1 Peter 4:3-4.

3) "But be filled with the Spirit ’ (alla plerousthe en pneumati) "But (in contrast) be ye filled, governed, controlled, influenced, directed by the Spirit," Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16; Galatians 5:16; Galatians 5:25; 1 John 4:1-3. The Holy Spirit is to be the governing instrument person, or agency in the life of the believer, not wine. As wine excites to the worst in man’s behavior, the Spirit empowers toward the best of service and testimony.

Verse 19

1) "Speaking to yourselves" (lolountes heautois) "Speaking or audibly communicating to or toward yourselves, one another."

2) "In psalms" (psalmois) "In the music or melody or rhythm of psalms," or with (the) psalms. Though there existed uninspired psalms in Paul’s day, the plausible view of this exhortation would be to speak and communicate with one another in the inspired psalms, in which the use of instrumental music was inherent The psalm (Greek "psalmos") was a psalm of poetic rhythm, especially rendered with instrumental music.

3) "And hymns" (kai humnois) "And in or with hymns," especially a song of praise to God, accompanied or unaccompanied by instrumental music.

4) "And spiritual songs" (kai hodais pneumatikais) "And spiritual odes or songs," songs of praise to God; of Spiritual nature of Divine adoration .

5) "Singing and making melody ’ (adontes kai psallontes) "Singing or chanting and making musical, psalm-like music," properly "playing on a stringed instrument" and then, in a secondary sense, the”

psaIlontes “ means “singing,” especially to an instrument, Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15; James 5:13.

6) "In your heart to the Lord" (te kardia humon to kurio) “With the heart or affection of you to or toward the Lord;" from the heart, the seat of affections, outwardly expressed in verbal praise both and/or either with instrumental music or without it, to the Lord.

Verse 20

1) "Giving thanks always for all things (eucharistountes pantote huper panton) "Giving thanks at all times for all kinds of things," an expression of a Spirit-filled, Spirit-governed, or Spirit-controlled life is one of gratitude or thankfulness, to be constantly rendered to the Lord, for the benefits and blessings accompanying the Spirit-controlled life.

2) "Unto God and the Father" (to theo kai patri) "To or toward God, even the Father," Exodus 20:1-2; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 1:1-4. To God, who is also the Father of all human beings, by right of creation, the sense in which He is referred to as the Father of all, Malachi 2:10; Ezekiel 18:3-4.

3) "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (en onomati tou kutiou hemon iesou christou) in the name or by right or authority of our Lord Jesus Christ," in dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ, Colossians 3:17; Heb


Verse 21



1) "Submitting yourselves one to another"

(hupotassomenoi allelois) “ Being subject one to another, of like faith and fellowship," an admonition to Spirit-filled or controlled conduct of members mutually toward each other. This is in contrast with conduct of greedy, self-serving, selfish, heathen behavior, 1 Peter 5:5; Philippians 2:3.

2) "In the fear of God" (en phobo chrisou) "in the fear of Christ," in reverence to Christ, Matthew 10:28; 2 Timothy 4:1-2. Mutual subjection one to another, forbearing and preferring one another in reverence to the Lord is every church member’s duty.

Verse 22

1) "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands.” (hai gunaikes tois idiois andrasin) "The wives (be subject) to their own husbands." Such is a legitimate and exclusive or restricted relation the wife owes to her own husband, that each must mutually respect in marital relations, Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1-2; Titus 2:4-5; 1 Corinthians 14:34; Genesis 3:16. The submission of wives is to be to husbands who (idiois) are exclusively their own. The obedience of Christian wives to their own husbands is counted as obedience to Christ

2) "As unto the Lord" (hos; to kurio) "As (you are to be) subject to or toward the Lord." As she is subject to the call of supreme obedience to Jesus Christ in relation to spiritual things, so is she to be subject to her husband in everything in the unit of family life, Ephesians 5:24.

This verse introduces three foundations or social orders of society in view of Christian behavior. They are (1) proper relations of husbands and wives, (2) parents and children, and (3) masters and servants, as each order of social activity is related to the church and citizenship duties.

Perhaps no loftier relation of husbands and wives to each other, to Christ, and to His church has ever been written than here expressed by Paul.

Verse 23

1) "For the husband is the head of the wife" (hoti aner estin kephale tes gunaikos) "Because an husband is head of the wife of him." In the marriage relationship and in the Christian social order of society, the husband has the headship of marriage and the home in the same relation that Christ holds in headship to and of the church; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22.

2) "Even as Christ is the head of the church" (hos kai to christos kephale tes ekklesias) "Even as Christ is the head of the church." As Christ is the head and leader of the church so is the husband the head and leader of the wife in their sacred marital relationship, 1 Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 1:18.

3) "And he is the savior of the body" (autos soter tou somatos) “And he himself is savior (deliver) of the body, church-body, or assembly." The term "savior of the body" means "protector, deliverer, or provider" of the body the church, Matthew 16:18-19; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 3:21. Christ is the savior, deliverer or protector of that which He has bought, Acts 20:28, and that body, kind of assembly, one body of which He is the head, Ephesians 4:4; Ephesians 1:22.

Verse 24

1) "Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ" (alla hos he ekklesia hupotassetai to christo) "But as the church is subject to Christ (as head)." A conclusion is to be understood that as Christ is the head, ruler, superintendent in all actions of the church, the husband has a parallel position of responsibility and respect in the family unit of society, Colossians 3:18. Christ is head of the church and Savior of the church-body, "but" man is not said to be head of the church or Savior of the family-body unit, a distinction of difference.

2) "So let the wives be to their own husbands" (houtos kai hai gunaikes tois androsin)"Even so let the wives be to their husbands," or in like manner in things pertaining to the marriage relation the wife should be subject to the husband. The phrase "to their own husbands" is one that suggests a holy limit, in contrast with wandering love-lust and not only that the wife belongs to the husband, but also the husband to the wife in an exclusive way.

3) "In every thing ’ (en panti) "in all things," or in everything in the ordering of the marriage or family matters, subject to supreme allegiance of both to Christ, 1 Peter 3:1-3.


As I was conversing with a pious old man, I inquired what were the means of his conversion. For a moment he paused: I perceived I had touched a tender string. Tears gushed from his eyes, while, with deep emotion, he replied, "My wife was brought to God some years before myself. I persecuted and abused her because of her religion. She, however, returned nothing but kindness, constantly manifesting an anxiety to promote my comfort and happiness; and it was her amiable conduct, when suffering ill-treatment from me, that first sent the arrows of conviction to my soul”. "

--N.Y. Observer

Verse 25

1) "Husbands, love your wives" (hoi andres agapate tas gunaikas) "You husbands, sincerely love ye your wives." If the wife’s duty is submission, it is just as clear that the husband’s duty is devout love in marriage relations, a love that will suffer, endure hardships, and even die for his wife, as Christ did for His church, Colossians 3:19, 1 Peter 3:7. Each party (husband and wife) is reminded of their Divine duties to one another.

2) "Even as Christ also loved the church" (kathos kai ho christos agapasen ten ekkiesian) "Just as also Christ sincerely loved the church-assembly body of worship."

His love for the church was affirmed to be in three tenses: (1) He loved, redeemed, and purchased her, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25; (2) He is sanctifying her, Ephesians 4:26; John 17:17; and (3) He will be married, united, joined to His church (as an institution) in special honor, glory, and dignity at His coming, Ephesians 4:27; 1 Corinthians 11:1-2; Revelation 19:5-9.

3) "And gave himself for it" (kai heauton paredoken huper autes) "And gave himself up on behalf of it" In addition to giving Himself for the lost world Jesus gave Himself a ransom price to purchase His own church as a people in, with, and constituting a program of worship for His name’s sake, Matthew 5:13-15; John 3:28-29; Mark 13:34; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 1:15-21; Acts 2:1-4; Acts 2:40-42; Acts 20:28.

The Greek term "paredoken" means He "delivered Himself over, " even to the inclusion of His Iife, or to die for His church. In like manner the husband is to respond to the wife’s subjection or obedience in establishing and maintaining the marital relation.

Verse 26

1) "That he might sanctify and cleanse it" (hina auten hagiase katharisas) " In order that he might cleanse (it) and sanctify or set it apart," for holy service. The sanctification and cleansing of the church (it) is used in the ethical sense, which means that He set the church apart as the identified custodian of His Word, program of worship and service, John 17:3; John 17:17. In ethical conduct, based on moral standards of His Word, men are to live and by it they shall be judge, John 6:63; 2 Timothy 4:2; James 4:8.

2) "With the washing of water" (to loutro tou hudatos) "By the washing of the water." The term “washing of water" as it relates to the church alludes to the ceremonial cleansing custom of the Hebrews which followed actual healing or cleansing. In like manner, after one is saved, regenerated, received peace with God, gladly received Christ, the living Word, he is to be baptized, symbolizing his inward change and dedication to a moral and ethical standard of life befitting the church of Jesus Christ, 1 John 5:1; Romans 6:5; Galatians 3:26-27.

3) "By the word" (en hremati) "By or in the instrumentality of the word." It is the Word of God, preached and taught, that brings ethical conduct to the lives of church members. To the extent that their lives are cleansed by the influence of the Word they are recognized as an holy people, Ephesians 6:17; Acts 20:35; Hebrews 4:12.

Verse 27

1) "That he might present it to himself" (hina parastese autos heauto) "In order that he might present it to himself or set before him." This refers to the future position of the church, arrayed in white before Him, as His own, 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Revelation 19:7-9.

2) "A glorious church" (endokson ten ekklesian) The church (assembly) glorious." This is the remote, ultimate object of Christ’s love for His church, Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 21:9-11.

3) "Not having spot, or wrinkle" (me echousan spilon e hrutida) "No having, holding, or containing a spot or wrinkle," void of uncleaned filth, moral wrong, or impurity, Song of Solomon 4:7.

4) “Or any such thing “ (e ti ton toiouton) "Or any (kind) of the such things," that defiles, debases, or offends, Matthew 5:48; Romans 12:1-2.

5) "But that it should be holy" (all’hina e hagia) "But in order that it might be holy," sanctified or set apart from the world order of assemblies or organizational entities, as a peculiar people in nature and kind of ethical behavior, 1 Peter 2:9-12.

6) "And without blemish" (kai amomos) "Even without a blemish," as a bride desires to present herself before the Groom she loves, 2 Corinthians 11:1-2.

Verse 28

1) "So ought men" (houtos opheilousin [kai] hoi andres) "Even so or in- like manner, ought the husbands (men)." As Christ loved the church, His body (assembly) even to death, in like manner or character husbands ought (are obligated) to love their wives.

2) "To love their wives" (agapan tas heauton gunaikas) "To love the wives belonging to them," or their own wives, Genesis 2:24.


A gentleman, informing Rowland Hill of the sudden death of a minister’s wife, happened to say, "I am afraid our dear minister loved his wife too well; and the Lord in wisdom has removed her." " "What, Sir!!" replied Mr. Hill, with the deepest feeling, "Can a man love a good wife too much? Impossible, Sir!! Unless he can love her better than Christ loves the Church."

--Bib. Illus.

3) "As their own bodies" (hos ta heauton somata) "As the bodies of themselves or their own bodies," their own flesh, as the two are one in sacred wedded pledge according to the Divine order, Ephesians 5:31.

4) "He that loveth his wife loveth himself" (ho agapon ten heauton gunaika heauton agapa) "The one loving his wife, himself he loveth." As the head of the family the husband should love his wife not merely as a duty, but also as a consequence of his obedience to the Lord, that their prayers and influence be not hindered, 1 Peter 3:7.

Verse 29

1) "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh" (oudeis gar pote ten heauton sarka emisesen) "For not even one man ever hated his own flesh." It is man’s duty to protect and care for his body, his flesh, in which the spirit and soul abide, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

2) "But nourisheth and cherisheth it" (alla ektrephei kai thalpei auten) "But, in contrast, nourishes and cherishes or cares for it," 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12.

3) "Even as the Lord the church" (kathos kai ho christos ten ekklesian) "Even so Christ nourishes and cherishes or cares for the church." His own assembly, His orderly worship and service agency in the world, a broad statement of Christ’s love for the church, 1 Thessalonians 2:7. Paul explained that as a nurse is tender and compassionate in her work so men should be toward their own wives, John 17:14-15; John 14:16-17.

Verse 30

1) "For we are members of his body" (hoti melle esmen tou somatos autou) "Because we are members of his body (church body) or assembly." As the first Adam had but one wife, Eve; as God the Father has but one wife, natural Israel; so Jesus Christ has but one Bride to which He is one day to be married, the church assembly, which is His one body, Ephesians 4:4; John 3:28-29; 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Revelation 19:5-9; Jeremiah 3:8; Jeremiah 3:14; Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:21-25. Just as the church cannot have two heads it cannot have two bodies (a local and universal), as erroneously held by some. As a body with two heads is a monstrosity so a head with two bodies would be a monstrosity.

2) "Of his flesh, and of his bones" (This statement is not found in Nestle Greek text); But the phrase, when used in the New Testament, simply affirms that our Lord’s church-body is made up and composed of human beings of living flesh and bones, not of mystical, invisible, intangible spirits. His church body is compared to the physical human body of flesh and bones, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Romans 12:4-5.

Verse 31

1) "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother” _(anti toutou kataleipsei anthropos [ton] Patera kai [ten] metera) "For this cause or reason shall a man be separated from his father and his mother." Since Christ loves and cherishes the church, sustaining and protecting her, so should the husband love, cherish, and sustain the wife.

2) "And shall be joined unto his wife" (kai proskollethesetai pros ten gunaika autou)-m-And shall cleave, hold solely to his own wife," as Divinely ordained from the union of Adam and Eve, Genesis 2:24. To be "joined to" or "cleave to" derives from an original Hebrew word "davak" which means "to glue to", "to stick to" his wife.

3) "And they two shall be one flesh" (kai esontai hoi duo eis sarka mian) "And the two shall be for, as if, or with reference to one flesh;" the purpose of marital design for propagation of the human race through the family unit of society, Genesis 3:16.

Verse 32

1) "This is a great mystery ’ (to musterion touto mega estin) "A great mystery this is, or exists as." While the intimacy oneness of the husband and wife is deep in mystery, nonetheless genuine in character, there is even a deeper application of the love Christ has for His church which she should express in cleaving to Him, John 13:34-35. When a mystery is uncovered or disclosed it becomes a revelation with grandeur or beauty, John 15:17.

2) "But I speak concerning Christ" (ego de lego eis christon) "Yet I say (this) with reference to Christ" As the true wife loves, is in subjection to, and cleaves to her husband only, so should the church love, cleave to, and be in subjection to Christ her head in everything, John 14:15; John 15:14.

3) "And the church" (kai [eis] ten ekkiesian) "And with reference to the church-assembly or church body," Revelation 1:20.

Verse 33

1) "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular" (plen kai humeis hoi kath’ hena hekastos) "Nevertheless you all also, one by one in particular," or each individual husband, not to speak further of that higher union.

2) "So love his wife even as himself" (ten heautou gunaika houtos agapato hos heauton) "Let him love his wife just as himself," or fulfill the obligation of love to his wife, as to himself, a Christian duty of conjugal love from which no husband is exempt, Ephesians 4:28.

3) "And the wife see that she reverence her husband" (he de gune hina phobetai ton andra) "Then the wife let her fear (with reverence) her husband," with chaste conversation, connected with or linked with reverential fear or an obedient regard for her husband as head of their marital relations, 1 Peter 3:1-2.


An old author says, "A good wife should be like three things: which three things she should not be like. First she should be like a snail, to keep within her own house; but she should not be like the snail, to carry all she has upon her back. Secondly, she should be like an echo, to speak when spoken to; but she should not be like an echo, always to have the last word. Thirdly, she should be like a town-clock, always to keep time and regularity; but she should not be like a town-clock, speak so loud that all the town may hear her."


Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ephesians 5". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ephesians-5.html. 1985.
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