The following are notes from last night’s Midweek message on Ephesians 5 by Florence Schachinger. You can also listen to the audio below:
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A Life of Love, Light, and Surrender
Midweek lesson on Ephesians 5 By Florence Schachinger
Living a Life of Love
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 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.
The word imitate is similar to the word mimic in our language. We are called here to imitate God’s example of love through Christ. Christ gave himself up for us as he surrendered to God’s will and His ways. He completely entrusted himself to God. This is what we can imitate.
Read 1 Peter 2:21-24
Jesus gave himself up for every one of us, trusted Gods story, trusted God’s way and this allowed him to love us the way that he did.
Q: How is your trust in God’s plan for your life?
Q: What does it look like for you to live a life of Love right now?
We have to practice empathy and compassion, these things don’t always come naturally and we have to really practice putting ourselves in other people’s shoes so we can love them.
3 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. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 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.[a] 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them
Paul gets pretty strong here, but following God’s standard is also a part of this idea of walking in Love. We as Christians have decided to follow Jesus and His standard and Paul is making sure to remind the church of the commitment they made.
Context: In Ephesus there was a temple to the God Artemis who was the God of love and a part of their worship would be to pay the temple prostitutes and engage in illicit activity.
Paul speaks strongly here because the message of the gospel is at stake. The Christians were tempted to be influenced by the world rather than influencing it.
Our behavior reflects the validity of our faith!
Q: Does your standard slide depending on the people you are around?
Q: Where do you feel you need to get more serious about in terms of your standard?
Living a Life in the Light
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (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.”
Our lives as disciples should be a contrast to the dark, a contrast to the lost, a contrast to the invisible. Our lives should demonstrate we are walking in the light and striving to find out how we can please the Lord. This takes digging into the word and seeking for answers.
Q: What is God’s light making more visible in your life right now? What is he exposing in your life?
Let’s not be afraid of God bringing things to light. This is for our benefit, even for our salvation!
Read Isaiah 60:1-2
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.
“Making the most of every opportunity” has the Greek equivalent of “buying up at the market place” it denotes an idea of seize upon the opportunity to make a deal.
Paul also was concerned about what they were filling themselves with. The Church was filing themselves with wine to get drunk as they worshiped pagan Gods. Paul wants them to be filled with the Spirit and now wine! Paul wanted them to fill up on psalms, hyms, and songs.
Q: What are you filling yourself most with?
Living a life Surrendered
Read Ephesians 5:21-33
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
We can surrender to one another because we first yield and surrender to Jesus’s leadership. If we trust Jesus, we know that he will take care of us as we yield to others around us.
The concept of marriage was wild during this time. The institution of marriage was not respected at all.
Paul here is helping them to understand that everything is brand new, in every relationship there exists an idea of submission. He uses Jesus and the Church as an example of helping them understand what a covenant relationship really is. So many of their relationships would end abruptly and Paul is letting them know that Jesus is committed to the Church wholeheartedly.
Q: How submissive and surrendered are you to Jesus? (His ways first)
Q: How submissive and surrendered are you in all of your relationships?
We can submit and surrender to Jesus and trust him and then apply that to all the other relationships in our lives!
32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
We became one with Jesus! Let’s make sure we are honoring that and allowing that to cross over into all our other relationships!
Let’s live a life of love, a life of light, and a life of surrender!