“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma.”
The Christian life is like a journey. It begins when we put our trust in Christ for salvation, and ends as we cross the finish line entering into glory. In an age of high-speed travel, we often endure the journey for the sake of the destination. I have sat next to people on airplanes who were “white knuckling” the arm rests. I could tell they hate the idea of flying, but it was a necessity in order to reach their destination. The Christian life is not like that. The journey is as important as the destination. Walking, because it is such a slow means of travel, allowed for fellowship, life lessons, and teaching times to take place between Jesus and His disciples. He desires the same for us. As we go through life, we should see each day as a walk with the Lord. A walk in which we can commune with Him and learn from Him. Here in Ephesians Paul exhorts us on how to walk and what paths to take as we journey with Jesus toward glory.
“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…”
Whenever the weather allowed it, my parents would take an evening stroll together. I would watch as they walked out the door and down the drive. They were not walking to get anywhere in particular, they were never in a hurry and to my knowledge, they never came back with anything more than what they left with. These walks were simply a time to hang out together and talk about the things which concerned them. Sometimes the discussions would be deep and important, other times light and casual. Though they never used this term, we might call these “love walks.” Paul is reminding us, our walk with Jesus is a walk of love. He reminds us of the love Christ has for us, demonstrated by giving Himself for us as a sacrifice for sin. He then exhorts us to return that love by treating others the way Christ has treated us. If the golden rule is to ‘do to others what we want them to do to us’; this rule is platinum. Love like you have been loved by God. That love involves setting a godly example for others by removing sin from your own life.
“Walk as children of light…”
Light and darkness are often used metaphorically in Scripture. The life we lived before meeting Jesus was a life of darkness. We behaved the way we did because we did not know any better. However, when we met Christ, the light was turned on, and we saw life in a brand new light. Paul is reminding us that in our walk with Jesus, there are paths which we must avoid. Paths leading to the behaviors we were involved in before Christ are off-limits to us. Instead, we should be taking steps toward finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. As you go about your day, facing its opportunities and challenges, what steps do you take to search out what is acceptable to God? Are your decisions based upon what you think, feel, or have heard from others, or do you take time to consider the Word of God, to find the ways of God? Remember, the Psalmist told us, His Word is like “a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise”
Circumspectly means carefully. By using this word, Paul is reminding us that while we are on a love walk with Jesus, the path we are on has some pretty serious pitfalls. There are times when we face great danger as we walk with the Lord, and the key to success is to be careful. He tells us, this walk is no place for folly. A word that could simply mean not to goof off. We might scold our children to stop fooling around, because the situation is dangerous and they need to be sober-minded. While there certainly is a need to take our relationship with the Lord seriously, the Psalmist used the word ‘fool’ in a different context. He stated, “the fool has said in his heart that there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). The greatest folly we need to avoid as we journey with Jesus, is living as though there is no God. Making decisions without seeking Him, neglecting to spend time in His Word, in prayer, in service, and attempting to do things our own way, or in our own strength, is folly.
Paul reminds us, while we may be walking pretty slowly, time is running out. Soon, each of us will reach the end of our journey, and find ourselves face to face with Jesus. It is important that we take time, today, to consider how we are walking.
Questions for Ephesians 5
- Paul exhorts us to be imitators of God as children. What exactly does that mean?
- When we think about the love God has showed us, does that make it easier to love others?
- Verse 5 says “For this you know…” and verse 6 says “Let no one deceive you with empty words..”. The world says these things are ok, what does God’s word say? Do you know and are you being deceived?
- Verse 12 is there anything in your life that would be shameful if it was brought to the light?
- Verse 15, walking circumspectly means “unwilling to take risk”. How do you view the sins Paul is addressing in this chapter? How does the world view them?
- Memorize verse 21.
- Verse 22 Wives, are you submitting to your husbands? Husbands, are you loving your wives like Christ loves the church?
- Sometimes we can make the marriage relationship complicated and difficult. Think how your marriage would be if you both worked hard at fulfilling this instruction?