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Ephesians chapter 5

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What does Ephesians chapter 5 mean?

Chapter 5 covers two important themes: obedience to the example of Christ, and the relationship between husbands and wives. First, Paul discusses how believers are to be imitators of God through a focus on the love demonstrated by Christ (Ephesians 5:1–21). Second, wives and husbands are given clear biblical teachings regarding mutual love and submission in relationship to Christ (Ephesians 5:22–33).

The first section (Ephesians 5:1–21) encourages believers to imitate God like loving children (Ephesians 5:1). Sexual impurity is not to be known among believers (Ephesians 5:3). The same is true of foolish talk (Ephesians 5:4). Non-believers are marked by a persistent pattern of these behaviors (Ephesians 5:5). Believers are not to be deceived by lies (Ephesians 5:6) and must not be partners with those who deceive (Ephesians 5:7). Yes, believers once lived in this way, but are no longer walking in darkness (Ephesians 5:8).

Believers are to find out what pleases God (Ephesians 5:10). Believers should take no part in sin, but rather expose sin (Ephesians 5:11). This does not require us to be vulgar or offensive in discussing sinful acts (Ephesians 5:12). Paul then quotes from what was likely part of an early Christian song in verse 14. He encourages believers to walk with wisdom (Ephesians 5:15).

Believers are to make the most of their time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). Paul encouraged readers to understand the will of God (Ephesians 5:17) and not become drunk on wine (Ephesians 5:18). Instead, believers are to be filled with the Spirit, praising the Lord and giving thanks to Him (Ephesians 5:18–20). Believers should also submit to one another out of respect for Christ (Ephesians 5:21).

The second part of this chapter (Ephesians 5:22–33) addresses mutual submission between husband and wife. Ephesians 5:22–24 focuses first on wives. They are called to submit to their husbands as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22), with Paul using the analogy of Christ and the church as an example (Ephesians 5:23–24).

Husbands are then addressed and called to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). They are to love their wives as they do their own bodies, teaching that the man who loves his wife loves himself (Ephesians 5:28). Paul transitions to a reference to Genesis 2:24, noting the mystery is profound between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32). In summary, Paul reminds husbands to love their wives as they do themselves and for wives to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33).
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