Ephesians 5

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Read Ephesians 5

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Instructions for Christian Households

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Go Deeper

Paul powerfully described in the first 3 chapters of Ephesians the treasured and blessed position God has established for those in Christ Jesus. This last half of the book provides practical and specific ways to live as His beloved children, walking in a manner worthy of this calling. This chapter further describes how to live as imitators of God, underscoring that our motivation is not merely obligation, but instead it is a heart-felt response to Christ’s great love for us.

What does this look like? When we live a life overflowing with Jesus’ love, we reflect His sacrificial love. Jesus beckons us away from immoral, impure deeds, and when we focus on this new freedom, we give thanks for Christ’s gifts. The more we grasp and respond to God’s vast love for us, the deeper our commitment to living a life of gratitude and obedience. We are transformed into children of light. 

But practically, what does that look like? Paul explains that the fruit of this light is goodness, righteousness, and truth, as we discern what pleases the Lord. As the darkness of our life without Christ is exposed and replaced with His light in us, our lives begin to reflect more of Jesus. His light is always stronger than the dark. Paul then urges us to live as those who are wise, making the most of every opportunity. Why? The days are evil, yet imitators of God offer hope, truth and life as they allow Christ to shine in and through them.

As you reflect on this chapter, don’t miss the underlying message and motivation to live out your new life in Christ.  The key is in verses 1-2: “As dearly loved children, walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” We live as followers of God’s example, reflecting His light. We do this not to earn our status as His children but because Jesus through His sacrificial love calls us His own.

Through our conduct, our marriages, the way we parent, and the way we interact with others  we have the opportunity to point people to the light each and every day.


  1. How does Paul’s emphasis on Christ’s love for us motivate you to imitate God’s example?
  2. How has your growing love for Christ drawn you away from the deeds of darkness listed in this chapter?
  3. Where do you need to expose darkness in your life with the light of Christ?  Share this with your life group to seek their support and accountability.

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10 thoughts on “Ephesians 5”

  1. Once we fully grasp the perfect love of God who sacrificed his Son for us, it radically changes everything. Our lives are to be continually marked by gratitude, faith, goodness, mercy, truth and serving others. We are to humbly submit to Him, drawing from His presence and power. We will swim upstream in our culture, but are equipped to bear his light, always with a sense of urgency because the days are certainly evil. We shatter the darkness by letting his perfect love shine through us. I daily find comfort in leaning on my Savior as I navigate life. It propels me to live intentionally & love well. I’m currently on #806 in my gratitude journal, today I recorded Paul’s name.

    1. You hit the head on the nail when you said “daily”. I have to stay daily, almost hourly on some days, surrounded by worship or scripture. We can’t skip days….wise words.

  2. Paul’s teaching is so cut and dry. He hardly leaves any room for assumption or questioning of scripture. The heavenly behavior he writes about doesn’t even seem like it can be reality on earth…for we are not perfect. We sin. Repeatedly. How to we make these scriptures applicable-habitual? All it takes is the want to. The desire to. I heard something profound near the end of Keller’s podcast from Wednesday. He said in Mark 1:37 ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ (Simeon and some disciples said to Jesus)
    “Every single person is looking for Jesus whether they know it or not. And if you miss Jesus, you’re going to turn something else into Jesus.
    -You’re going to look to something else to give you hope and meaning
    -You’re going to look to something else or some one to do what only Jesus can do, and you’re going to destroy it because it can’t fill in ways Jesus only can. Find him… find Him”. (Paraphrased)
    I also saw this from Evans….
    Galatians 5:16 ‘So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.’
    “Which means walk by the spirit so you won’t carry out the desires of the flesh. Where we mess up is trying to focus on stopping the desires of flesh first, then trying to walk by the spirit.” Tony Evans

    When your radar is on Jesus, you will see ways He will speak to you. I went to bed last night thanking my Father for sending these to compliment todays reading. God is so good to us. I pray each of you see ways that God is speaking to you today.

      1. ☺️ you’re welcome, Pam! That’s reassuring and good to know we both needed these words.

        **Tim Keller’s sermon is #720 about Jesus and the Leper. (I noted wrong one)

  3. Thank you for this, just what I needed today:
    When we live a life overflowing with Jesus’ love, we reflect His sacrificial love. Jesus beckons us away from immoral, impure deeds, and when we focus on this new freedom, we give thanks for Christ’s gifts. The more we grasp and respond to God’s vast love for us, the deeper our commitment to living a life of gratitude and obedience. We are transformed into children of light.

  4. Thank you for your comment. I have lived most of my life searching for something to fill a void that I now understand only Jesus can fill. I needed a reminder that nothing can replace Jesus. I pray our Heavenly Father continually blesses your life.

    1. Unspeakable joy, Brandy! 🙂 I will pray as you drawer nearer to Jesus that he will help and guide you.

  5. Follow God. Be imitators of Christ. Vs 15 be careful how you live making the most of every opportunity. Giving thanks always!!!

    Thank you God that I can be a sensible, intelligent, discerning person. God I want to make the most of my time I have on this earth, taking advantage of every opportunity You give me to speak about You!! Continue to show me, guide me, and prick my inner man that this is a time for me to open my mouth. I am soooooooo grateful thankful and blessed God!!! In Jesus name amen

  6. Be imitators, follow God’s example as dearly loved children. When imitating someone you take on the characteristics of the one whom you are imitating. As someone who does impersonations, I try to get the voice inflections, mannerisms, and other unique characteristics just right. If one of those things is slightly off, others don’t know the person I’m trying to imitate. When I study and spend time learning the person I’m trying to imitate, and then do so, others see that and know the one I’m imitating.

    What if we did that with Christ? What if we took on the characteristics of Christ and followed His example, imitate Him as some translations of Ephesians 5:1 read. As His children, we have the opportunity to study, learn, spend time with and grow to be like Jesus. As we spend time in His word and spend time with Him, the more those characteristics will take hold in our lives and we will follow/imitate His example.

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