Setting the example Jesus left for us to follow
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"Living in the Light", "Wives and Husbands"
Our Weekly Bible Study begins with us reading the assigned scripture ahead of time and preparing our hearts for study and discussion. When we meet (virtually or in person) we first read the scripture as a group, and then take turns sharing and discussing what impacted us the most, and our general interpretation of what we read.
Making Notes as we go through Bible Study is always encouraged, as it helps to increase our understanding of what we have read, and also allows us to become more comfortable and familiar with the Bible.
To make participation easier and more memorable for our younger children, we will include a link to Storybook Bible images of the readings whenever these are available.
This week’s virtual Bible Study focused on Ephesians 5, the fifth chapter in our study on the Book of Ephesians. After praying and reading through the chapters, we discussed the verses at length, and shared our personal views on what we had read.
The first three chapters of Ephesians dealt with the wealth of the Believer. Paul showed us in detail what God has done for us- we have been given all the information we need in order to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. Chapter 5 and the first part of chapter 6 deal with the manner in which we should walk. The last part of chapter 6 deals with Spiritual warfare.
Verse 1: Paul tells us to be imitators of God, just as children are imitators of adults, so we are called to imitate the behavior of Christ. His reference to “dear children” refers to “obedient children. We have many good reasons to imitate Him, chapters 1-3 highlighted many of these reasons for us.
Verse 2: Walk in love- Paul has shown us in prior chapters what love truly is. Christ has set the example for us to follow; we don’t have to carve a new path, it has already been put into our hearts and into our walk. Christ demonstrated the ultimate example by giving Himself for us.
Verse 3: “…But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness”– Note that Paul links all three of these words together- fornication is as a result of covetousness, and fornication turns an act that was intended to be sacred into that which is unclean.
Verse 4: “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting…” We must learn to walk away from this type of behavior-this is what we are called to do.If we have nothing edifying to say, instead of engaging in foolish talk, just give thanks; express gratitude. Even if we are in pain, remain thankful. There is always something we can give thanks to God for, no matter what our situation may be.
Verse 5: You can see it, hear it, and taste it, but if you remain a fornicator, unclean person, covetous man, or an idolater you will not inherit the goodness of God. People covet many things, possessions, the wives and husbands of others, and more.
Verses 6-7: Paul calls us to make a clean break from these types of behaviours- we must not continue to associate with them in any form. Holiness protects us, therefore we must pursue it; we must yield to the nudge of the Spirit when we are warned against engaging in immorality.
Verses 8-10: We are warned to walk as children of light, obedient children, focused on righteous living, goodness and truth.
Verse 11: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them”. Many immoral behaviors remain hidden because instead of revealing these as we are called to do, we continue to engage in fellowship with them.(Ref. also 1 John 2:1- “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not).
Verse 12: “For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret”. We often see this demonstrated in gossip about the private lives of others. Although the information is being shared in what seems like a fun manner by those who may be our friends, it is our responsibility to expose this kind of behavior, we are not to fellowship in it or entertain it. It may cost us a friendship to do so, but as children of light, this is what we are called to do.
Verses 13-14: We must expose all darkness, we cannot live two lives, cannot have a church life and a secular life, there can only be one life, and as a believer, it must be a life lived in light.
Verses 15-16: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise…” To walk circumspectly is to walk with a full awareness of what is going on around us. “Circum” means around, and spectly: refers to the eyes, to seeing. If we are not walking with an awareness of what is going on around us, we will be caught off guard, knocked down by the evil that exists all around us. We cannot walk as fools, we must remain wise, redeem the time, and see the season and the time because the days are evil.
Verse 17: We must understand what the will of God is. We must seek His will and obey it. Reference John 5:19 where Jesus said “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner”. Jesus did nothing unless it was His Father’s will. Many times we do things in our own will, and when we get ourselves into trouble we then expect God to rescue us- because of His grace and mercy, He often does, but we must learn to be wise- to seek His will before making any decisions about our lives.
Verse 18: “…Do not be drunk with wine”, as this makes you unaware of what is happening to you or around you. When you are filled with the Spirit, however, you are walking circumspectly, you will know what is happening around you, you will be conscious of the presence of sin, you will know when evil is around you.
Verses 19-20: Paul encourages us to speak to each other in Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, and to sing in our hearts to the Lord (rather than engaging in foolish talk). When singing to the Lord our voice does not have to be audible; our melody to the Lord can be right within our heart. “Giving thanks always for all things to God…” no matter what. We must give Him thanks all the time, in all situations. If we remain in thanksgiving mode, many of the burdens we have will be lifted.
Verse 21: “Submitting to one another in the fear of God“. Each time we submit to one another we are doing it because we fear God.
Verses 25-28: “Wives must submit to their own husbands, as to the Lord”. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so wives must be to their own husbands. We are instructed to submit in everything, so in cases where the husband makes an incorrect decision, the wife’s submission will not be held against her, as she was walking in obedience to the Lord. Husbands must love their wives as Christ loved the church- Each of these verses show a direct comparison between how Christ behaved and how we are expected to behave.
Verse 32: Paul points out that “this is a great mystery”: We have been redeemed and brought into this great mystery of the love of God. Christ came and cleaved unto us, made us part of His flesh, His inheritance, His bones, and His spirit so that we could become one with Him. The comparison between God’s coming to be one with man, and how the man and his wife were designed to be one with each other, shows why it is so important to remove ourselves from fornication. When we engage in this practice we are taking a part of the person’s soul with us. This is why we have ties that bind, and as Solomon says, when we commit sexual sins, we are destroying our own souls. It is not pleasure, it is a form of wickedness that many fail to understand. The great mystery of Christ and the church, and the spiritual sense that Paul captures here (v.22-29), must also be seen not just as a guide for living in the natural world but also as a deep spiritual mystery.
Verse 33: The woman needs love from her husband, and the man needs respect from his wife.
As you read through this week’s Bible passage, ask yourself:
What are MY thoughts on what I am reading?
How can I apply this to MY life?
It is an amazing thing to see what God does when we commit our plans and intentions to Him. Summer…