Ephesians 5 以弗所书 第五章
I. Further Warnings Against Sin (5:3-14)
A. Immoral Behavior and Talk (vv. 3-7)
After his summary statement in 5:1-2, Paul appeared to double back and attack the sins of the pagan world. This served to emphasize the urgency of the problem Paul saw. Here he listed several sins, the first of which are concerned with sexual immorality:
Immorality: This refers to illicit sexual activity or sexual activity outside of marriage. From the Greek word for “fornication” (“immorality” in the NASB) we get the English word pornography.
Impurity: This is a broad term for immorality or uncleanness.
Greed: This word was often used to describe uncontrolled sexual desire.
Paul next shifted to sins of conversation:
Filthiness: This refers to shameful, filthy, or obscene speech.
Silly Talk: Known as the “talk of fools,” it is the conversation of the drunkard.
Coarse Jesting: This is the language that makes light of human weakness or human goodness and ultimately tears down the quality of life.
Paul declared that his readers should not make these topics a matter of conversation and should not associate with people who practice and talk about these things: “Do not be partakers with them” (v. 7). To underscore the seriousness of this kind of immoral behavior, Paul stated that those who practice these evils will not share in the inheritance of the kingdom of God.
B. Light and Darkness (vv. 8-14)
Light, because it is the nature of Christ, is powerful. Paul provided some specific details about the light that Jesus Christ brings to humankind.
Light produces good fruit (v. 9). Paul listed goodness, righteous-ness, and truth as the products of light. Those who walk in the light exhibit a spirit of generosity.
Light exposes motives (v. 10). Light enables the Christian to discriminate between what is pleasing and what is not pleasing to God. It is in this light that all motives, attitudes, and actions must be tested. Believers are to “learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”
Light exposes evil (v. 12). Light exposes the unfruitful works of darkness. Evil activity, when dragged into the light of Christ, is seen for what it is and dies a natural death.
Light cleanses (vv. 13-14). Although this (v. 13) is a difficult verse to interpret, it seems that Paul declared that light has a cleansing effect. What is exposed by the light becomes influenced by the light. In addition to the light’s function of condemning evil, light has a healing effect. Certainly, light is a witness to people in darkness. The effect of light on a sinful heart can result in the healing of the soul.
Contrast Between Darkness and Light:
Darkness produces lies (v. 6), while light embraces truth (v. 9).
Darkness produces sin (v. 6), while light produces righteousness (v. 9).
Darkness is unfruitful (v. 11), while light produces fruit (v. 9) – goodness, truth, righteousness.
Darkness is shameful (v. 12), while light is pleasing to God (v. 10).
To conclude this section, Paul introduced an indirect quotation from Isaiah 60:1: “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” This quotation includes the name of Christ, leading most scholars to believe that it is from an early Christian hymn.
This passage from Isaiah describes the beginning of the Christian life as waking from sleep, as rising from the dead, and as receiving light. Certainly, those who have experienced Christ cannot take part in the ways of sleep, death, and darkness.
II. Walking in Wisdom (5:15-20)
A. Walk Carefully (v. 15)
The idea Paul conveyed here is that of looking around carefully to avoid stumbling and falling.
Christians are to be aware and alert, taking advantage of the light they have in a dark world.
B. Seize Opportunities (vv. 15-16)
“Making the most of your time” – Paul is teaching here that wise living involves making the most of our time. The kind of time Paul spoke of here is not the passing of hours, days, and years, but strategic time in the form of windows of opportunity.
Timely action is especially important because “the days are evil.”
C. Understand God’s Will (v. 17)
Understanding God’s will is directly related to understanding God’s Word.
God’s will as revealed in His Word is always the criterion and the motivation for Christian living.
D. Be Filled With the Spirit (v. 18)
The key idea of the word filled is control. The indwelling Spirit of God ought to be the dominant and controlling factor in a believer’s life.
Those not controlled by the Spirit are vulnerable to evil influences and will ultimately give way to control by their own lusts and desires.
E. Sing Praises to God (v. 19)
The early church was a singing church. Paul described the gathering of believers as they were filled with the Spirit. “Psalms” refers to the songs of Israel in the Old Testament, and “hymns” may have been new songs of the Christian faith.
While these spiritual songs were shared among believers, their purpose was to praise God. This praise was to be accompanied with thanksgiving, a quality possible only to those whom God had redeemed through Jesus Christ His Son. From Scripture we find that the early church was indeed a thankful church.
III. Wives and Husbands (5:21-33)
A. Mutual Submission (v. 21)
Paul exhorted believers to be submissive to one another. Although in the following verse Paul applied this exhortation to husbands and wives, he did not limit his emphasis to the husband-wife relationship.
Paul’s emphasis on unity and harmony applies to the entire body of Christ.
B. Counsel to Wives (vv.22-24)
Wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. The term “submit” means “to be subject to.” This word is common to specific New Testament instruction regarding the relationship between husband and wife (See Col. 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1, 5). The word has primarily the idea of giving up one’s own rights and will.
The term for “submit” is also used in a variety of other contexts, including the subjection of all things to Christ, the subjection of persons to civil authorities, and the subjection of one Christian to another.
Submission has nothing to do with worth before God or each other. Submission does not imply inferiority. Rather, it is an expression of a God-ordained role. Verse 23 is critical. The wife is to be subject to her husband because the husband is head of his wife in the same way that Christ is head of the church. The husband is the God-appointed leader of the home, and he is held accountable for that role.
C. Counsel to Husbands (vv. 25-33)
Paul’s command to husbands was: “love your wives” (v. 25); and he immediately told husbands what it meant to do so.
Paul pointed to Christ and said in effect, “You see how much Christ loved the church? You see how He demonstrated that love to the church? In that same way – to that degree – you husbands are to love your wives.”