Ephesians 5:11-21 (KJV)

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5:11-14 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Chapter 5 at verse 11 continues discussing the practicalities of the Christian walk; specifically, walking as children of light. 

Verse 11 through 13 discusses how to curve sin when living with the grace that Christ offers. 

The pattern is: [11] No fellowship (Stop), [12]  Don’t speak of them (Avoid), [13] Reprove (Correct). 

It is worth noting that the end of this spiritual mending process is “reprove”. In order to reprimand and correct sin, light must be shown on it [13]. As Christians, we live by the light of the Word of the God and His Word is the standard by which darkness is overcome by light (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 

Here in these Scriptures we also see the nature by which sin manifests itself within the church and in the world. It occurs in darkness and is often done in secret. 

This is why Paul warns in 2nd Timothy 3:6 about sins that “creep into houses”. Sin creeps into churches, houses, and countries. It subtly stays as a guest and then before you know it, the flesh tries to institute itself as the head of household. 

Like the works of the Spirit, the works of the flesh produce fruit. However, this fruit is rotten and should be avoided at all costs.  

We were once dead in our sin; nonetheless, in Christ’s resurrection, we can come alive and have life abundantly (Ephesians 2:5-6)!

5:15-17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

As Christians living out practical sanctification and transformation, focussing on what we are doing right by Scriptural standards can consequently correct the wicked, fleshly way.

Paul instructs the Christian to “walk circumspectly” which means to walk cautiously, with full awareness of the consequences of our actions. 

A part of walking circumspectly is to “redeem the time”. Continuing reading and understanding verse 16 in full context helps Christians to understand the full brevity of this charge. 

The wise walk circumspectly and understand the will of God, which is, “have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). 

If we understand what God desires for humanity and that the “days are evil” and contrary to His will, then we will live by redeeming the time.

Redeeming the time means that we live for the will of God, using the time that He has allotted us, sold out for the purpose of furthering the Gospel of Jesus Christ which saves. 

We are not called to “redeem the culture” contrary to the modern-age, fleshly pseudo-gospels floating around. We are called to “redeem the time”. 

Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). 

5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

This verse has much to do with control. Drunkenness is fleshly and allows the flesh to control instead of the Spirit which fills us from the moment of salvation. 

Stop, avoid, and correct. Put on the new man and put off the old man (Ephesians 4:22-24)!

5:19-21 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Verse 19 addresses conducting this “singing” from your heart to the Lord. This verse states nothing about praise bands or anything of the sort. Otherwise, it would not say “speaking to yourselves”. 

This melody is addressed from “your heart” to “the Lord”. 

It is an internal worship overflowing from the heart of a believing Christian to the God who deserves such praise. After all, the psalmist addresses such praise and thanksgiving to God as “good” (Psalm 92:1).

As an act of worship, we are instructed to submit! First to the Holy Trinity and then to others. In love, our will is not the priority. The priority is the loving will of God that we inherit as it was “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghosts” (Romans 5:5).

Living in His will calls us to simply: Love God, love others (Matthew 22:36-39; Romans 13:8-10). This is true Biblical submission.

So… stop, avoid, reprove and be enriched!

God bless!

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