Reading for Monday, Nov 5: Eph 5
Paul continues his practical insight into the Christian life by calling us to the imitation of God’s character (v1). This requires an examination of behaviors unbecoming of the Kingdom of God. Not even a hint of sexual immorality (v3) means we should be vigilant in guarding our hearts and minds against the siren song of sensuality. The impurity of greed and unwholesome speech is also prohibited for Christ-followers “because these are improper for God’s holy people,” (v3). We should also be wary of those who would seek to lead us astray. Paul does not want us to be ignorant of the presence of such forces.
Instead, we are to “live as children of light” (v8), those who have been freed from the darkness of captivity to dance freely in the light of salvation. This light is expanding across history — “everything exposed by the light becomes visible,” (v13). The future is impacting the present. The end intersects the middle. We have seen the glory of the coming of the King. And our lives bear witness.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (v21)
This verse frames the following discussion of husbands and wives and the God-prepared roles for each. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord,” (v22). Without the context of v21, this verse is subject to abuse. But in light of reverence for Christ, this passage becomes a beautiful demonstration of a wife’s faithfulness — to her Lord and to her husband. Likewise, husbands love their wives “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” (v25). Self-giving love is the hallmark of a good husband. In this way, husbands follow the lead of the Messiah, the ultimate example of self-giving love.
Again, this is the unity to which we are called.