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Ephesians 5

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Verses 1-17

John Brown



A. As we return to the book of Ephesians, we continue our study on Christian behavior.

1. The Apostle Paul has just given the Ephesian Christians, (and us) a "list" of ungodly behaviors in Chapter 4 and exhorted them to have no part in them!

a) It is a list of "put on's" and "put off's" if you will.

b) Things that we as Christians should allow the Holy Spirit to remove from our lives and likewise a few things we should allow Him to build into our lives.

B. Chapter 5 is but a continuation of they way a Christian should behave.

1. Paul's first subject is how a Christian should deal with evil.

2. Then he moves on to the place the Holy Spirit should have in the life of a believer.

3. Then to the home life of a Christian, that extends into Chapter 6.

a) Let's take a look.


A. Eph_5:1 (NKJV) Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

1. "Therefore" = based upon all the ungodly behavior already mentioned.

a) "Mimic" the Lord, not the world!

B. Eph_5:2 (NKJV) And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

1. Joh_15:13 (NKJV) "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

2. 1Jn_3:16 (NKJV) By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

a) In other words, real love is not greedy and self-consuming, it is sacrificial!

b) Although I might have a right to do something, I will consider the feelings of those around me.

C. Eph_5:3-4 (NKJV) But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;

4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

1. Sexual sins, anything immoral, and even greedy jealousy should not even be part of a Christian's life!!

a) In other words, these things should be so far removed that no one can even suspect us or accuse of these sins.

b) 1Th_5:22 (NKJV) Abstain from every form (KJV = appearance) of evil.

2. Paul goes on to mention a few other things that are not "fitting" for the Christian.

a) "Filthiness" = obscenities = dirty language!

b) Foolish talking is pretty self explanatory.

(1) In fact, foolish talking and coarse jesting go hand-in-hand.

(2) Paul doesn't say that some of those things might not be fun or funny, but that they are inappropriate for a Chistian.

(a) That is why they are so dangerous, because they do appeal to the flesh.

c) The Apostle tells us our time would be better spent giving the Lord thanks!

D. Eph_5:5 (NKJV) For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

1. Of course, all of these people will be in Heaven!

a) But, they will have repented and accepted Jesus as a covering for their sins.

2. The people in this verse are the one's content with "practicing" their sin and making a mockery of the cross.

3. I think it worth mentioning that idolatry is worship of anything other than the Lord.

a) D.L. Moody - "You don't have to go to heathen lands today to find false gods. America is full of them. Whatever you love more than God is your idol."

E. Eph_5:6-7 (NKJV) Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

1. If you see repetitive ungodly behavior, even if it is in your friends, quit hanging out with them!!!

F. Eph_5:8-11 (NKJV) For you were once darkness, but now [you] [are] light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

9 (for the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),

10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose [them].

1. When we were in the darkness, without Christ, we at least had an excuse.

2. But now, the Holy Spirit that live within, knows what is acceptable to the Lord!

a) So, instead of cohabiting with ungodliness, or making excuses for it, we need to expose it!

(1) It always amazes me when a Christian is caught in adultery, or some other gross sin, that many churches wants to cover it up instead of exposing and dealing with it!

(a) And if anyone want to expose the sinner for what they are, they are labeled as judgmental and unloving and unforgiving!

(b) Since when is it the church's job to protect the sinner, and crucify the saints that are trying to deal with the sin?

(c) That's not the way Paul say to deal with it!

G. Eph_5:12-13 (NKJV) For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.

13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.

1. He told us in verse 8 that we are "now light in the Lord" and that we should "walk as children of light."

2. Here in verses 12 and 13, he illustrate that if we are doing that, then we will expose sin, not cover it up, because that is what light does!

H. Eph_5:14-16 (NKJV) Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light."

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

1. A quote taken from Isa_26:19 and Isa_60:1

2. As Christians, we have been "awakened" and the "light" of Christ indwells us!

3. Because of that, we cannot afford to "walk carelessly."

a) A fool walks carelessly, not considering that his time is running out!

b) We, as Christians know that the time is running out and that the days are evil, so we must make the most of them!

4. Now Paul move very briefly to the relationship we have with the Holy Spirit.

I. Eph_5:18-20 (NKJV) And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1. A Christian should never get drunk!!

a) Paul says that drunkenness is the same as riot and excess! = (dissipation)

b) Now this presents a problem for the Christian who allow drinking in their lives.

(1) When are you considered "drunk"?

(2) How does a Christian know when He/she has crossed this line?

2. Paul says that in place of this, we should sing and praise the Lord.Giving thanks for all that He is and all that He has done!

Verses 18-24

John Brown



A. For the last few week in our study of Ephesians, we have been looking at what the behavior of a Christian should be.

1. Last week we stopped at the end of Chapter 5 verse 20, where the Apostle Paul has just told the Ephesian Christians (in brief), about the relationship they should have with the Holy Spirit.

2. The rest of Chapter 5 and at least the first 9 verses are based upon that relationship with the Holy Spirit, so we will begin our study tonight by recapping verses 18- 20 of Chapter 5.


A. Eph_5:18-20 (NKJV) And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1. As we said last week, it is never proper for a Christian to get drunk!

a) And as we also said last week, that poses a problem for the Christian who allow themselves the liberty of drinking.

(1) They have to determine where to "draw the line".

(2) In other words, at what point do you cross over the line to where you become intoxicated?

2. Paul says that it is much more productive to sing songs and hymns about and to the Lord as a thanksgiving for His goodness in our lives!

3. And then the Apostle give us the key to Godly submission.

B. Eph_5:21 (NKJV) submitting to one another in the fear of God.

1. Please notice that 18 through 21 is all one big, long verse!

a) In other words, a Christian's behavior should always be predicated upon respect (fear) for the Lord!

b) And out of respect for the Lord, we will respect His Godly order of doing things!

2. In life, there is always someone in authority over us, and often, there is someone whom we are in authority over. God's "chain-of-command" if you will.

a) That is not an accident, it is part of His plan!

b) Mat_8:5-10 (NKJV) Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him,

6 saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented."

7 And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him."

8 The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.

9 "For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this [one], `Go,' and he goes; and to another, `Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, `Do this,' and he does [it]."

10 When Jesus heard [it], He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!

(1) Jesus was impressed with this man's faith and ability to understand submission!

(2) He knew that Jesus was there to do the Father's will, not His own, and he also knew that because of Jesus' authority, all He had to do was speak and it would be carried out!

(3) This is the heart the Lord wants us to develop.

(a) He want us to have the faith to know that HE is ultimately in charge.

(b) Perhaps this "submission" thing would be easier to understand put a different way.

(i) Rom_12:3-4 (NKJV) For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think [of] [himself] more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,

(ii) Php_2:3-8 (NKJV) [Let] nothing [be] [done] through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, [and] coming in the likeness of men.

8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to [the] [point] [of] death, even the death of the cross.

(iii) Christians are supposed to be "others" oriented, not "self" seeking!

3. Now, even with the mutual loving submission that Christians should for each other, we still have to factor in God's "order" of doing things.

a) Everything in the universe is in "hupatasso" = submission!

b) When it gets out of order we call them "natural disasters."

c) The same thing occurs in an individual's life, in a family, or even in a church when God's order is ignored.

d) That is why Paul goes to great lengths to help us understand that order.

(1) He has dealt with it first as individuals in verse 21.Now he deals with this order between husbands and wives.

(a) In Chapter 6 he will discuss this order in regards to parents and children, and also, employers and employees!

Marriage is like taking an airplane to Florida for a relaxing vacation in January, and when you get off the plane you find that you are in the Swiss Alps. There's cold and snow instead of swimming and sunshine. Well, after you buy winter clothes, learn how to ski, and talk a foreign language, you can have just as good a vacation in the Swiss Alps as you could have had in Florida. It is just as big a surprise when you get off the honeymoon plane and find that everything is far different than what you expected!!

C. Eph_5:22 (NKJV) Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

1. Two things I would like to point out here:

a) Wives are asked to give their husbands the same loving submission that they do the Lord!

(1) Actually "because" of the Lord.

(2) Trusting in the Lord even more than they do their husbands.

(3) Like the Romans Centurion, having enough faith to know that the Lord has given him that position for His reason!

b) The second thing I would like to point out here is that Paul says, submit to your own husbands!

(1) Often, wives have no problem submitting to "husbands" in the work environment, but have a very difficult time doing the same thing at home!

(2) I think this verse gives us a hint that the Lord considers it more important at home!

(a) Especially in the context of our study regarding Christian Behavior.

(b) Now Paul goes on to explain to wives, why this is right.

D. Eph_5:23 (NKJV) For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

1. I think pastors throughout the world have had women leave the church when they teach on these verses.

a) Today's "modern, liberated woman" (even many Christian women), doesn't like the idea of her husband having any kind of authority over her at all.

(1) Yet, as I have said, many of those same women will willingly submit to a male boss or co-worker without issue!

(2) I think the problem is a basic understanding of the husband's role and the term the husband is head of the wife.

(a) This Greek word 2776 kephale kef-al-ay' has several meanings:

(i) In relationship to the body, it is the center of life and awareness.

(ii) Metaphorically speaking it is used for anything supreme, chief, prominent

(a) In other words it is used for people when they are considered to be a master or lord: Which is exactly the relationship Paul is talking about here!

(b) And it is also used when speaking of Christ, as the Lord of the husband and of the Church

(c) When it is used to speak of things, it means the corner stone

(3) Perhaps it is not a misunderstanding of what this means at all that makes it hard for most wives to do what Paul asks.

(a) Maybe it is because they do understand and just can't see their husbands in the same light the Lord does!

(i) For the men, I want to point out as Paul has that Jesus' role also included Savior of the body!

(a) We will get into how that needs to be carried out in your role to your wife also a little later.

(ii) Let's go on.

E. Eph_5:24 (NKJV) Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in everything.

1. In other words, in God's order, where her husband is concerned, Jesus is in authority over him.

a) Meaning, he will have to answer to the Lord for his stewardship of his family and his treatment of you!

b) The word "everything" means that a wife should develop the Godly discipline of trusting the Lord to work through her husband in every area.

(1) Please understand, this does not cancel out all the other scriptures regarding sin!

(2) If a husband is asking his wife to sin, the Lord does not require submission!!

(3) Next week we will deal with the expected godly behavior of a Christian husband.

Verses 25-33

John Brown



A. The last few teachings in Ephesians we have concentrated on Christian behavior.

1. Last week, we specifically dealt with the behavior of a Godly wife as it related to her husband.

2. And in tonight's study we will take a look at the husband's role and his Godly behavior towards her.


A. Eph_5:25 (NKJV) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

1. Let's just take a look at the first part Husbands, love your wives, to help us better understand the rest of Chapter 5.

a) 1Co_13:1-8 (NKJV) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

2 And though I have [the] [gift] [of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the] [poor], and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love suffers long [and] is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether [there] [are] prophecies, they will fail; whether [there] [are] tongues, they will cease; whether [there] [is] knowledge, it will vanish away.

b) We're going to take a look at this a little closer, but basically guys, what this is saying is that if you don't love your wives the way the Lord has prescribed (Biblically), you don't amount to much!!!

(1) That's what that word "nothing" means in verse 2.

(2) It doesn't matter if you have the gift of tongues and interpretation, the gift of prophecy, word of knowledge, and faith to move mountains, it still adds up to a big zero.

c) So, how do you know if you are loving your wife the way the Lord prescribes?

(1) Are you kind to her even when it hurts?

(2) Are you envious of her talent or gifts, or just plain smarts?

(3) Do you consider yourself smarter or better than her in any way?

(4) Are you rude to her?

(5) Can she count on the fact that you will do without in order to put her first?

(6) Does she have to walk on "eggshells" around you or is she comfortable being herself.

(7) Does it make you happy when she fails or is embarrassed by something or someone?

(8) Are you patient with her?

(9) Do you make every effort for her succeed in every area of her life?

(a) Now we can go on to the rest of Ephesians 5

2. Eph_5:25 (NKJV) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

a) The rest of the verse gives us the highest and best example of love and that is Jesus.

(1) Notice the depth of His commitment to His bride!

B. Eph_5:25-27 (NKJV) . . . . Christ . . . . gave Himself for her,

26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

1. Please understand that the church was (and is not now) holy and without blemish!

a) Yet the Lord made a "path" by which He could view His bride is such a way.

b) Unlike most of us husbands who look for reasons to pick our wives apart, Jesus looked for a way to see His bride "without blemish!"

c) A Christian husband should love his wife so much that he is willing to give his own life for her!

(1) Joh_15:13 (NKJV) "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

C. Eph_5:28-29 (NKJV) So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.

29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord [does] the church.

1. Please notice that the Apostle Paul says that husbands are supposed to love their "own" wives!

a) For many husbands, (and wives), it s easier to look at someone else's spouse and think, "Boy I wish my husband or wife was like them."

b) The remedy for that is to love your spouse more that you love yourself!!

(1) Paul validates that self-love by reminding us that we go to great lengths to make sure that "we" are comfortable, loved and well cared for!

(2) Here's what Paul is getting at:in Christ, you are your wife and she is you. You are one where He is concerned!

D. Eph_5:30-31 (NKJV) For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.

31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."

1. The reference here is out of Gen_2:23 and it is used to validate Paul's statement that a husband and wife are one flesh just like the church is made one flesh through the cross!

a) When we accept Him as Savior, we become His beautiful bride, and consequently one flesh with Him!

(1) Something that was once "ugly" and "unacceptable" because of sin, is transformed by His righteousness, into something beautiful!!

E. Eph_5:32 (NKJV) This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife [see] that she respects [her] husband.

1. A "mystery" by Biblical definition, is something that has not yet been revealed.

a) 1Co_13:9-12 (NKJV) For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

b) I am convinced that we husbands understand these verses very little!

(1) This great "mystery" of Christ and the church and how it relates to us as husbands is a lifetime undertaking!

(2) But this much we do know, men it is time to put away childish things.


A. If we have been treating our wives with anything or in any way that is less than what the Lord wants, we need to repent, and find out how to do a better job being a Godly husband.

B. Next week we will see how proper Christian behavior affects how we raise our children, and what kind of employer, and employees we are!

Bibliographical Information
Brown, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 5". Brown's Commentary on Selected Books of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jbs/ephesians-5.html.
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