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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Ephesians 5

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-7

Walk in Love: The Heart of Man - Ephesians 5:1-7 emphasizes the need to walk in love with one another. It teaches us to be led by our conscience, which is the voice of our hearts, which will lead us in the love walk.

Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

Ephesians 5:1Comments- Ephesians 5:1 serves as a conclusion to Ephesians 4:17-32, which has exhorted us to renew our minds. Within the passage that exhorts us to walk worthy of our divine calling ( Ephesians 4:1 to Ephesians 6:9), we are to do three things: renew our minds ( Ephesians 4:17-32), be led by the Spirit of God ( Ephesians 5:1-20), and submit ourselves to one another ( Ephesians 5:21 to Ephesians 6:9). We are now being taught how to be led by the Spirit of God. Thus, the phrase "be followers of God" ( Ephesians 5:1) describes one of three ways that we are to "walk worthy of the calling" ( Ephesians 4:1), which in Ephesians 5:1-20 teaches us how to be led by the Spirit of God ( Ephesians 5:1-20).

Ephesians 5:2 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.

Ephesians 5:2Comments- T. K. Abbott believes the phrase " προσφορὰν καὶ θυσίαν" (an offering and a sacrifice) is used to describe all types of sacrificial offerings, and discourages any effort to make a distinction between these two words. He believes Paul borrowed these words from Psalm 40:3, which reads in the LXX, " θυσίαν καὶ προσφορὰν οὐκ ἠθέλησας," and is quoted in Hebrews 10:5, " θυσίαν καὶ προσφορὰν οὐκ ἠθέλησας" (UBS4). 134]

134] T. K. Abbott, A Critical and Exegetical Commentar on the Epistles to the Ephesians and to the Colossians , in The International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, eds. Charles A. Briggs, Samuel R. Driver, and Alfred Plummer (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1897), 147.

Psalm 40:6, "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required."

Hebrews 10:5, "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:"

Ephesians 5:2 tells us that Christ serves as our example of how to be followers of God and how to walk in love.

Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Ephesians 5:3Comments- The words fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness may reflect sins of the body, of the mind and of the heart, respectively. Fornication is clearly an act of the body, while covetousness abides in the heart of man. Perhaps the phrase "all uncleaness" reflects the old man with his unclean thoughts and words.

Ephesians 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

Ephesians 5:4Comments- The remedy for speaking forth foolishness from our minds is to practice giving thanks at all times.

Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous Prayer of Manasseh , who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Ephesians 5:5 — "that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man" - Comments - The words "whoremonger," "unclean person," and "covetous man" are the noun forms of the adjectives used in Ephesians 5:3, "fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness." Those who continue in fornication are whoremongers; those who continue in all uncleanness are unclean persons, and those who continue in covetousness are covetous people. Christians may fall back into these sins, but with repentance, they do not become such.

Ephesians 5:3-5Comments - The Sins of the Three-fold Make-up of Man - Paul contrasts the love walk mentioned in the previous verse ( Ephesians 5:2) by listing the vices of a person who is not being led by the Spirit, but rather, one who is being led by a wicked heart.

Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Ephesians 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

Ephesians 5:6-7Comments- The Deception of Sin in the Lives of Believers- The mind of the carnal Christian, who has allowed himself to go down the path of sin and become involved in the vices listed in Ephesians 5:3-5, will initially justify himself and believe that he will go to Heaven despite these sins. However, Paul warns such believers that they are deceived by those who lure them into such sins. They are not to partake of such sins with these deceivers.


Verses 1-20

The Spirit: Being Led By the Spirit - Secondly, these saints are to walk in love as they learn to be led by the Spirit ( Ephesians 5:1-7), which means that they are to follow their conscience, which is the voice of the heart, or spirit. Another way to describe this is to learn how to "walk in the light" ( Ephesians 5:8-17), which essentially means that we are to be led by the Holy Spirit. Paul refers to the fruit of the Spirit as the evidence of being led by the Spirit ( Ephesians 5:9). We are also called to stay filled with the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit by learning to worship God ( Ephesians 5:18-20).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Walk in Love (Our Hearts) — Ephesians 5:1-7

2. Walk in the Light (Our Minds) — Ephesians 5:8-17

3. Be Filled with the Holy Spirit (Our Bodies) — Ephesians 5:18-20


Verses 8-17

Walk in the Light: The Mind of Man - Ephesians 5:8-17 emphasizes the need to walk in the light of God's Word, which means to have our minds walk in the understanding of God's Word. He refers to the fruit of the Spirit as the evidence of being led by the Spirit ( Ephesians 5:9).

Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Ephesians 5:8 — "walk as children of light" - Comments- In Colossians Paul calls those children who are walking in the light of the revelation of Christ Jesus as "the saints in light."

Colossians 1:12, "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:"

Jesus called us "children of light."

Luke 16:8, "And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."

The saints shall shine in the presence of God for eternity.

Matthew 13:43, "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

We are the light of the world.

Matthew 5:14, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."

Philippians 2:15, "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"

Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Ephesians 5:9Comments- In Ephesians 5:9 Paul contrasts the works of depraved humanity, "fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness" ( Ephesians 5:3), with the fruit of the Spirit, using a similar trilogy of words, all goodness and righteousness and truth."

Ephesians 5:14Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament- It has been debated as to the source of Paul's quote in Ephesians 5:14. It may have come from Isaiah 26:19 or Isaiah 60:1-3; or, Paul may have put together a number of phrases from the Old Testament in order to write this verse as a single quote. The first phrase "Awake thou that sleepest" may have been taken from:

Isaiah 26:19, "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."

Isaiah 51:17, "Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out."

Isaiah 52:1, "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean."

Paul used this phrase about four years earlier in his epistle to the Romans.

Romans 13:11, "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."

The second phrase "arise from the dead" may have been taken from Isaiah 26:19.

Isaiah 26:19, "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."

The third phrase "Christ shall give thee light" may be a paraphrase or interpretation of Isaiah 60:1.

Isaiah 60:1, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee."

Adam Clarke says, "Epiphanius supposed them to be taken from an ancient prophecy of Elijah, long since lost: Syncellus and Euthalius think they are from an apocryphal work attributed to Jeremiah the prophet: others, that they made part of a hymn then used in the Christian church." 135]

135] Adam Clarke, Ephesians , in Adam Clarke"s Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on Ephesians 5:14. See the quote from Euthalius in PG 85 Colossians 721C.

Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Ephesians 5:15Word Study on "circumspectly" - Strong says the Greek word "circumspectly" ( ακριβως) (G 199) word means, "exactly." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 5 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "diligently 2, perfect 1, perfectly 1, circumspectly 1." Other modern translations read, "careful(ly)" (ASV, ESV, NAB, NIV, RSV), or "exactly" (YLT).

Ephesians 5:12-15Comments- Expounding Upon "Light" - The main topic in Ephesians 5:12-15 is the carefulness in which believers should live their lives. However, in Ephesians 5:13-14 Paul takes a digression to explain the symbolism and meaning of the word "light."

Ephesians 5:12-15, "For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,"

Otherwise, his main thought would read:

Ephesians 5:12-15, "For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light….See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,"

Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:16 — "Redeeming the time" - Word Study on "redeeming" - Strong says the Greek word "redeeming" ( εξαγορά ζω) (G 1805) literally means, "to buy up, to ransom," and figuratively, "to rescue from loss."

Comments- We are to make good use of every opportunity that God brings in our lives as we walk the Christian walk. Note a comment from Frances J. Roberts referring to the meaning of the term "redeeming the time."

"My ageless purposes are set in Eternity. Time is as a little wheel set within the big wheel of Eternity. The little wheel turneth swiftly and shall one day cease. The big wheel turneth not, but goeth straight forward. Time is thy responsibility - Eternity is Mine! Ye shall move into thy place in the big wheel when the little wheel is left behind. See that now ye redeem the time, making use of it for the purposes of My eternal kingdom, thus investing it with something of the quality of the big wheel. As ye do this, thy days shall not be part of that which turneth and dieth, but of that which goeth straight forward and becometh one with My great universe. Fill thy days with light and love and testimony. Glorify and honor My Name. Praise and delight thyself in the Lord. So shall eternity inhabit thy heart and thou shalt deliver thy soul from the bondages of time." 136]

136] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 31-2.

God dwells in eternity, and not in the realm of time. Therefore, this time refers to the realm of Prayer of Manasseh , where we are bound by time. We are to use our time wisely, knowing that time will one day come to an end and we will be judged by how we used our time in this life.

Ephesians 5:16Comments- The next verse ( Ephesians 5:17) tells us to "understand what is the will of the Lord." Thus, we are to be about doing the Lord's will are our way of "redeeming the time." If we interpret the words "time" and "days" within the context of this epistle, we see that God's divine plan is to be fulfilled through the Church. We are not to be pursuing our own will or the ways of the world, for this lifestyle causes us to live out our days in an evil manner with evil men. Instead, we are to live as if eternal things were of more importance than temporal things. This explains why I began to feel a sense of urgency when I gave my life to Christ Jesus. I stopped wasting my time on useless activities, knowing I needed to know God's Word and be about His business. In other words, I began to redeem my time when I realized that much of what goes on around me is evil activity and simply a waste of time. Our days of this mortal life are vexed with evil temptations and wickedness all around us.

Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:17Comments- Within the context of the epistle to the Ephesians , in which Paul is revealing to the church the glorious riches of Christ and God's wonderful plan for each believer, Paul focuses on the believer's "daily walk" as the means of fulfilling God's great plan in each of their lives. This is because God's will for us is not that we accomplish a great project in life, but rather, that we walk in fellowship with Him each day and that we walk in love with our neighbour. This is God's plan for our lives on this side of heaven. Paul has just told us to redeem the time, because these days of our mortality are evil. As Christians we learn to lay aside wasteful activities, and thus, we need to understand God's plan for our lives. One way we do this is by staying filled with the Spirit, which is discussed in the verses that follow.

If we will be faithful stewards of this basic calling, then God will be able to promote us to greater heights and callings; for we will then be able to stand against the wiles of the devil when they come ( Ephesians 6:10-18). We will then be able to conquer nations and operate in the gifts of the Spirit as good stewards of these blessings that Paul refers to in Ephesians 1:3-14. This is called the "love walk."

In our youthful zeal to serve Christ, we want to hear someone prophesy and tell us that we will become a great preacher or missionary or accomplish some great goal in life, but this is often our flesh speaking. Now this epistle of Ephesians teaches us that God has given to each of us a "high calling." Therefore, we know that He has placed within each of us a seed. It is this seed of hope and expectation that, used in the right way, motivates us to strive to enter into this high calling. Therefore, our desire to do something great for God is a good desire and is not bad. However, we must know what this epistle says in order to walk out and fulfil this high calling. This seed must be watered and nurtured. This is the job of the five-fold ministry ( Ephesians 4:11-13). If we are not submitted to our church and our pastor, then this seed cannot be nurtured and grow. God gives the parents the initial job of nurturing this seed and he gives the pastors and other church leaders the job of bring this seed to its full growth and potential.

As it is nurtured, we begin to qualify for the ministry. If you read 1 Timothy 3:1-13 you see that a bishop has to qualify for this office before his is called into it. You will find a comparison of these qualifications in Ephesians when we are told to walk in love and submission as husbands and wives ( Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Timothy 3:2), as parents and children ( Ephesians 6:1-4, 1 Timothy 3:4-5) and as employers and employees ( Ephesians 6:5-9, 1 Timothy 3:7).

Some ministers of the Gospel have forgotten the love walk in their busy pursuit of building their ministries to greater and greater heights, but there are those humble few who have learned this secret and maintained their walk of love. Some are building their own ministries in the flesh, while others are building people's lives by the Spirit. We see these men of God, such as Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, 137] Rex Humbard and others, who have been careful to walk in love. We have seen those who have stumbled and fallen because they have forgotten this principle. They have treated people harshly while focusing on the building of their ministries. This Christian life is not a project that must be completed, but rather a relationship that must be carefully maintained, a relationship with the Father and with our fellow man. God's will is not that we accomplish a great project, but rather how we treat others while working on the project. God's will is to build souls and not to step on souls in order to build a great ministry. This is God's will, to walk in love with one another. This is what people like Mother Theresa 138] did in her life. Everything else will find its place under the love walk.

137] Kenneth Hagin, Love the Way to Victory (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1994, 1995).

138] Kathryn Spink, Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography (New York: HarperCollins, 1997).


Verses 18-20

Be Filled with the Holy Spirit: Our Bodies- Ephesians 5:18-20 emphasizes how to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we can be led by the Holy Spirit.

The book of Acts tells us that the church of Ephesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when Paul visited them for the first time ( Acts 19:1-7). In Ephesians 5:18, Paul commanded these same believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit on a continual basis. In Ephesians 5:19, Paul shows them how to do this, by spending personal time worshipping the Lord. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit ( Ephesians 5:18), there are certain characteristics that we exhibit. There will be a melody in our hearts ( Ephesians 5:19) that bring peace and gentleness. As I labour to enter into these times of praise and worship in my quiet time, I sense the presence of the Lord bringing a sweet peace within. As I leave this place of rest, and go out into the cares of the day, I find opportunities to lose this anointing. We are like a tub of water. We can fill up the bathtub, but if we then allow strife, fear, doubt or anxiety to enter in, it is like pulling the drain plug and all of the water drains out, leaving us empty. It is up to us to enter back into this quiet time and be continually filled with the presence of the Lord. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts:

"Seek Me early; seek Me late; seek Me in the midst of the day. Ye need Me in the early hours for direction and guidance and for My blessing upon thy heart. Ye need Me at the end of the day to commit into My hands the day's happenings - both to free thyself of the burdens and to give them over into My hands that I may continue to work things out. And ye need Me more than ever in the busy hours, in the activities and responsibilities, that I may give thee My grace and My tranquillity and My wisdom." 139]

139] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 174.

As a result of learning to enter into this anointing and to carry it with us during the day, we become people of thanksgiving for the goodness that God shows us each day ( Ephesians 5:20). We stop being short-sighted and selfish about our needs and begin to see God's divine hand intervening in the littlest affairs of our daily activity. Anger and bitterness are less able to intrude into our minds and hearts. This humbles us so that we are much more able to submit ourselves to one another ( Ephesians 5:21) in the love of God. There will be a submissive spirit in our relationships with others as a result of a genuine fear of God in our hearts ( Ephesians 5:21). We can better fulfil our roles in society when we are yielded to the Holy Spirit and submitted to the needs of others.

Being Filled with the Spirit and Speaking - Kenneth Hagin notes that being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues is the New Testament pattern. 140] The church at Ephesus had already received the initial infilling of the Holy Spirit in Acts 19:1-6. In his epistle to the church of Ephesus, Paul was encouraging them to continue speaking in tongues in order to stay filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul was not writing to particular individuals in this church. He was writing to every member of this church. Therefore, it is God's will that everyone receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues and to practice this as a part of their daily lifestyle. This is one form of New Testament worship.

140] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Pursuits and Purposes (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 118-120.

Hagin says that you cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit without speaking ( Acts 2:4; Acts 4:31; Acts 10:45-46). 141] However, note that King David stayed filled with the Holy Spirit as he continually worshipped the Lord. He was called the "Sweet Psalmist of Israel" ( 2 Samuel 23:1) because of his ability to enter into worship.

141] Kenneth Hagin, Why Tongues (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1975, 1994), 3-10.

Acts 2:4, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Acts 4:31, "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."

Acts 10:45-46, "And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,"

2 Samuel 23:1, "Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,"

Being Filled with the Holy Spirit and Worship- In a dream in early 2000, I was caught up in the most heavenly worship song. This song continued to repeat "Alleluia," and I was a part of the worship this time, caught up in intense worship of God. When I awoke, I felt my spirit so deeply refreshed and renewed. The Lord began to teach me at that time how to find strength in my spirit during times of adversity. We can be strengthened when we enter into worship.

Kenneth Hagin teaches that God's purpose in having us worship with spiritual songs is to build us up in the Lord so that we will have the strength through spiritual edification to serve Him. 142]

142] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Pursuits and Purposes (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 124, 146.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Ephesians 5:18 — "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess" - Word Study on "drunk" - Strong says the Greek word "drunk" ( μεθύσκω) (G 3182) mean, "to intoxicate." Vine says this Greek word describes the process or state of becoming μεθύω (G 3184), which means, "to drink to intoxication." (Strong) This word is used three times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "be drunken 2, drunk 1." Each use of the word is in reference to being intoxicated with alcohol ( Luke 12:45, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:7).

Luke 12:45, "But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;"

Ephesians 5:18, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;"

1 Thessalonians 5:7, "For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night."

Comments- If we place Ephesians 5:18 within the context of the lifestyle of the Ephesians and those who took the "spiritual pilgrimage" to this city to worship in the temple of Diana, or to those who filled the 24 ,000 seat coliseum to observe Greek games, we can easily see the spirit of drunkenness and revelling among its inhabitants. Paul could have very well made this statement because of the drunkenness that he observed among these Greek pagans in a wealthy city with a temple and coliseum for entertainment.

A person under the influence of alcohol loses his inhibitions. If he gets angry easily, he exceeds in anger. If he is promiscuous, then he becomes very promiscuous. If he loves to talk, he will become talkative. Alcohol allows a person to indulge in his fleshly passions beyond his normal ability to control his behavior.

1 Peter 4:3, "For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:"

In contrast, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are able to operate in the supernatural far easier than when we are not filled. Weymouth's translation brings out this contrast within this verse between indulging in alcohol and indulging in the Holy Spirit.

Weymouth, "Do not over-indulge in wine--a thing in which excess is so easy-- but drink deeply of God"s Spirit."

Kenneth Hagin translates this verse to read, "Don't be drunk on wine; be drunk on the Spirit." He says, "You can be so filled with the Holy Spirit that you stagger around like a drunk man." 143]

143] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Pursuits and Purposes (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 116.

Ephesians 5:19 — "but be filled with the Spirit" - Comments- The command to be filled with the Spirit refers to a different experience than the one-time salvation experience when the Holy Spirit comes to indwell every believer. Because the Greek verb πληρόω (G 4137) is used in Ephesians 5:19 in the present passive imperative, commentators generally agree that this phrase means to be continually filled. In contrast to the one-time experience at salvation, this phrase means that believers are to have a life-time of experiences of continuous infilling after becoming a believer. 144]

144] E. D. Radmacher, R. B. Allen, and H. W. House, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, includes index, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Ephesians 5:18.

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual Song of Solomon , singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Ephesians 5:19 — "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" - Word Study on "psalms" - Kenneth Hagin says, "A psalm is a spiritual poem or ode. It may or may no; however, there is an element of poetry about it. It may be sung, chanted or just recited. The Old Testament records (150) psalms…A person given to music would naturally sing a psalm given by the Spirit." Others not so gifted would just speak them out. 145] This Greek word is used in other New Testament passages:

145] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Pursuits and Purposes (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 121.

1 Corinthians 14:15, "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."

1 Corinthians 14:26, "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a Revelation , hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying."

Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual Song of Solomon , singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

James 5:13, "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms."

Word Study on "hymns" - Regarding hymns, there are several New Testament example of the use of hymns. Jesus led the disciples in worship by singing hymns of praise to the Lord and Paul and Silas sang hymns together in prison. Obviously, both times, these hymns were inspired by the Lord.

Matthew 26:30, "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives."

Acts 16:25, "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them."

The author of Hebrews uses this same Greek word again in the context of corporate worship:

Hebrews 2:12, "Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee."

It is also used in the parallel passage of Colossians:

Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual Song of Solomon , singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

Hagin teaches that all of these Psalm , hymns and spiritual songs are uttered when we yield to the Spirit. They may or may not be recorded in songbooks. It is in this manner that we are allowing "the word of Christ to dwell in us richly" ( Colossians 3:16). Hagin says, "The supernatural utterance the Holy Spirit gives you on the spur of the moment" is "by the spirit of prophecy." 146] This is why 1 Corinthians 14:5 says that we may all prophesy.

146] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Pursuits and Purposes (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 123; Kenneth Hagin, Following God's Plan For Your Life (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1993, 1994), 28.

1 Corinthians 14:5, "I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying."

In fact, within the context of this passage on prophecy, we find a similar list of utterances as seen in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 :

1 Corinthians 14:26, "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a Psalm , hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a Revelation , hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying."

Word Study on "spiritual songs" - Hagin says, "A spiritual song is a song that brings forth the revelation of the Word that the Spirit has given you." He says that this song is not limited to the written Word of God, for these believers at Ephesus did not have the New Testament Scriptures as we have them today. "It may be a Scriptures, a word of encouragement, or a word of exhortation, etc." 147] The Greek word for "song" is used in other New Testament passages:

147] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Pursuits and Purposes (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 122.

Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

Revelation 5:9, "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;"

Revelation 14:3, "And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth."

Revelation 15:3, "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints."

Ephesians 5:19 — "singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" - Comments- When believers are speaking under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, these words ascend in worship "to the Lord."

Ephesians 5:19Comments- Regarding the worship described in Ephesians 5:19, in one of his divine visitations of the Lord Jesus Christ, Kenneth Hagin says, "Jesus called this kind of utterance, New Testament Worship. And true worship must be done "in spirit and in worship." 148]

148] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Pursuits and Purposes (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 122.

John 4:23-24, "But the hour cometh, and now Isaiah , when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

Hagin says that once we are initially filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, we are to continue to speak supernaturally. 149]

149] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Pursuits and Purposes (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 119.

The description of New Testament worship in Ephesians 5:19 leaves no room for any kind of music in the Christian life except God-inspired songs.

Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual Song of Solomon , singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

James 5:13, "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms."

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Ephesians 5:20Comments- One of the outward evidences that we are filled with the Spirit is that we have a song on our lips. Another evidence is that we are thankful in all circumstances. It is hard to complain while praising the Lord. The way that we learn to give thanks in all things is to learn to see God's perspective in each situation. It is difficult to give thanks in all things without understanding the big picture of God's plan for our lives. The Lord once said to me, "The bitter and the sweet are all used by God to mould and shape our lives."

Having been filled with the Holy Spirit in worship and song from Ephesians 5:18-19, we can more easily see the spiritual side of life's circumstances and thus give thanks to God, despite what the situation look like.


Verse 21

Submission in Personal Relationships to Others- After a saint has learned to walk in love with a renewed his mind and learned how to stay filled with the Holy Spirit, he is then able to walk carefully, or wisely, by submitting himself to one another in every type of social relationship. This is accomplished by walking circumspectly in the fear of the Lord as His servants because submission to God and others contradicts the will of the flesh. It is this walk of submission that allows the anointing of the Holy Spirit to become strong in our inner man.

The role of submission will become a dominant theme in Ephesians 5:21 to Ephesians 6:9 as Paul tells us to walk in submission in our family and working relationships, which means in every relationship we may have in society. Paul conveniently gives us a clear definition of the word submission in Ephesians 4:2-3 by using the words lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing in love, unity, and peace. There is no better definition of the phrase "submitting yourselves to one another" ( Ephesians 5:21) on proper human relationships than is found in these two gentle verses that open Paul's discourse on our high calling in Christ Jesus. Thus, Paul has come full circle expounding upon our high calling, which can only be fulfilled by joining the body of Christ, renewing our mind, staying filled with the Holy Spirit, and submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord so that we can engage in spiritual warfare.

Ephesians 4:2-3, "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

It is man's carnal, human nature to take control in relationships, to dominate over others. Paul is teaching us submission, which is in direct contradiction against the flesh. The only way that a believer can do this is to stay filled with the Spirit as discussed in the preceding passage of Ephesians 5:18-20. Note:

Galatians 5:16, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

This passage of Scripture teaches us submission in the three major areas of social relationships; marriage, parenthood, and work.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Submission to All — Ephesians 5:21

2. Submission in Marriage — Ephesians 5:22-33

3. Submission in Parenting — Ephesians 6:1-4

4. Submission at Work — Ephesians 6:5-9

Ephesians 5:21 — Submission to All- Ephesians 5:21 serves as an introductory verse to Ephesians 5:22 to Ephesians 6:9 regarding the issue of submission. The principle laid forth in this verse undergirds every relationship in society that follows: marriage, parenting, servanthood, and leadership. Submission expresses the moral fiber that holds the Church as well as society together.

Submission and Servanthood in all of Creation- Everything that God created was designed to give itself in divine service in order to fulfill its destiny and purpose. The sun gives its light in order to sustain life on earth. The land was created as a habitat for creeping creature and the beasts of the earth. The waters were created as a habitat for fish. The sky was created to serve as a habitat for birds. Thus, the sun, moon, stars, earth, seas and sky were created to serve and support life on earth as well as to serve as signs and wonders. The plant kingdom was created to serve the animals and man. The animal kingdom was created to serve man. In fact, every plant species and animal species was created to serve mankind in a unique way. Finally, man was created to serve God.

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Ephesians 5:21Comments - A General Principle is Laid Down for the Passage that Follows - Ephesians 5:21 is generally understood by scholars to grammatically fit within the previous passage of Scripture as a final expression of being filled with the Holy Spirit while serving as a transitional statement or link that moves the flow of thought into a new topic, that of submitting to one another according the mandate of Christian virtues in social bonds. Thus, this verse presents a general principle of submission that is explained in the passage of Scripture that follows. Anytime two people are involved in a relationship, two human wills are involved. This means that there are times when compromise and submission are required in order to maintain this relationship. Ephesians 5:21 is not saying that each person is to be submissive to every other individual Christian in the body of Christ. For example, masters are not to be submitted to their servants, parents to children, or husbands to wives. Rather, this opening verse lays down a foundational truth to be expounded upon in Ephesians 5:22 to Ephesians 6:9, serving as in introduction and summary of the following passage in Ephesians 5:22 to Ephesians 6:9. In fact, Paul writes the Corinthians on this issue, saying, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." ( 1 Corinthians 11:3). Thus, there is an order of priority in all of Creation, even in the institutions of marriage and the workplace.

1. Wives to husbands ( Ephesians 5:22-33)

2. Children to parents ( Ephesians 6:6-9)

3. Servants to masters ( Ephesians 6:5-9)

Coupled with each command of submission is a command for the head (the husband, the parent, and the master) to love the one in submission and to treat that person with kindness and consideration.

1. Husbands love wives ( Ephesians 5:25-33).

2. Parents love children (verse Ephesians 6:4)

3. Masters love servants (verse Ephesians 6:9)

This same type of command is found in 1 Peter 5:3 in the relationship of church leaders and their flocks. While the flock is to be submitted to their leaders, these church leaders are to be kind to their flock, which the Lord has set them over.

1 Peter 5:3, "Neither as being lords over God"s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock."

We find another example of this principle in the life of King Rehoboam, who was told that if he would be a servant to his people, then they would serve him ( 1 Kings 12:7).

1 Kings 12:7, "And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever."

When we examine Ephesians 5:21 within the context of this epistle, we see how Paul has an order to what he is teaching. The evidence that we have renewed our minds ( Ephesians 4:17-20) and are filled with the Holy Spirit ( Ephesians 5:1-20) is seen when we are submitted to one another, walking in an attitude of humility. If we are to have healthy relationships with other people, it requires us to submit ourselves to them at some point in that relationship. I have known people with a stubborn and rebellious heart who find it impossible to have true, long-term relationships with others. At the end of their life, they still have no true friends, having always run from these relationships when submission was required. Yes, they started many friendships; but, they had to draw the line when it came time to submit to others in order to build that relationship strong. This attitude of self-centered pride ruins marriages, jobs, and every area of one's life. The only way to truly live a life of submission is with the fear of the Lord dominating one's heart, something that a person cannot have unless he is a part of a local fellowship, renewing his mind with God's Word, and purifying his heart to stay filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus, Paul adds the phrase "in the fear of the Lord" to this divine truth of submitting to one another. Arthur Patzia notes how this phrase echoes throughout this passage as Paul charges the wives to submit to their own husbands as unto the Lord ( Ephesians 5:22), as the husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church ( Ephesians 5:25), as children are to obey their parents in the Lord ( Ephesians 6:1), as parents are to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord ( Ephesians 6:4), as slaves are to obey their masters as to the Lord ( Ephesians 6:7), and as masters are to be forbearing with their slaves knowing that Christ is their Master in heaven. 150]

150] Arthur G. Patzia, Ephesians ,, Colossians ,, Philemon , in Understanding the Bible Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 277.

Illustration- The Lord spoke to Joyce Meyer and said, "Submission is not an act we put on, but rather an attitude of the heart." 151] Kenneth Hagin says that submission means to give in to one another. 152] Submission is the opposite of insisting upon your own way of doing things. Submission is an attitude of humility.

151] Joyce Meyer, Enjoying Everyday Life (Fenton, Missouri: Joyce Meyer Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

152] Kenneth Hagin, The Woman Question (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1983, 1984), 12.


Verses 22-33

Submission in Marriage - Ephesians 5:21 tells us to be in submission in our relationships to others. The passage in Ephesians 5:22-33 focuses on the issue of submission in the marriage relationship.

When God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, it was so that God's purpose and plan for His creation might be fulfilled. Thus, the institution of marriage and procreation plays a central role in God's divine plan for all things. The passage in Ephesians 5:22-33 regarding the husband and wife is placed within the context of the theme of Ephesians , which theme is God's eternal plan for mankind. Thus, as we will see in the passage on parents and children in Ephesians 6:1-4, Paul speaks of the one key element in this relationship that will help an individual to fulfil his personal divine calling in life. For children, it is obedience to parents and for fathers it is proper training of a child. However, in marriage, the emphasis is different. The submission of a wife brings her under the protective care and nourishment of the husband so that she can support him to fulfil his destiny. The husband is to love his wife in a way that causes her to be all that God created her to be. Thus, in order for a person who is married to fulfil his individual calling in life, he or she must order their lives within the divine rule and guidelines of the marriage institution. Although Paul will state that a single individual has a much easier time in fulfilling his divine calling ( 1 Corinthians 7:1-40), he also understood that celibacy was not God's original plan for mankind. When a married couple follows the rules of love and submission in marriage, they will place themselves on the road to succeeding in God's divine plan for each one of their lives. A wife's ability to submit to her husband will determine her ability to walk in submission to the Lord. The husband's ability to honour his wife will determine his ability to honour the Lord in his daily walk. If either one or both fail to do Song of Solomon , it will hinder the journey of both of them ( 1 Timothy 2:8, 1 Peter 3:7).

1 Timothy 2:8, "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."

1 Peter 3:7, "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."

Within any normal marriage, the wife continually longs for her husband's love, while the husband most earnestly desires his wife's respect. Thus, within this passage on marriage ( Ephesians 5:22-33) the wife is told to honor her husband by submitting to him, and the husband is told to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. This type of response requires believers to daily crucify their flesh in order to fulfill this biblical command. For example, when a wife is not loved, she responds by not showing respect unto her husband; and when a husband is not honored, he responds by not show love towards his wife. Thus, the themes of love and respect are woven within the fabric of this passage of Scripture.

The Analogy of Christ and the Church - Ephesians 5:25-27 describes Jesus' office and ministry to the New Testament Church as a type of marriage. Some explanation is needed to understand why Paul uses the analogy of Christ and the Church when discussing the institution of marriage. He gave Himself in behalf of the Church to justify it before God the Father ( Ephesians 5:25), and takes it through the process of sanctification as the Church embraces the Word and walks in it. In our sanctification, Jesus Christ sits as our Great High priest before the Father to intercede for us, while the Holy Spirit indwells every believer to guide him into the truth of God's Word. His goal is to take the Church as His "bride" and be eternally wed to it in eternal glory ( Ephesians 5:26). Thus, this passage of Scripture deals with man's redemption: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Paul uses this relationship as an example to the husband of how to love his wife.

Just as Christ Jesus is the head of the Church, so does the husband serve the role as head over the wife. The role of the husband is a divine role created by God to serve a divine purpose. This analogy reveals that the institution of the family is embedded within God the Father's overall plan of redemption as laid forth in the first three chapters of Ephesians. Paul puts this divine order into a single statement in 1 Corinthians 11:3, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." Arthur Patzia explains how this analogy also helps the readers understand their intimate relationship with Christ as their loving head, caring for their every need as a member of the body of Christ; thus, this analogy has a domestic application as well as a doctrinal, ecclesiastical one. He explains that the husband's role of authority is shaped by the role of Christ as head of the Church. 153]

153] Arthur G. Patzia, Ephesians ,, Colossians ,, Philemon , in Understanding the Bible Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 267.

Illustration - As a husband guiding my family in the mission field, I often sense the anointing when opening the Scriptures with them, or when discussing issues and offering counsel. The role of the father come with a special anointing that God gives each man in order to fulfill this God-given task of leading the family into His plan for their lives.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Ephesians 5:22Comments - Although the social customs of the first century Greco-Roman world required the woman to submit to the husband, Paul now gives the Christian wife a divine reason for submission; thus, Paul says "as unto the Lord" as a way of expressing this divine purpose. 154]

154] Arthur G. Patzia, Ephesians ,, Colossians ,, Philemon , in Understanding the Bible Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 268.

Now, if I were writing this epistle as an American born in a culture where marriage was consummated by two people who mutually loved each other, I would begin this passage by saying, "Wives, love your husbands." However, Paul does not ask once in this passage for the wives to love their husbands. Why would this be so? One reason might be the fact that in the first century culture of the Ephesians , as in many cultures today, the fathers choose the husband for their daughter. A wedding was not consummated out of love, but out of a mutual arrangement by a father and a daughter"s obedience to a father. The wife was to learn to love her husband.

Illustration- Perhaps Uriah and Bathsheba were newly married and therefore, she had not yet developed a deep love for her husband. Therefore, her heart was not as torn apart as a person who had lost one who was dearly loved.

Ephesians 5:23 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.

Ephesians 5:23Comments - In Ephesians 5:23 Paul compares the role of the husband as head of the wife (and his home) to the divine order of Christ over the Church. Paul adds the comment that Christ Jesus is also the Saviour of the body of Christ, that Isaiah , the Church. The term "Saviour" is a redemptive word, signifying Jesus' role in bringing believers into eternal rest in Heaven. The husband, therefore, is compelled to guide his wife and family along this redemptive journey of salvation as he follows Christ his head ( 1 Corinthians 11:3). The husband is to guide his family in a place of "salvation," or deliverance, from the works of sin, sickness, and poverty, and into the abundance of the spiritual blessings Christ both in this life and eternal life ( Ephesians 1:3). In order to do this, the husband must be able to receive a word from God, obey it, and prosper as a result. His ability to be led by the Lord demonstrates to the wife that he has a divine role her head, and not just a carnal role that supresses and controls the wife. When a wife sees the blessings and prosperity that a husband can bring to the family, she becomes a willing follower. Otherwise, she does it begrudgingly.

1 Corinthians 11:3, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."

Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:"

Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Ephesians 5:24Comments - In Ephesians 5:24 Paul addresses the wives with a divine charge to be entirely submitted to their husbands in every respect, giving them the reason for this command, which is their ultimate submission to Christ Jesus. Thus, the wife is to submit unto the husband as unto the Lord, which becomes an act of divine service and devotion to Jesus.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:25 — "Husbands, love your wives" - Comments - In Ephesians 5:25 Paul brings a divine balance to the husband's role as head over the wife. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, making the ultimate sacrifice of giving himself for his wife and children. Love is a self-sacrificing word. It tells the husband to willingly submit and meet the needs of a wife. The husband is to lay down his life for his wife, so that she will be able to fulfil her divine purpose in God's plan for her life, just as Jesus Christ laid down His life for us so that we will fulfil our divine purpose.

In one sense, both husband and wife are to submit to one another. The husband, as a leader, submits to the Lord by loving his wife. The wife, so as one who obeys her husband, does so by submitting to a husband's leadership. Jack Hayford says the Lord taught him as a pastor that "the greatest way to love and serve Christ's Bride, the Church, was to learn first to love his own bride." 155]

155] Tamara Campbell, A Marriage Made for Ministry [on-line]; accessed 14March 2009; available from http://www.livingway.org/articles/marriage_made.html; Internet.

Ephesians 5:25 — "even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" - Comments - Christ Jesus loved the Church before the Church was sanctified. He loved us while we were unloveable and yet in our sins and gave Himself for us. 156] He gave Himself for the Church so that it could be sanctified and fulfill its destiny. He gave Himself on Calvary so that each child of God could obtain his final destiny through the process of sanctification, as described in Ephesians 5:26-27. In the same manner, the husband is to love his wife and guiding her into the fulfilment of her God-given destiny. Thus, Paul says, "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies." ( Ephesians 5:28) The wife should have a sense of fulfilment in her life just as the husband when he fulfils his goals.

156] Brook Foss Westcott, Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians: The Greek Text with Notes and Addenda (London: Macmillan and Co, 1906), 84.

Scripture References- Note:

John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Ephesians 5:26Comments - Ephesians 5:26 refers to the process of sanctification that every believer must go through after the salvation experience in order to be presented as a child of God without spot or wrinkle.

The Greek text reads, "that he might sanctify her after having cleansed (her)." The Greek word καθαρί ζω (to cleanse) is an aorist active participle that refers to a past event that has already been completed. In addition, the English translation "with the washing of water" literally reads in the Greek text, "with a water-kind of washing." We must keep in mind that Paul is writing to the Ephesians from a heavenly perspective, so he describes our salvation from a divine standpoint, as if he were standing in heaven and looking down upon earth describing the salvation experience. The Old Testament priest washed himself in the brass laver prior to entering the door of the Tabernacle, which serves as a type and figure of the daily cleansing of the Word of God in the life of the believer. Thus, the word ὕ δωρ (water) is used figuratively to describe the inward cleansing that one outwardly testifies about through public water baptism. In Titus 3:5, Paul describes the salvation experience with a similar statement, saying, "by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Paul describes the salvation experience again when writing to the believers at Corinth, saying, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." ( 1 Corinthians 6:11) Ezekiel offers similar, figurative language when he says, "Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil." ( Ezekiel 16:9) The water is figurative of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. B. H. Carroll notes that under the old covenant, the water of purification was sprinkled for cleansing ( Psalm 51:7, Ezekiel 36:25).

Psalm 51:7, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

Ezekiel 36:25, "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you."

Moses sprinkled the people and the Tabernacle and its articles with blood from the altar using a bunch of hyssop ( Exodus 24:6-8, Leviticus 8:30, Psalm 51:7, Ezekiel 36:25). 157]

157] B. H. Carroll, Colossians ,, Ephesians , and Hebrews , in An Interpretation of the English Bible (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1917), 166.

Paul appropriately uses the term "washing" in a figurative sense to describe one's salvation experience in Ephesians 5:26. Modern western cultures enjoy an abundance of clean water for drinking, for bathing, for washing the hands, body, and other household items. However, in primitive cultures, hygiene is poorly understood and clean water is not abundant. Something we practice so regularly and take for granted each day is seldom done in primitive cultures simply because of an insufficient supply of pure water. Such cultures experience disease with understanding its causes.

B. F. Westcott and others understands the phrase "by the word" to mean that we were initially saved and cleansed from our sins through our word of confession of faith in Jesus Christ. 158] In contrast, Andrew Lincoln and others believes this phrase refers to the sacramental confession made by the one doing the baptismal ceremony upon the candidate. 159] The interpretation of a confession of faith is warranted by the use of the Greek word ῥ ῆ μα, which describes the spoken words of one's mouth, rather than the use of the Greek word λό γος, which has a broad scope of meanings, in particular to the written Word of God. However, Andrew Lincoln cites the phrase " ὅ ἐστιν ῥῆμα θεοῦ" in Ephesians 6:17 as justification for interpreting this to mean the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

158] Brook Foss Westcott, Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians: The Greek Text with Notes and Addenda (London: Macmillan and Co, 1906), 84.

159] Andrew T. Lincoln, Ephesians , in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol 42, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004), notes on Ephesians 5:26.

The Greek word ῥῆμα is clearly linked to καθαρί ζω (to cleanse). However, if ῥῆμα is linked at all to the word ἁ γιά ζω (to sanctify) by any sense of meaning, which view is held by the minority, then the phrase "by the word" can refer both to the cleansing and sanctification of the believer. The process of sanctification takes place by daily feeding upon God's Word. Children of God fail to understand the need of the daily washing of the soul of man by the Word of God. The Word is neglected because its value is not understood. As a result, many problems result in the life of the believer because of the lack of appropriating the Word of God, problems that could have been avoided.

Ephesians 5:27 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.

Ephesians 5:27Comments - In his two epistles to the church of Corinthian, Paul deals with the practical problems of this church by exposing their problems and ugliness in order to bring them through the process of sanctification. In contrast, the epistle of Ephesians presents a glorious church, endowed with the heavenly blessings of God, ready to overcome all of the fiery darts of the enemy.

Paul makes a similar analogy of the Church as the bride of Christ in 2 Corinthians 11:2, "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." John the apostle describes the marriage supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19:5-9

Revelation 19:5-9, "And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God."

This glorious uniting of the Church with Christ is mentioned by Jesus Christ in the Parable of the Ten Virgins ( Matthew 25:1-13).

In contrast to the spotless Church, Peter represents the unrighteous as being "spots and blemishes" ( 2 Peter 2:13).

2 Peter 2:13, "And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;"

Ephesians 5:26-27Comments - The Three Phases of the Sanctification of the Church - Ephesians 5:26-27 consists of three purpose clauses beginning with ἵνα. Westcott describes the sequences of these clauses as three phases of our sanctification. Christ is to lead the Church into the process of sanctification, present her to Himself as a glorious Church, and bring her into a place of continuous holiness. 160] Westcott uses these three phases to draws the three-fold image of a bride preparing for her wedding, being presented to her bridegroom, and abiding in his continual fellowship.

160] Brook Foss Westcott, Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians: The Greek Text with Notes and Addenda (London: Macmillan and Co, 1906), 84.

Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Ephesians 5:28Comments - In Ephesians 5:28 Paul begins to explain the concept that the husband and the wife form one complete body, providing a reason for the husband to love his wife. B. F. Westcott notes that Paul did not say that men ought to love their wives in the same way that they loved their own bodies; for Paul would then be making a distinction between the two bodies. 161] Instead, Paul tells the husband to love his wife because she is a part of himself; they are one flesh as he will soon say in Ephesians 5:31. Just as the Church makes up the body of Christ, so does a man and a woman make one body. Therefore, when the husband loves his wife, he is loving one aspect of himself. However, Andrew Lincoln understands Paul to be telling the man to love his wife the way he loves his own body. He believes this phrase is framed by the Old Testament commandment, "but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. ( Leviticus 19:18) He bases this view on equating this phrase to Paul's closing statement to the husband to "love his wife even as himself." ( Ephesians 5:33) He says the phrase "as their own bodies" is equivalent to "as himself." 162]

161] Brook Foss Westcott, Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians: The Greek Text with Notes and Addenda (London: Macmillan and Co, 1906), 85.

162] Andrew T. Lincoln, Ephesians , in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol 42, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004), notes on Ephesians 5:28.

Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Ephesians 5:29 — "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh" - Comments - Arthur Patzia suggests Paul uses the word σά ρξ (flesh) in Ephesians 5:29 rather than σῶ μα (body) as in the preceding verse because he is anticipating the Old Testament use of σά ρξ in his citation of Genesis 2:24, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." 163]

163] Arthur G. Patzia, Ephesians ,, Colossians ,, Philemon , in Understanding the Bible Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 272.

"but nourisheth and cherisheth it" - Comments- These words tell us how men are to love their wives. They are to nourish and cherish her. One pastor, who was also a marriage counsellor, said that the Lord told him that his job was to help his wife to become what God created her to be. He was not to abuse her nor put her down, but he was to build her up so that she might reach her full potential. In this way, the wife can fulfil God"s purpose and plan for her life. This pastor went on to say that many husbands will stand before the throne of God one day and give an account of how they handled one of the most precious gifts that God gave the husband, his wife.

"even as the Lord the church" - Comments- Even the Lord Jesus Christ nourishes and cherishes His own body, the Church.

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Ephesians 5:30 — "For we are members of his body" - Comments- Every believer is a member of the Church, which is the body of Christ. Paul has made an earlier reference in Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 4:4-16 to this analogy. He expounds upon this truth in other epistles (see Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Colossians 1:18; Colossians 3:15).

"of his flesh, and of his bones" - Comments - Albert Barnes suggests this phrase reflects Genesis 2:23, "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." 164] The fact that the following verse ( Ephesians 5:31) is a quote from Genesis 2:24 further supports this view. Barnes believes this phrase reflects the intimacy of marriage. It certainly reflects the absolute unity that God intended within the institution of marriage. The UBS3 treats the phrase "of his flesh, and of his bones" as a later addition to the text.

164] Albert Barnes, Notes, Explanatory and Practical, on the Epistles of Paul to the Ephesians , Philippians and Colossians (New York: Harper and Brothers, Publishers, 1855), 126.

Ephesians 5:30Comments - As the natural man nourishes and cherishes his own physical body ( Ephesians 5:29), so does Christ love and cherish His own body, which is the Church.

A. B. Simpson comments on Ephesians 5:30 saying, "These words recognize a union between our body and the risen body of the Lord Jesus Christ, which gives us the right to claim for our mortal frame all the vital energy of His perfect life. His body is ours. His life is ours, and it is all sufficient." 165] This divine empowering within our mortal bodies has been given to us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit ( Romans 8:11).

165] A. B. Simpson, The Gospel of Healing (New York: Christian Alliance Publication Co, 1890) [on-line]; accessed 26 October 2008; available from http://www.cmalliance.org/whoweare/archives/pdfs/simpson/TheGospelOfHealing.pdf; Internet, chapter 1, section 12.

Romans 8:11, "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

Ephesians 5:31 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.

Ephesians 5:31Comments - Ephesians 5:31 is a quote from Genesis 2:24, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:32 — "This is a great mystery" - Comments - Paul uses the Greek word μυστή ριον six times in the epistle of Ephesians ( Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 3:3-4; Ephesians 3:9; Ephesians 5:32; Ephesians 6:19). This Greek word is frequently used in Classical Greek literature; however, it is seldom found in the LXX, being used eight times in book of Daniel ( Daniel 2:18-19; Daniel 2:27-30; Daniel 2:47; Ephesians 4:9) and twelve times in the apocryphal literature ( Judith ,, Tobit ,, 2 Maccabees ,, Wisdom of Solomon , and Sirach). In the New Testament, μυστή ριον is used three times in the Gospels in the parallel passage when Jesus teaches on the Parable of the Sower ( Matthew 13:11, Mark 4:11, Luke 8:10). In this statement recorded by the three Evangelists, Jesus explains that the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven are revealed to His disciples, but hidden from the multitudes. Paul uses μυστή ριον nineteen times in his epistles (1Cor 6], Eph 6], Col 4], 2Thess 1], 1Tim 2]). John uses it four times in the book of Revelation ( Revelation 1:20; Revelation 10:7; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 17:7).

Within the context of the New Testament, the "mystery" of the Gospel generally refers to divine revelation which has until now been hidden from mankind; but it has now been revealed at the revelation of Christ Jesus. God's divine plan of redemption for mankind through His Son Jesus Christ was a mystery hidden within the Old Testament Scriptures, but has now been revealed to us by the Holy Spirit through the New Testament writings. In Ephesians 5:32 Paul uses μυστή ριον to refer to one aspect of God's plan of redemption, which is the spiritual relationship between Christ and His Church.

"but I speak concerning Christ and the church" - Comments - Paul cites Genesis 2:24 in 1 Corinthians 6:16-17 when explaining the relationship of one flesh when a man commits fornication with a harlot. Just as Paul further explains in this passage that the believer who is united with Jesus Christ becomes one spirit, so does Paul follow with a similar statement in Ephesians 5:32, explaining how a man and a woman uniting in marriage serves as an analogy of the unity between a believer and Christ, for both become one flesh, that Isaiah , one spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:16-17, "What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith Hebrews , shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Ephesians 5:33Comments - What a man most desires from a woman is not her love, but rather her respect towards him as the head of the home, which can be defined in a practical way as her obedience to him ( 1 Peter 3:6). He understands a woman's love when she shows him respect by listening to him, contributing to his success and yielding to his leadership. In contrast, a woman mostly desires the tender love from her husband, always assuring her of his single devotion to her, which can be defined in a practical way as his honour towards her as equally important ( 1 Peter 3:7). This honour is shown in a practical manner as he recognizes her needs and takes care of her. Emerson Eggerichs, a Christian marriage counsellor and conference teacher, searched for years looking for the missing element in a marriage relationship. He had heard in his counselling sessions many wives crying out for their husbands to love them. However, the husbands were slow to admit their need for respect from their wife. He calls this two-fold expression in marriage the "Love and Respect Connection," and he explains that without it, a couple lives in the "Crazy Cycle" of constantly hurting one another. Regarding Ephesians 5:33 he says:

"A husband is to obey the commandment to love even if his wife does not obey the commandment to respect, and a wife is to obey the commandment to love…A husband is even called to love a disrespectful wife, and a wife is called to respect an unloving husband…When a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife. (Perhaps the command to love was given to him precisely for this reason!) When a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband. (Perhaps the command to respect was given to her precisely for this reason!)" 166]

166] Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, c 2004), 16.

Illustration - Eggerichs illustrates the application of a woman respecting her husband by referring to 1 Peter 3:1-2. Perhaps the most powerful tool that a believing woman can use to win her husband to Christ is to show him "unconditional respect." 167] This passage of Scripture goes on to say that Sarah called Abraham "lord" ( 1 Peter 3:6), as a sign of respect and obedience towards her husband. Peter then turns to the husband and tells him to honour his wife ( 1 Peter 3:7), which reflects the need to give his wife the love she craves.

167] Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, c 2004), 18.

1 Peter 3:1-2, "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear."

Illustration - A man's desire for respect from his wife is clearly illustrated in the story of King Ahasuerus' rejection of Queen Vashti ( Esther 1:1-22). The opening story of the book of Esther is about a man's desire for respect from his wife. During a royal banquet, the king asked the queen to present herself before his peers in order to boast of her beauty. Because she refused, perhaps to avoid feeling humiliated before a group of vulgar, drunken, lustful men, the king rejected her as his queen. There is no love or romance involved in this decision. The king's decision was driven strictly by his desire for respect from a wife. Had the king loved the queen, he would have considered her feelings and emotions behind her decision. In contrast, God commands the husband to love his wife, a practice that encourages the wife to respect her husband ( Ephesians 5:33). She had great honor and respect in hosting the wives of the nation's leaders. Now, she was compelled to be displayed before a group of vulgar men who would look at her with envy and lust. Instead of obeying the king, the queen disrespected her husband because he disrespected her.

Illustration - Menchu told me last night that she admired me for the first time in our fifteen-year marriage (6 April 2011). She could have told me that she loves me a hundred times; but it would not carry as much weight as one statement of admiration and honor. Her admiration tells me that as a Prayer of Manasseh , I am fulfilling my divine destiny and she is willing to go with me on the journey. However, if she tells me she loves me, tomorrow she can become upset with me. Love toward a husband vacillates, but honur endures.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/ephesians-5.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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