As we study the book of Ephesians, Paul continues to show us what life looks like for a child of God. We learned from chapter four that God calls His children to walk united in love. Today’s lesson is a continuation of what our lives should look like as believers. We are made alive in Christ and we are to walk in His light. Paul teaches us what it looks like to walk godly.
Go ahead and read Ephesians 5:1-20. We will study the last part of chapter five with chapter six. It will fit together nicely.
ASK YOURSELF: How does Paul start out this chapter? We are to imitate who? When do we do this and why?
We are called out of this sinful world so we can live for another world, one which is filled with love and peace. Paul shares in verse 2 how we are to live a life filled with love. We are to follow how Christ lived life while He walked upon the earth.
ASK YOURSELF: From verse 2, why do we follow Jesus?
Jesus demonstrates the greatest example of love known to mankind and we read how it is a pleasing aroma to God. When we follow Jesus, we please God.
To shine for Christ, we must choose wisely in how we act. We don’t live according to our human nature, we live for Christ, which means we live by God’s standards.
ASK YOURSELF: From verses 3-4, how are we NOT to live?
These ways are of this world and not from God. For every worldly way, God has a way out, a better choice we can make instead.
ASK YOURSELF: From the end of verse 4, how should we act instead?
Gratefulness and thankfulness to God are big components to keeping His light bright within our hearts. Paul tells us that we can be sure that no one who chooses to live immoral, impure or who is greedy, will inherit heaven when they die.
God wants us to love Him more than the world. We see in verse 5, how Paul says that a greedy person is an idolater. In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an idolater is someone who admires intensely and often blindly one that is not usually a subject of worship.
ASK YOURSELF: What does Paul say in verse 6-7? How does God feel about this?
We are not to be fooled by those who choose to disobey the ways of God. We are not to participate either. Yes, God is very loving. He wants no one to perish. Look at 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. (This promise is Jesus returning.) No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” Yet, God is just and He has a standard that everyone must live by. He will return to judge the earth.
I LOVE verse 8. God had me memorize it years ago and it has helped me in my walk with Christ.
For once you were full of darkness, but now you have the light from the Lord and your behavior should show it.8
We are to live as people of light, not of the darkness that is in this world.
ASK YOURSELF: According to verse 9, what does the light of Christ produce within you? Stop and let God speak to you about this.
Verse 10 is a key verse in walking with God. We are to carefully determine what pleases the Lord. To know what pleases God, we need to know His Word. When we fill ourselves up with truth, we are then able to live out His ways. We will shine brightly for the world to see!
Paul continues on in verses 11-14 in how to keep the light of Christ shining brightly.
ASK YOURSELF: We are to not take part in worthless deeds of evil and darkness. What are we to do instead? Why?
The light of Christ makes everything visible.14
Look at some scriptures that talk about this very thing:
In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world if you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 1:9 says, “The one who is the true light to everyone was coming into the world.”
Jesus also says in John 12:36, “Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”
ASK YOURSELF: What do you learn about Jesus’ light from these verses?
To live by the Spirit’s power and to shine brightly, we are to awaken from our slumber, like verse 14 says, and rise up from the dead.
ASK YOURSELF: What will Christ do for you? Read John 5:25 also.
We are learning that we are to imitate God in all that we do. We are to live a life full of love, just like Christ. Give thanks to God and don’t be fooled by those who love the world more than God. Learn what pleases God by knowing scripture. We are to awaken from any sleepy ways that cause us to turn from God.
Paul then says we are to be careful how we live.15
ASK YOURSELF: From verses 15-20, how are we NOT to live? Instead, how do we live that will please God?
Be wise as you make the most of every opportunity to shine His light. Paul says that we live in evil days. Think rationally and understand what God is telling you. Don’t be drunk with wine. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit. Praise God and give thanks for everything.
If we follow the ways of God, we will live lives full of hope, joy and peace. We are learning how walking with Christ calls for deliberate choices that align themselves with God’s Word. We don’t live haphazardly moment-by-moment. We live with an eternal purpose.
When we walk this way, we make God smile as He says to us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23) It’s time to shine my friends.