Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Ephesians | Session 24 | 5:14-21

In our study today from Ephesians 5:14-21 we see Paul encouraging believers to wake up, walk carefully, and realize that the time is short and the days are evil.

Awake and Arise 
Verse 14: Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  Who said it? - Apparently, the Lord did from the context. This must be something that Paul received by revelation because nothing is said in the Old Testament that I can find. It seems to be an encouragement to the one who is spiritually asleep. 

Verse 15: See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,  He then gives an encouragement for them to walk carefully in wisdom and not foolishness. The idea is to take special pains to guard against sins he mentioned above. 

Verse 16: Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Literally to rescue our time and not waste it. Why? - Because the days are evil and their are too many temptations around us everyday to do the opposite. In other words, we are to make the most of the time that we have and not squander it. 

Verse 17: Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  Wherefore means "on account of this." In other words, he is still adding on form the previous verses about time and evil, i.e., wise up and see what the Lord is doing around us and not become distracted. 

Verse 18: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;  Drunkeness should be avoided, but instead we should be filled with the Holy Spirit. To be drunk goes against verse 15 regarding walking circumspectly and not as fools. Drumkeness is also addressed in Galatians 5:21; Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:29-33. 

Verses 19-21: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. These verses list the things that should be the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit. They include: 1. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. The point is that being filled with the Spirit results in a desire to worship God. 2. Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. The resulting worship will come from the heart. 3. Giving thanks always. It will result in an attitude of thanks. It has been said that God has not stopped being gracious, we have just stopped being thankful. 

Lastly, Paul says something that is very controversial in our society today that balks at the idea of submission. 4. Submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of GodThe word submit means to accept or yield to a superior force or authority. It is really what I call deference. Deference refers to a certain amount of respect or esteem that we give to others. Our culture is quite honestly not very good at it today and I believe it is one of the reasons our society is failing. He will continue to build on this principal in chapter 6. 

Notice that he concludes the verse with all of these things need to be done  in the fear of the Lord. One commentator puts it this way, "a believer's continual reverence for God is the basis for his submission to other believers." Proverbs 9:10 says that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

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