Ephesians 5J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
5 1-2 As children copy their fathers you, as God’s children, are to copy him. Live your lives in love—the same sort of love which Christ gives us and which he perfectly expressed when he gave himself up for us in sacrifice to God.
3-4 But as for sexual immorality in all its forms, and the itch to get your hands on what belongs to other people—don’t even talk about such things; they are not fit subjects for Christians to talk about. The key-note of your conversation should not be nastiness or silliness or flippancy, but a sense of all that we owe to God.
Evil is as utterly different from good as light from darkness
5-14 For of this much you can be certain: that neither the immoral nor the dirty-minded nor the covetous man (which latter is, in effect, worshipping a false god) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Don’t let anyone fool you on this point, however plausible his argument. It is these very things which bring down the wrath of God upon the disobedient. Have nothing to do with men like that—once you were “darkness” but now you are “light”. Live then as children of the light. The light produces in men quite the opposite of sins like these—everything that is wholesome and good and true. Let your lives be living proofs of the things which please God. Steer clear of the activities of darkness; let your lives show by contrast how dreary and futile these things are. (You know the sort of things I mean—to detail their secret doings is really too shameful). For light is capable of “showing up” everything for what it really is. It is even possible (after all, it happened to you!) for light to turn the thing it shines upon into light also. Thus God speaks through the scriptures: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
You know the truth—let your life show it!
15-21 Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days. Don’t be vague but firmly grasp what you know to be the will of God. Don’t get your stimulus from wine (for there is always the danger of excessive drinking), but let the Spirit stimulate your souls. Express your joy in singing among yourselves psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making music in your hearts for the ears of God! Thank God at all times for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And “fit in with” each other, because of your common reverence for Christ.
Christ and the Church the pattern relationship for husband and wife
22-24 You wives must learn to adapt yourselves to your husbands, as you submit yourselves to the Lord, for the husband is the “head” of the wife in the same way that Christ is head of the Church and saviour of the body. The willing subjection of the Church to Christ should be reproduced in the submission of wives to their husbands.
25-27 But, remember, this means that the husband must give his wife the same sort of love that Christ gave to the Church, when he sacrificed himself for her. Christ gave himself to make her holy, having cleansed her through the baptism of his Word—to make her an altogether glorious Church in his eyes. She is to be free from spots, wrinkles or any other disfigurement—a Church holy and perfect.
28-33 Men ought to give their wives the love they naturally have for their own bodies. The love a man gives his wife is the extending of his love for himself to enfold her. Nobody ever hates or neglects his own body; he feeds and looks after it. And that is what Christ does for his body, the Church. And we are all members of that body, we are his flesh and blood! ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’. The marriage relationship is doubtless a great mystery, but I am speaking of something deeper still—the marriage of Christ and his Church. In practice what I have said amounts to this: let every one of you who is a husband love his wife as he loves himself; let the wife reverence her husband.