Even as Christ Also Loved

Ephesians 5:25b -27 …even as Christ also loved… That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 

‘Sanctify’ [Greek: hagiazo] set apart or consecrate, referring to the new birth (John 3:5). Not the natural birth, but to be born again of both water and Spirit. Not water baptism; all Old Testament saints were saved and born again without water baptism (Heb. 9:15; 11:1-40; Rom. 3:23-25; 4:1-25; Gal. 4:29; Jas. 2:23). Water baptism is a mere figure (1Pet. 3:21) and a witness (1Jn. 5:6-10), but not held as essential to salvation (2:8-9; 1Cor. 1:13-24; 15:1-5; Rom. 1:16; 10:9-14; Acts 10:43; 13:38-39; 16:31; John 3:14-18, 3:36; 5:24; 1Jn. 5:1). It is only for men who have repented (Matt. 3:2-6; 28:19; Acts 2:38-41; 8:12, 37; 10:43-48; 18:8; 19:4).

‘That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.’ This is the 9th and last New Testament prophecy in Ephesians (5:27) and is unfulfilled.

‘Glorious Church’ – the glorious gathering of reborn individual Christians. Please remember that the word church should have been congregation or assembly and doesn’t refer to today’s business-like churches. The Greek word endoxos is used here and we, as the body of Christ, are now glorious because of the glorious gospel (1Cor. 4:4; 1Tim. 1:11), the glorious power of God working in it (Col. 1:11) to make it pure, holy, spotless, and without blemish. It will be presented to Christ as a glorious body because of the glorious liberty of all children of God (Rom. 8:21), and the glorious bodies that saints will receive (Php. 3:21). Please remember that not everyone calling themselves Christians necessarily qualifies as a true saint except those who obey His Word and live accordingly (Jas. 1:19-26; Rom. 6; 1Pet.2:21-23; 1Jn. 1-3).

‘Spot’ [Greek: spilos] blemish (2Pet. 2:13). ‘Wrinkle’ [Greek: rhutis] wrinkle, no mark of age.

‘Holy… without blemish’ – God’s choice: This is what God chose before the overthrow of Lucifer’s world – that all of the new race of Adam who accepts Jesus Christ should be holy and without blame before Him in love. It is this plan that is chosen for all believers, not the individual conformity of any one person to that plan. The final choice is left up to the individual, not God. All are called and chosen to become holy before God in love if they want to accept this plan and choice of God, but only those who meet the conditions will be so blessed (John 3:16-20; Mark 16:15-16; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17). This is the true meaning of election and predestination wherever found in Scripture (1:5; Rom. 8:29). In other words, the plan is predestined and foreknown, not the individual conformity to the plan.

Husbands

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it 

‘Husbands, love your wives…’ Eight commands are given here for husbands: To be the head of the wife (5:23). To love their wives as Christ loved His body (5:25). To love their wives as their own bodies (5:28, 33). To nourish [Greek: ektrepho] bring up, care for, protect (5:29; 6:4; Rev. 12:6). To cherish [Greek: thalpo] to foster, warm in one’s bosom (5:29; 1Thess. 2:7). To be joined as one flesh (5:30-31). To leave their parents for their wives (5:31). To cleave to their wives (5:31; Matt. 19:5).

Husbands are not to rule their wives, but love, nourish and protect them as the head of the body and must be just as faithful to their wives as they want them to be to them; give them no excuse for sin. They must give their wives honour and use their superior strength in protecting her and as being heirs together of life (1Pet. 3:7).

‘The church, and gave himself for it’ – Sixteen facts: Christ and His body: Christ is head of His body (5:23). Christ is Saviour of us (5:23). Christians must be subject to Christ in all things (5:24). Christ gave Himself for us (5:25). Christ sanctifies us with the washing of the Word (5:26). Christ cleanses us with the washing by the Word (5:26). Christ will receive us to Himself (5:27; John 14:1-3; 1Thess. 4:16; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; Col. 3:4). Christ is making us glorious (5:27; 1Cor. 6:11; 2Cor. 3:18). Christ is making us spotless (5:27). Christ is making us perfect (5:27). Christ is making us holy (5:27). Christ is making us faultless (5:27). Christ nourishes us, cares for us, brings us up, and protects us (5:29). Christ cherishes us, fosters, and warms us in His bosom (5:29). We are part of Christ (5:30-32; 1Cor. 12:12-13, 27). We are one with Christ (5:30-32; 1Cor. 6:17; Rom. 12:4-5).

Christ is the Head, Saviour, Sanctifier, Purifier, Glorifier, Builder, Nourisher, Cherisher, Unifier, Protector, and the Receiver of all reborn Christians who are prepared to follow His Word and example as stated in 1Peter 2:21-23 (5:23-33). Water is used in a figurative sense of salvation (John 4:14; Isa. 12:3), of the Spirit baptism (John 7:37-39), and cleansing by the Word of God (5:26; John 15:3;). Since men are cleansed and born again by the Word (Jas. 1:18; 1Pet. 1:23), it is clear that being born of water means being born again by the Word of God.

Wives

Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 

‘Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.’ Four commands are given here for wives: Submit to their husbands as to Christ (5:22). Recognize the headship of their husbands (5:23). Be subject to their husbands (5:24). Reverence their husbands (5:33). To submit to one’s husband, not all men, is to allow the husband to become God’s provider for his wife and children as clearly the idea behind a godly marriage. This does not mean wives have to obey husbands in all things as children especially not those things that allow for sin. God did not create the marriage for rulership, but partnership. Wives must reverence their husbands and cannot treat them as children, for then marriage is no longer God-instituted. If the wife will conduct herself chastely, in reverence to her husband and the fear of God, her husband may be won (1Pet. 3:2-3).

‘Every thing’ Everything lawful and right, not in things criminal and wrong. If he is sinful and demands her to leave off the things that save the soul, she is not under obligation to him. Her God and her soul must come first (Matt. 22:37; Luke 14:26-27). Obedience to the husband in all things is based upon him loving his wife, as Christ does His body (5:25, 28, 33).

Giving Thanks Always

Ephesians 5:18-21 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 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

‘Drunk’ [Greek: methusko] This again refers to the orgies of Bacchus when men and women would get drunk entering into all kinds of immoral acts. ‘Excess’ [Greek: asotia] debauchery of every kind.

‘Filled with the Spirit’ – This is the privilege of every Christian. It is true that every born-again person receives the Spirit of sonship and has the Holy Spirit in a measure (Rom. 8:9, 14-16), but this is not the kind of filling one may yet receive if he will accept the truth and seek God for the fullness of the Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Luke 11:13; 24:49; John 1:31-34; 7:37-39; 14:12; Acts 1:4-8; 2:38-39; 5:32). Different measures of the Spirit are noted as follows in Scripture: Mosaic portion (Num. 11:17, 25). The mosaic portion is divided into 71 portions (Num. 11:16-17, 25-29). Elijah portion (2Kin. 2:9). Double portion (2Kin. 2:9-10). Elijah portion on John the Baptist (Luke 1:15-17). Earnest of the Spirit (2Cor. 1:22; 5:5; 1Jn. 4:13; Php. 1:19). The Spirit “without measure” (John 3:34; Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; Luke 4:16-21; Acts 10:38); Spirit baptism or baptismal measure (Matt. 3:11; 20:22-23; Luke 3:16; John 1:31-34; Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-21; 8:15-24; 10:44-48; 11:14-18; 15:7-11; 19:1-7; Gal. 3:14); the fulness of God (Eph. 3:19; Rom. 15:29); the rivers of living water (John 7:37-39); and the full anointing of the Spirit and enduement of power from on high (Luke 24:49; John 14:12-15).

‘In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.’ The difference between the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs is not fully clear. The psalms no doubt refer to the book of Psalms. Hymns and spiritual songs could include any psalm in the book of Psalms and also others that were commonly known among the people of that day (Matt. 26:30; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Ex. 15:1, 2; Num. 21:17; Deut. 13:1-18; Jdg. 5:12; Son. 1:1; Isa. 5:1; 26:1; 42:10). The reference might also be to spontaneous singing in the Spirit, as in 1Corinthians 14:15-16.

‘Songs’ [Greek: ode] is a song of thanksgiving.

‘Making melody’ [Greek: psallo] to play a stringed instrument with the fingers; to strike a chord; sing to the music of a harp (Rom. 15:9; 1Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Jas. 5:13).

‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God’ – Because of continued blessings from God.

‘In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Through Him alone we can approach God (Mark 16:17; John 14:12-15; 16:23-26; Col. 3:17; 1Tim. 2:4; Heb. 10:19). ‘Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ Let no man be stubborn in his opinion to disturb the peace of other believers

Awake Thou That Sleep

Ephesians 5:13-17 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever do make manifest is light. Wherefore he said, Awake thou that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be you not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 

‘All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light.’ All reprovable actions are made manifest by light.

‘Awake thou that sleep, and arise from the dead.’ A paraphrase of Isaiah 60:1-2. It is a command given to awake from sleep as in being dead or asleep spiritually until you are one in Christ where you will be awake and alive.

‘Circumspectly’ [Greek: akribos] circumspectly (5:15); perfectly (Acts 18:26; 23:15, 23:20; 1Thess. 5:2); perfect (Luke 1:3; Acts 24:22); and diligently (Matt. 2:8; Acts 18:25). It means to walk about watching every hand to avoid danger and enemies – live the gospel by watching your conduct.

‘Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’ Buying up those moments which others throw away. Improve every moment to make up for those lost in sin.

‘Unwise’ [Greek: aphron] senseless, crazed (2Cor. 11:16). Do not become madmen. Here is an allusion to the wild orgies of Bacchus, in which men acted like they were mad; running and tossing their heads and appearing in every sense completely frantic. Be sober, chaste.

Have No Fellowship

Ephesians 5:11-12 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.

‘Have no fellowship’ – Godly fellowship of kindred hearts through mutual consecration are allowed (Ps. 119:79) but not even the Lord has no fellowship with the wicked (Prov. 15:29). We are warned not to have fellowship (social and/or friendships) with the following: The ungodly and scorners (Ps. 1:1-6). Workers of iniquity (Ps. 6:8). Vain persons (Ps. 26:4). Evil workers (Ps. 26:5). Criminals (Pro. 1:10-15). The foolish (Pro, 9:6; 14:17). The angry man (Pro. 22:24). An excommunicated Christian (Matt. 18:17). Those causing divisions (Rom. 16:17). Backsliders (2Jn. 1:9-11). False teachers (1Tim. 6:3-5; 2Jn. 1:10). The disorderly (2Thess. 3:6). The disobedient (2Thess. 3:14-15). Unbelievers (2Cor. 6:14). Infidels (2Cor. 6:15). Fornicators (1Cor. 5:9). Covetous people, extortioners and idolaters (1Cor. 5:10). Railers and drunkards (1Cor. 5:11). Lovers of themselves, boasters, proud people, blasphemers, those who are disobedient to parents, unthankful and unholy people (2Tim. 3:2). Those without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce people and despisers of those who are good (2Tim. 3:3). Traitors, heady people, high-minded people and those who love pleasure more than God (2Tim. 3:4). Hypocrites – those who have “a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2Tim. 3:5).

‘Works of darkness’ – The mysteries of the heathen which the initiated went through in caves and dark secret places; the initiated being obliged on pain of death, to keep secret what they had heard, seen, and done (Col. 1:21; Rom. 13:12; Heb. 6:1).

‘Reprove’ [Greek: elengcho] testify, convince, and reprove their secret vices.

‘Shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.’ Whatever these secret heathen rites were, they were too shameful even to speak of. This no doubt refers to the Eleusinian and Bacchanalian mysteries, which were performed in the darkness of night, and were known to be so immoral and abominable that the Roman senate banished them from Italy. At these religious festivals, wine and women played the most important parts. Indecent emblems were carried in procession and ceremonies of the most immoral character were performed. Plato says that he has seen the entire population of Athens drunk at these festivals.

All Goodness, Righteousness and Truth

Ephesians 5:8-10 For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 

‘(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth)’ The nine-fold fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23): Love. [Greek: agape] divine love. A strong, ardent, tender, compassionate, devotion to the well-being of someone (1Cor. 13:4-8). Joy. [Greek: chara] the emotional excitement, gladness, delight over blessings received or expected for oneself and others. Peace. [Greek: eirene] the state of quietness, rest, repose, harmony, order, and security during turmoil, strife, and temptations. Longsuffering. [Greek: makrothumia] patient endurance; to bear long with the frailties, offences, injuries, and provocations of others, without murmuring, repining, or resentment (1Cor. 13:4-7; 2Cor. 6:4-6; Eph. 4:1-2; Col. 1:11; 3:12-13; 1Tim. 1:16; 2Tim. 3:10; 4:2). Gentleness. [Greek: chrestotes] a disposition to be gentle, soft-spoken, kind, even-tempered, cultured, and refined in character and conduct (2Tim. 2:24-26; Tit. 3:1-2; Jas. 3:17). Goodness. [Greek: agathosune] the state of being good, kind, virtuous, benevolent, generous, and God-like in life and conduct (Ex. 33:19; 34:6; Ps. 23:6; 31:19; 33:5; 107:9; Rom. 2:4; Eph. 5:9; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:27-32). Faith. [Greek: pistis] the living, divinely implanted, acquired, and created principle of inward and wholehearted confidence, assurance, trust, and reliance in God and all that He says. Meekness. [Greek: praotes] the disposition to be gentle, kind, indulgent, even balanced in tempers and passions, and patient in suffering injuries without feeling a spirit of revenge. Temperance. [Greek: engkrateia] self-control; a moderation in the indulgence of the appetites and passions (Pro. 23:1-3; 25:16; Dan. 1:8-16; Rom. 13:14; 2Cor. 9:1-15 :25-27; Php. 4:5; 1Thess. 5:6-8; Tit. 2:2-3, 11-12; 2Pet. 1:5-10).

The Wrath of God

Ephesians 5:5-7 For this you know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things come the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not you therefore partakers with them. 

‘No whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.’ This is the 8th New Testament prophecy in Ephesians (5:5-6) and it is unfulfilled. Five Classes that will not inherit God’s Kingdom are noted here: [1] Whoremongers. [Greek: pornos] a male prostitute; a sexually immoral man. Translated “fornicator” (1Cor. 5:9-11; 6:9; Heb. 12:16) and “whoremonger” (5:5; 1Tim. 1:10; Heb. 13:4; Rev. 21:8; 22:15). [2] Unclean persons. [Greek: akathartos] homosexual, pervert (Luke 4:33; Gal 5:19). [3] Covetous men (Matt. 6:19-21; Luke 12:15; Rom. 13:9; Heb. 13:5; 1Jn. 2:15-17). [4] Deceivers (5:6; 2Tim. 3:13; Tit. 1:10; 3:3; Rev. 12:9; 20:3, 20:8). [5] Children of disobedience (5:6; 2:2; Col. 3:6). According to Athenaeus, the Ephesians were addicted to luxury, effeminacy, and sexual vice.

‘Be not you therefore partakers with them.’ Fifteen commands are given to Christians here: Be not partners with them (5:5-7). Walk as children of light (5:8-9). Prove what is acceptable to God (5:10). Have no fellowship with the works of darkness (5:11-13). Reprove the works of darkness (5:11-13). Awake from sleep and death (5:14). Walk circumspectly (5:15). Walk as wise men (5:15, 17). Redeem the time (5:16). Understand the will of God (5:17). Don’t drink wine (5:18). Be filled with the Spirit (5:18). Edify yourselves with praise and singing to honour God (5:19). Give thanks to God in Jesus’ name (5:20). Submit yourselves to each other (5:21).

For Christ’s Sake

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake had forgiven you. 

‘Bitterness’ [Greek: pikria] bitterness, malice, venom (Acts 8:23; Rom. 3:14; Heb.12:15).

‘Wrath’ [Greek: thumos] any vehement passion, anger, wrath, hatred (Gal. 5:20).

‘Anger’ [Greek: orge] anger (4:31; Mark 3:5; Col. 3:8); indignation (Rev. 14:10); vengeance (Rom. 3:5); and wrath (2:3; 5:6; Matt. 3:7; Luke 3:7; 21:23; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; 2:5, 8; 4:15; 5:9; 11:22; 12:19; 13:4-5; Col. 3:6; 1Thess. 1:10; 2:16; 5:9; 1Tim. 2:8; Heb. 3:11; 4:3; Jas. 1:19-20; Rev. 6:16-17; 11:18; 16:19; 19:15).

‘Clamour’ [Greek: krauge] uproar (4:31; Matt. 25:5; Acts 23:9; Heb. 5:7; Rev. 14:18; 21:4).

‘Evil speaking’ [Greek: blasphemia from blasphemos] to: Speak evil of (4:31; Jude 1:8); rail (1Tim. 6:4; 2Pet. 2:11); revile (Matt. 27:39); defame (1Cor. 4:13); slander (Rom. 3:8); insult by blasphemy (Matt. 12:31).

‘Malice’ [Greek: kakia] malice (4:31; 1Cor. 5:8; 14:20; Col. 3:8; Tit. 3:3; 1Pet. 2:1); evil (Matt. 6:34); naughtiness (Jas. 1:21); maliciousness (Rom. 1:29; 1Pet. 2:1); and wickedness (Acts 8:22).

‘Kind’ [Greek: chrestos] kind (4:32; Luke 6:35); good (1Cor. 15:33; Rom. 2:4); gracious (1Pet. 2:3); and easy (Matt. 11:30).

‘Tenderhearted’ [Greek: eusplangchnos] tenderly compassionate (1Pet. 3:8).

‘Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ Matthew 6:14-15 summarizes the law of forgiveness: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 18:21-35; Col. 3:13).

Putting Away

Ephesians 4:25-30 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be you angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needed. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. 

‘Putting away’ [Greek: apotithemi] the aorist participle has the sense of “having put away.” We have to be done with the noted sins to be Christians as commanded in Romans 6, 1Peter 2:21-23 and 1 John 3.

‘Lying’ [Greek: to pseudos] the lie. It is the lie that is put away. This has to do with putting away satan who is the father of the lie (John 8:44; 2Thess. 2:11). It was a common thing for the heathen teachers to declare that a lie is better than the truth when it is profitable and less hurtful. Having been brought up in such a loose system of morality, these converts needed this admonition. Part of this verse is quoted from Zechariah 8:16.

‘Angry’ [Greek: orgizo] to make angry, provoke to anger, irritate (4:26; Matt. 5:22; 18:34; 22:7; Luke 14:21; 15:28; Rev. 11:18; 12:17). The reference is to being provoked to sin by satan, but one must not yield to such provoking or give place to the devil (4:26-27). The words “anger” and “angry” are used 278 times in the Bible, but only 12 times in the New Testament The faculty to be angry is God-created and perfectly sinless in itself. The misuse of it and all other faculties is what God condemns. God, Himself has been angry many times because of sin (Num. 11:1, 10, 33; 12:9; 14:11; Ps. 7:11). One must have a cause if he is to be angry (Matt. 5:22; Rom. 1:18; Jas. 1:19). God never de-humanizes or uncreates one in sanctification. Anger is allowed by the gospel (Mark 3:5), but not sin because of it.

‘Corrupt’ [Greek: sapros] useless, putrid, obscene (Matt. 7:17-18; 12:33; 13:48; Luke 6:43).

‘Grieve not the holy Spirit of God.’ Grieve not by doing any of these forbidden things of Ephesians 4:17-5:18.

‘Sealed unto the day of redemption’ – Sealed: For security (Matt. 27:66; Rev. 20:3). To hide, as the contents of a letter (Rev. 10:4; 22:10; cp. Deut. 32:34). To confirm or approve by testimony (John 3:33; 6:27; Rom. 15:28). To confirm ownership (1:13; 4:30; 2Cor. 1:22; Rev. 7:3-8). The Holy Spirit of adoption is given to everyone who repents (1:13; 4:30; Rom. 8:9, 14-16; 2Cor. 1:22) and he who has this Spirit has God’s seal that he belongs to the heavenly family.