Ephesians 5:3-21

Daybreak for Students

Ephesians 5:3-21

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK
Ephesians 5
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. — Ephesians 5:8

The children of Light make a difference! Many years ago, a young woman named Bertha came into contact with that Light, and what a transformation it made in her life. Bertha had been raised to confess her sins to the priest, but she remained a sinner, and as a young woman, she suffered terrible condemnation in her heart. One day her husband and his father went to a service at the Apostolic Faith Church. She told about what happened when they returned home: “When they came in, their faces were shining. They told us of the wonderful testimonies they had heard, of what the Lord had done for others, and also what He had done for them. At the close of the meeting they had gone to the altar where they prayed, repenting of their sins, and God had saved them.” A short time later, Bertha accompanied her husband to a service. “People from all walks of life told the same story — victory over sin. Something whispered in my heart, ‘Can you say that?’ I couldn’t.”

When the altar call was given, Bertha went forward to the altar, but there was no priest there, and she told the people who gathered around that she could not pray with them because she had to confess to the priest. Still, she recognized love and peace in those people and she longed to have it in her own life. That night she told her husband, “If I can get what these people have, I will leave my church!” After four more days of conviction, she returned to church and once again went to the altar. “I was hungry for God,” she said, “so I just looked up to Him like a little child and asked Him to have mercy on me and to give me what these people had.” Of course, God did not turn her away. That very moment, the precious Blood of Jesus washed her sins away and the praises of God flowed from her heart.

The Light that came into Bertha’s soul that day continued to spread. Her newly converted husband began straightening up his past. Her father-in-law had smoked a pipe for sixty years, but after his conversion, that desire was gone. Eventually, the conversion of this family stirred the whole neighborhood! 

Bertha’s testimony makes a clear point: When Christians walk as “children of light,” it makes an impact on those around them. Is your light shining brightly today?

BACKGROUND

This chapter of the Apostle Paul’s epistle is a classic example of his ministerial anointing. In it, he gave the Christians at Ephesus a blueprint of what a Christian life is like. By employing a series of powerful imageries whose meanings are unmistakable, he reminded the Christians at Ephesus of the progression of the Christian walk. 

To walk with the Lord successfully, the Ephesians needed to recognize that their past life was not only characterized by darkness, but was darkness itself. It was a life in which sin reigned. Paul pointed out that a Christian would easily identify and shun blatant sins that resulted from such darkness — sins such as fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness. He underlined for the Ephesians that other, less blatant, sins would also cast a lethal, dark shadow of death on their spiritual lives. This included sins of the tongue such as filthy or obscene talk and unwholesome jesting. He made clear that none of these types of darkness-oriented behaviors befitted a Christian.

A Christian is a child of the Light; so the Apostle admonished the believers at Ephesus to live and deport themselves in a manner consistent with this fact. They had been united with the One who is the Light of the world, and they were to behave as people who were possessed by that Light and radiate it through every aspect of their existence. Light has many beautiful characteristics that make it both unique and indispensable. Light exhibits purity and grace; it exposes and eradicates darkness; it brings recognition; and it brings healing, growth, and life. Walking “in the light” was the description of a Christian’s life, and Paul cautioned these believers that they should value this great privilege in every way.

Paul pointed out that the Christian, having passed from darkness into Light, was not to be complacent that his spiritual future was secure. He must continue to walk in the Light. This is what the Apostle called “walking in wisdom.” He enumerated specific behaviors of the Christian walk that would constitute walking in wisdom. These behaviors included: 

  • Walking carefully: being extremely cautious not to fall into the trap of the enemy. 
  • Redeeming the time: seizing opportunity to do one’s best for the cause of the Lord. 
  • Understanding God’s will: being divinely enlightened by prayer and study of God’s Word. 
  • Being filled with the Spirit: receiving the fullness of the Holy Ghost.
  • Giving thanks: worshipping and praising the Lord at all times. 
  • Submitting to one another: voluntarily subjecting ourselves to others.

The Apostle established through this exhortation that there is no eternal security outside of walking in the Light of the Word of God, and by staying away from sin and continuing to walk in the path of holiness.

AMPLIFIED OUTLINE

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
III.   The conduct of the church
     C.   Conduct in light (5:3-14)
           1.   The walk away from darkness (5:3-7)
           2.   The walk in light (5:8-14)
     D.   Conduct in wisdom (5:15-21)
           1.   Be wise with time (5:15-17)
           2.   Be filled with the Spirit (5:18-20)
           3.   Be subject one to another (5:21)

A CLOSER LOOK

  1. What will be the outcome of works of darkness?

  2. How does the Christian life typify light?

  3. Give some examples of how we can “redeem,” or be wise, with our time.

CONCLUSION

God wants us to be His lights in a darkened world. We can only be those lights if we are united with His great Light and follow Him all the way.