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Ephesians 5

SUMMARY.--Walking in Love. Flee All Impurity. Let Speech Be Pure. Covetousness a Species of Idolatry. No Fellowship with the Wicked in Their Deeds. Enjoyment to be Sought in the Spirit Rather than in Wine. The Mutual Duties of Wives and Husbands. The Mystery of the Marriage Union and of Christ with the Church.

      15-17. Walk circumspectly. The Revision makes the meaning clear. 16. Redeeming the time. Using every opportunity; buying them by giving up present enjoyment. 17. Be ye not unwise. That is, so foolish as to not understand the will of the Lord.

      18-21. Be not drunk with wine. Wine was at that time the usual intoxicating drink. The passage forbids intoxication, which was a common vice of the time. Excess. "Riot," in the Revision. How true! Enjoyment is not to be sought, as the world seeks it, in wine, but rather be filled with the Spirit. Then your songs will not be bacchanalian. 19. Speaking to yourselves in psalms. Under the influence of the Spirit when together you will sing psalms, such as those of the psalmist. And hymns. Songs of praise. Spiritual songs. Songs which express spiritual emotions. We find Christian hymns in the church at a very early period. Singing and making melody. While the lips sing, the heart must join in the melody by an uplifting to God. Too much singing in the churches is only of the lips. 20. Giving thanks always. This is often done in songs. In the name. All our worship is in the name of Christ. 21. Subjecting yourselves. Filled with the Spirit, we "speak in psalms," etc. ( verse 19 ), "give thanks," ( verse 20 ), and submit ourselves to each other in the fear of God. This last duty belongs to the relations of life. One of these relations is of husbands and wives ( verses 22-32 ); another of children and parents ( 6:1-4 ); another still of servants and masters ( 6:5-9 ).

      22-24. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands. Mutual duties are named. The husband should "love his wife as Christ loved the church," and the wife should submit to this loving husband "as unto the Lord." The husband is the "head" of the family, but must be willing to give himself for it. 23. The husband is the head of the wife. Every organization must have a head. The head of the family can only rule the wife in the most devoted love ( Ephesians 5:25 Ephesians 5:33 ). 24. As the church, etc. The relation of the wife to the husband is like that of the church in Christ, a close, tender relation, in which there is no bondage, but freedom, because the service is that of the heart.

      25-27. Husbands, love your wives. We have here not only the duty, but the measure of the duty. As Christ loved the church. Loved so well as to be willing to give all things, even life, for her welfare. The union of husband and wife were here described is ideally perfect. The tenderest love on one side, and loving obedience on the other. 26. That he might sanctify it. The great love of Christ for the church, his bride, is shown as an example to Christian husbands. Christ gave himself for the church. His object was to sanctify it, make it holy. In order to do this it was needful to cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. All commentators of repute in all bodies refer this to baptism. All in the church pass through the waters of baptism. But the washing of the water would be of no avail without the word. The power is in the word of the Lord which offers the gospel and commands baptism. 27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church. A church cleansed from sin; a bride without a blemish.

      28-30. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. The church is the Bride of the Lamb, but it is also Christ's body. As he loved his body, so every husband ought to love her who by the mystery of the marriage tie has become "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh" ( Gen. 2:23 ). 29. No man ever yet hated his own flesh. Or his own body. Yet, wife and husband are "one flesh" ( verse 31 ). 30. We are members of his body. We are all members of Christ's body, the church. But the church is his Bride. Hence the language of Gen. 2:23 , where Adam declares that his wife "is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh," applies to our relation to Christ.

      31-33. For this cause. This verse is quoted from Gen. 2:24 . It speaks not only a fact of the marriage state, but also implies that Christ left the Father for the sake of his mystical Bride. 32. This is a great mystery. The wonders of this marriage tie, but especially that the marriage of the first Adam should prefigure the relation between the second Adam and the church. 33. Nevertheless. Without regard to the mystery, let every one, etc. The rest of the verse states the mutual duties already so tenderly explained.

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