What does Ephesians 5:20 mean?
ESV: giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
NIV: always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
NASB: always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;
CSB: giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
NLT: And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
KJV: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
In verse 18, Paul instructs believers to be controlled by the Spirit. He frames this in contrast with being controlled by alcohol, naming drunkenness as something Christians are to avoid. Verse 19 offers several expressions of being spiritually filled.
This verse adds another expression, which is an attitude of universal thanksgiving. Being controlled by the Spirit includes gratitude. The Spirit-filled believer is a person who is regularly thankful for what God has done in his or her life.
Notice who we are to thank as Spirit-filled believers: "God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." We don't simply thank ourselves or other people; we give thanks to God. Both the Father and the Son are recipients of our gratitude through the control of the Spirit. All three persons of the triune God are involved in the ongoing life of the obedient believer.
Interestingly, Paul uses the exact phrase "Lord Jesus Christ" six times in this brief letter (Ephesians 1:2, 3, 17; 5:20; 6:23, 24), emphasizing Jesus as King, God, and Messiah. He both begins (Ephesians 1:2) and ends (Ephesians 6:24) this letter giving top priority to Jesus, as the One above all else.
Ephesians 5:1–21 continues Paul's invaluable instructions on how Christians should live out their faith. Rather than imitating the world, or being controlled by worldly things, Christians are to be filled with the Spirit. Specific flaws such as sexual immorality, crude speech, and wasting of time are discouraged. Instead, believers ought to submit to one another out of respect for Christ, providing a powerful witness to the world.
Chapter 5 begins with an admonition to imitate Christ. In order to do so, Christians must avoid sexual immorality, vulgar language, foolishness, and other inappropriate attitudes. Paul warns that those who persist in these behaviors are not part of the kingdom of God. The passage then transitions to an explanation of mutual submission, including that between husbands and wives. Wives are to submit to their husbands, and respect them. Husbands are to love their wives in a Christ-like, sacrificial, and humble way.
Chapter 5 continues the very practical second half of the book of Ephesians. Chapter 4 encouraged Christians not to live as unbelievers do, but worthy of the gift we have been given. Chapter 5 gives even more direct application of these principles. Paul details impure attitudes and habits which Christians ought to put aside. He then details the proper approach to marriage, rooted in a Christian understanding of the gospel. This style of advice will continue through chapter 6. Paul's advice will culminate in a famous analogy about applying Christian principles to all of life, using the symbolism of a suit of armor.
Ephesians follows a theme common in Paul's writings: connecting theory with practice. In this book, however, he goes into greater depth before making the transition. As a letter meant to be read by more than just the believers at Ephesus, this is an important look at how Christian belief should translate into Christian action. The first three chapters lay out spiritual ideas, the last three chapters show how these truths should be applied in the life of a mature believer. Paul focuses heavily on love, the unity of the Christian church, and the incredible value of our salvation through Christ.
Accessed 11/30/2023 6:01:06 AM
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