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Men’s Midweek: Walking in Love & Wisdom
A Study of Ephesians 5
By: Jeff Schachinger
Some in the church in Ephesus were beginning to get weak in their walk with God. They were claiming to be in Christ, but in fact they looked more like they were living by the worlds standards. Paul in chapter 5, gets into what our live in Christ should really look like.
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.
How important love is:
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 talks not just about not doing these things, but actually not even having a hint of these things! That we don’t even get close to these sins.
We can’t let anyone try to convince us that it is okay to live like this and we are also called to not partner with those who claim to be Christians yet practice these things. As Christians, we have all made commitments to honor the words of God and partner with God. We all made a decision that we will not live in partnership with the world. We have all chosen to walk hand-in-hand with Christ.
Read 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
In the kingdom of God there is a higher standard of living than the world. As Christians we can call each other to this standard when it becomes obvious that someone claiming to be a Christian is not living as one. Paul actually says, we can use the word of God to “judge” if a brother or sister is not living according to the word and use the word to call them back to it. This is what Paul is doing in Ephesians 5.
If we are going to be in the church, let’s be in the church! If we are going to be in the word, let’s really be in the word! If Jesus is Lord let’s make sure Jesus really is Lord! If the teachings of Jesus are the standard let’s maker sure it actually is the standard in our lives!
Q: As a Christian, are you more of a Christian when you are with Christians? How is your life when you are with those who are not?
Q: Do you tend to drop your convictions when you are around those who do not have the Bible as their standard?
It is easy to be a Christian when we are around other Christians, but we have to engage our Lordship when we are out in the world. We have to let our lights shine.
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.”
We as Christians are called to rise above the darkness of this world and shine a light on the evil in the world around us. We are called to walk in the Love of Christ and Wisdom of the Cross. How we live in this world is crucial to the message of Christ being revealed.
The more of Christ’s love that we have in us, the more love we can share with the world!
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.
Wisdom is knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. In addition to walking in Love we must strive to walk in wisdom.
We never know when someone’s heart will be open to hearing the gospel message. Therefore, we must be prepared to give a response. This requires wisdom to make the gospel message attractive. Walking in wisdom and love will make the gospel attractive and we will indeed be prepared.
Read Ephesians 5:21-33
“As the Church submits to Christ”
There may be some areas where we submit to Christ, but likely there are areas where we are reluctant to give anything to Christ.
It is a welcomed command to submit the areas of our lives that cause us pain (like addictions) to Christ. However, there are things we don’t necessarily feel a lot of pain about (like pride and lust) that we are more reluctant to submit. These things can linger and eventually destroy us.
Q: How submissive are you to Christ?
Q: What are some areas you feel you really need to submit to Christ right now?
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.
God wants us to be without stain and without blemish and He is committed to helping us and strengthening us to that end. However, we must engage in the process of repentance.
God has poured out His love to us and by doing our best we can give back our love to God.