Ephesians chapters 1-3 wonderfully expound the Gospel while Ephesians chapters 4-6 provide a clear picture of how those doctrines change our lives. Tip: to find an exact phrase or title, enclose it in quotation marks. That is the world, then, that is presupposed by our text. Follow God's example,a therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, Therefore, these letters could also be called the “House Arrest Epistles”. Time is a talent given us by God, and it is misspent and lost when not employed according to his design. They disobey God’s law and are ruled by Satan (1:7; 2:1–3, 5… 33. He has a divine will (5:17) and He “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. Sometimes Paul gets a bad rap. All people are by nature spiritually dead. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. What kind of a world is this into which Paul is speaking, as he leaves the structures intact, but radically alters the relationships in terms of living cruciform? TITTMANN, "Watch the time, and make it your own so as to control it; as merchants look out for opportunities, and accurately choose out the best goods; serve not the time, but command it, and it shall do what you approve." d. The householder and a few higher-level slaves had the only public roles. Paul wrote it about 60-62 A.D. Philemon, provide your slaves [including Onesimus] with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.”. And she was expected to leave after eating, when the conversation took a more public turn. It is a well-known and widely practiced axiom that any writing must be interpreted in the … In a narrower sense, special favorable seasons for good, occasionally presenting themselves, are referred to, of which believers ought diligently to avail themselves. We would do well here to go back and reread chapter 5 in light of this reality. 3:1, 4:1).Paul is sending the slave Onesimus back to his master Philemon, in the care of Tychicus. Thus reverential fear of displeasing Him is the motive for discharging our relative duties as Christians ( 1 Corinthians 10:22 , 2 Corinthians 5:11 , 1 Peter 2:13 ). The eventual effects of this one reality alone brought staggering changes to our culture, including especially all the new opportunities that women began to enjoy, including: But it also resulted in our homes being thought of as havens of refuge from the world out there and, until recently, as the place for the nuclear family to exist—a nearly sacred concept in Western culture that was totally foreign to Paul’s world. Lesson 43: Walking Wisely (Ephesians 5:15-17) Related Media. We are heirs of a culture in which two major events in the past 300 years have radically altered Western culture forever, and which turned the basically patronal culture that preceded it completely on its head—namely, the so-called Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. The temple and streets were lined with immoral goddess prostitutes. 31. 6. vain--empty, unreal words, namely, palliations of "uncleanness," Ephesians 5:3 Ephesians 5:4 , Isaiah 5:20 (that it is natural to indulge in love), "covetousness" (that it is useful to society that men should pursue gain), and "jesting" (that it is witty and clever, and that God will not so severely punish for such things). 10 This imprisonment was actually a time when Paul was kept under guard in rented quarters (Acts 28:30). Uncleanness and greediness of gain often go hand in hand ( Ephesians 5:3 Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 3:5); though "greediness" here includes all kinds of self-seeking. 1. The concept of honor and shame ruled everything; honor, or its opposite, disgrace, was regularly the basis for most moral appeals. We know from a large number of census lists from Egypt that: Mistresses we keep for the sake of pleasure, concubines for the daily care of the body, but wives to bear us legitimate children. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. Commentary on Ephesians 5:15-21 (Read Ephesians 5:15-21) Another remedy against sin, is care, or caution, it being impossible else to maintain purity of heart and life. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands, in every thing. “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 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.” (Ephesians 5:1–2 NIV11) Have they taken their eyes off God? “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it” (v. 25). The city of Ephesus was a large commercial port city … We get what we want or need by buying and selling, and those who get ahead by buying favors are scorned. they two shall be one flesh--So the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Septuagint, &c., read ( Genesis 2:24 ), instead of "they shall be one flesh." Ephesians 5:18. Therefore: Here, Paul concludes the thought from Ephesians 4, where he described how Christians should relate to one another. Indeed, in our context I almost always have a strong sense of need here to apologize to the singles—which in itself is evidence of how different from them we really are culturally. Haer. Rather, it was intended forever to do away with the significance attached to such structural differences, which pitted one group of human beings against another. 5. this ye know--The oldest manuscripts read, "Of this ye are sure knowing"; or as ALFORD, "This ye know being aware." Most men, although not all, were promiscuous: Some wives, therefore, were promiscuous as well (although they always had to be more discreet, because their act would be considered infidelity, which was a matter of shame). Verses 1-33. with the washing of water--rather as Greek, "with," or "by the laver of the water," namely, the baptismal water. . Look at Ephesians 5:18 with me. Is there a divinely ordained hierarchy in the life of the church and home that is based on gender alone? in--in union with the Lord, who is THE LIGHT. The expression, "not be even named," applies better to impurity, than to "covetousness.". their own--not in most of the oldest manuscripts, and not needed by the argument. Philemon, love Apphia and do not be harsh with her. The devil and the wicked will not suffer themselves to be made manifest by the light, but love darkness, though outwardly the light shines round them. Besides, there are many special evil days (in persecution, sickness, &c.). given himself for us--Greek, "given Himself up (namely, to death, Galatians 2:20 ) for us," that is, in our behalf: not here vicarious substitution, though that is indirectly implied, "in our stead." The Greek order is, "For the things done in secret by them, it is a shame even to speak of." The Church's relation to Christ in His everlasting purpose, is the foundation and archetype of the three greatest of earthly relations, that of husband and wife ( Ephesians 5:22-33 ), parent and child ( Ephesians 6:1-4 ), master and servant ( Ephesians 6:4-9 ). What Paul obviously did not do was to demolish the structures and create new ones. Key Themes. Covetousness is worship of the creature instead of the Creator, the highest treason against the King of kings ( 1 Samuel 15:3 , Matthew 6:24 , Philippians 3:19 , 1 John 2:15 ). The visible Church now contains clean and unclean together, like Noah's ark; like the wedding room which contained some that had, and others that had not, the wedding garment ( Matthew 22:10-14 ; compare 2 Timothy 2:20 ); or as the good and bad fish are taken in the same net because it cannot discern the bad from the good, the fishermen being unable to know what kind of fish the nets have taken under the waves. So also in ordinary Christians the Spirit dwells not in the mind that seeks the disturbing influences of excitement, but in the well-balanced prayerful mind. The model thus has little to do with villas where women served as heads of households, in which case the first relationship does not pertain at all, and the second probably less so (although widows may well have had children in the household). offering and a sacrifice--"Offering" expresses generally His presenting Himself to the Father, as the Representative undertaking the cause of the whole of our lost race ( Psalms 40:6-8 ), including His life of obedience; though not excluding His offering of His body for us ( Hebrews 10:10 ). psalms--generally accompanied by an instrument. What I hope to do is to offer a few probings into the cultural background of this passage—which has become such a crux for people on both sides of the issue of whether there is a divinely ordained hierarchy in the life of the church and home, based on gender alone. in your heart--not merely with the tongue; but the serious feeling of the heart accompanying the singing of the lips (compare 1 Corinthians 14:15 , Psalms 47:7 ). And note, finally, that the male householder is not told to take his proper role as leader of the household—that was in fact the assumed cultural reality that could so easily be abused. Usually, but not always, the paterfamilia required the household to serve his gods, since the gods were looked upon as responsible for “order,” for causing and maintaining things the way they are. because the days are evil--The days of life in general are so exposed to evil, as to make it necessary to make the most of the seasonable opportunity so long as it lasts ( Ephesians 6:13 , Genesis 47:9 , Psalms 49:5 , Ecclesiastes 11:2 , 12:1 , John 12:35 ). And yet at the same time, He allots time to us to use responsibly to bring about His sovereign will. What he did do was in some ways far more radical: he applied the gospel to this context. Seeing that light (spiritual) dispels the pre-existing darkness, He (God) saith . 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Translate, "So ought husbands also (thus the oldest manuscripts read) to love their own wives as their own bodies." This, I would urge, is how these texts finally apply to us and to our homes. . Adam's deep sleep, wherein Eve was formed from out of his opened side, is an emblem of Christ's death, which was the birth of the Spouse, the Church. even as--Greek, "as also." For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ’s is the head of the church and he is the Saviour of the body. to the Lord--See PLINY'S letter quoted above: "To Christ as God.". Help CBE spread the message that #Godvalueswomen. The letter to the Ephesians has been called the crown of Pauline theology. 5. No, it took the Industrial Revolution to really turn things on its head. Christ will never allow any power to sever Himself and His bride, indissolubly joined ( Matthew 19:6 , John 10:28 John 10:29 , 13:1 ). This word culture is sometimes used in a way that suggests that there is an “oughtness” to culture. Date – The letter to the Ephesians was written during Paul’s Roman imprisonment between 60 and 62 AD. Again, as what Christ is, believers also are ( 1 John 4:17 ), and ministers are: Paul says ( 2 Corinthians 2:17 ) "we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ. This is a typical insula, based on the ruins of Ostia, the ancient seaport of Rome. Be imitators of God: The idea is simple that we are to make God our example and model. 2. It is assumed that he will continue to provide leadership to the household, but his role will be radically transformed into one of caring for the people within the household for their own sakes, not having them around to serve his own self-interests. 23. Far more people lived this way than in the household assumed by Paul in this passage. Follow God's example,a therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, The two former (food and raiment) are here alluded to in a spiritual sense, by "nourisheth and cherisheth"; the third "duty of marriage" is not added in consonance with the holy propriety of Scripture language: its antitype is, "know the Lord" ( Hosea 2:19 Hosea 2:20 ) [BENGEL]. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 3. We must walk carefully and redeem the time that He gives us (5… Ephesus was a large prosperous city in Asia Minor. The fact that our cultural assumptions are so different from theirs makes it difficult for us even to imagine how absolutely radical and earth-shattering the Christian gospel sounded in their ears. Not scurrile buffoonery, but refined "persiflage" and "badinage," for which Ephesus was famed [PLAUTUS, A Boastful Soldier, 3.1,42-52], and which, so far from being censured, was and is thought by the world a pleasant accomplishment. Audience – Paul wrote to the network of house churches in Western Asia Minor, in and near Ephesus. [According to] Solange Bentes Jurema, president of the National Council for Women’s Rights, one of the country’s leading feminist organizations, “The family is no longer an institution that is the property of the man, but a union in which all members have responsibilities and duties.” . 8. ( M) with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath. So in Ephesians 5:31 and 32 he has focused on the relationship between Jesus and His people, and is getting really excited about it. Because its harbor silted up, the city was simply abandoned; and although most of its marble and other important movable materials were carted off over the centuries, the ruins are especially well preserved. Commentary on Ephesians 5:15-21 (Read Ephesians 5:15-21) Another remedy against sin, is care, or caution, it being impossible else to maintain purity of heart and life. walk in love--resuming Ephesians 4:1 , "walk worthy of the vocation." speaking to each other in psalms, hymns, and so on; singing and hymning the Lord (Christ) f rom the heart; thanking our God and Father always for all things through Jesus Christ; submitting to one another in the fear of Christ, followed by words to the wives with respect to their husbands. Onesimus, obey your earthly master, Philemon, in everything; and do it, not only when his eye is on you. The imagery is that of a man taking a bride; Paul provides this with a marvelous echoing of Old Testament language from Ezekiel 16, where God betroths Israel, the naked and orphaned teenager, and washes her and dresses her in the finest of clothes. He also sent along the letter to the Colossian church. 25. 1:11). He that loveth his wife loveth himself--So there is the same love and the same union of body between Christ and the Church ( Ephesians 5:30 Ephesians 5:32 ). Written in 62 A.D. Apostle Paul explains the identity of the newcomers in Christ both Jews and Gentiles having been brought together into one body with Jesus Christ at the head. In Ephesians 5:22-33, husbands and wives are singled out and given instructions concerning certain attitudes and behaviours. This was about the same time he wrote Ephesiansand Philemon. 4. filthiness--obscenity in act or gesture. "Your own" is an argument for submissiveness on the part of the wives; it is not a stranger, but your own husbands whom you are called on to submit unto (compare Genesis 3:16 , 1 Corinthians 7:2 , 14:34 , Colossians 3:18 , Titus 2:5 , 1 Peter 3:1-7 ). By law, the man, the paterfamilia, was the master of his household (thus the patron). Compare Colossians 4:5 , "Walk in wisdom (answering to 'as wise' here) toward them that are without" (answering to "circumspectly," that is, correctly, in relation to the unbelievers around, not giving occasion of stumbling to any, but edifying all by a consistent walk). “Is it with a sense of self-satisfaction, with a feeling of triumphalism or in a spirit of gratitude and humility accepting the letter as a challenge to live up to the calling we have been given?” (Nils A. Dahl, Interpreting Ephesians: Then and Now ” Currents in Theology and Mission 5 [June 1978]: 143). Author – The Apostle Paul. Wherefore--referring to the whole foregoing argument ( Ephesians 5:8 Ephesians 5:11 Ephesians 5:13 ). c. Such a household, unlike our understanding of home, was not a place of consumption, but of production. Under the new legislation, they will have to divide that authority with their wives, and single mothers will be regarded as heads of households. In this kind of household, the idea that men and women might be equal partners in marriage simply did not exist. The common principle is the longing to fill one's desire with material objects of sense, outside of God. God the Father planned throughout history for Jesus to create a multi-ethnic community of followers. It was probably written c. a.d. 62, while Paul was in prison in Rome (Acts 27–28). Ye ought to have no fellowship with sin, which is darkness, for your state as darkness is now PAST. 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Compare John 17:19 , meaning, "I devote Myself as a holy sacrifice, that My disciples also may be devoted or consecrated as holy in (through) the truth" [NEANDER] ( Hebrews 2:11 , 10:10 , 13:12 and cleanse--rather, as Greek, "cleansing," without the "and." the will of the Lord--as to how each opportunity is to be used. ( Philippians 2:3 , 1 Peter 5:5 .) They disobey God’s law and are ruled by Satan (1:7; 2:1–3, 5, 11–12). Slaves, of course, did all the work, both menial and clerical, including tutoring the children (they couldn’t have imagined a society without slaves). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Here are two final observations about the passage in general that begin to move us toward some cultural matters themselves. So much is this so that by the late twentieth century the concept of individual rights had finally almost totally superseded that of the common good. Your consistent lives and faithful reproofs will be your "armor of light" ( Romans 13:12 ) in making an inroad on the kingdom of darkness. Because it was also at an intersection of major trade routes, Ephesus became a commercial center. John 12:24 , John 19:34 John 19:35 , to which Ephesians 5:25-27 allude, as implying atonement by His blood, and sanctification by the "water," answering to that which flowed from His side (compare also John 7:38 John 7:39 , 1 Corinthians 6:11 ). Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." 11 Guthrie, NTI, p. 515. . hymns--in direct praise to God (compare Acts 16:25 , 1 Corinthians 14:26 , 5:13 ). EXHORTATIONS TO LOVE: AND AGAINST CARNAL LUSTS AND COMMUNICATIONS. ", 12. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. rather giving of thanks--a happy play on sounds in Greek, "eucharistia" contrasted with "eutrapelia"; refined "jesting" and subtle humor sometimes offend the tender feelings of grace; "giving of thanks" gives that real cheerfulness of spirit to believers which the worldly try to get from "jesting" ( Ephesians 5:19 Ephesians 5:20 , 5:13 ). The book of Ephesians is a Prison Epistle (letter written while in prison).