Ephesians 5The Voice (VOICE)
We come to God as sinners; but He wants to transform our habits, attitudes, and practices into the ways of Jesus: to live, forgive, and love as He did.
5 So imitate God. Follow Him like adored children, 2 and live in love as the Anointed One loved you—so much that He gave Himself as a fragrant sacrifice, pleasing God.
3 Listen, don’t let any kind of immorality be breathed among you. Any demoralizing behaviors (perverse sexual acts, uncleanliness, greediness, and the like) are inappropriate topics of conversation for those set apart as God’s people. 4 Don’t swear or spurt nonsense. Don’t make harsh jokes or clown around. Make proper use of your words, and offer them thankfully in praise. 5 This is what we know for certain: no one who engages in loose sex, impure actions, and greed—which is just a form of idolatry—has any inheritance in the kingdom of God and His Anointed.
6 Don’t be fooled by people whose sentences are compounded with useless words, empty words—they just show they are empty souls. For, in His wrath, God will judge all the children of disobedience for these kinds of sins. 7 So don’t be persuaded into their ignorance; and don’t cast your lot with them 8 because, although you were once the personification of darkness, you are now light in the Lord. So act like children of the light. 9 For the fruit of the light is all that is good, right, and true. 10 Make it your aim to learn what pleases our Lord. 11 Don’t get involved with the fruitless works of darkness; instead, expose them to the light of God. 12 You see, it’s a disgrace to speak of their secrets (so don’t even talk about what they do when no one is looking). 13-14 When the light shines, it exposes even the dark and shadowy things and turns them into pure reflections of light. This is why they sing,
Awake, you sleeper!
15 So be careful how you live; be mindful of your steps. Don’t run around like idiots as the rest of the world does. Instead, walk as the wise! 16 Make the most of every living and breathing moment because these are evil times. 17 So understand and be confident in God’s will, and don’t live thoughtlessly. 18 Don’t drink wine excessively. The drunken path is a reckless path. It leads nowhere. Instead, let God fill you with the Holy Spirit. 19 When you are filled with the Spirit, you are empowered to speak to each other in the soulful words of pious songs, hymns, and spiritual songs; to sing and make music with your hearts attuned to God; 20 and to give thanks to God the Father every day through the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed for all He has done.
Wisdom is a rare commodity. Paul urges believers, then and now, to walk wisely. It involves living well every day. Time itself seems to be co-opted by dark forces. But when believers understand God’s will, avoid drunkenness, and allow God to fill them with His Spirit, they are able to walk wisely and live well. The Spirit-filled life is not just for a special few; it is the normal Christian life, and it affects everything, including how we live in community and how we treat others at home.
21 And the Spirit makes it possible to submit humbly to one another out of respect for the Anointed. 22 Wives, it should be no different with your husbands. Submit to them as you do to the Lord, 23 for God has given husbands a sacred duty to lead as the Anointed leads the church and serves as the head. (The church is His body; He is her Savior.) 24 So wives should submit to their husbands, respectfully, in all things, just as the church yields to the Anointed One.
25-26 Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. 27 He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished—completely free from all impurity—holy and innocent before Him. 28 So husbands should care for their wives as if their lives depended on it, the same way they care for their own bodies. As you love her, you ultimately are loving part of yourself (remember, you are one flesh). 29 No one really hates his own body; he takes care to feed and love it, just as the Anointed takes care of His church, 30 because we are living members of His body. 31 “And this is the reason a man leaves his father and his mother and is united with his wife; the two come together as one flesh.”[a] 32 There is a great mystery reflected in this Scripture, and I say that it has to do with the marriage of the Anointed One and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each husband is to love and protect his own wife as if she were his very heart, and each wife is to respect her own husband.
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