Bible Study Notes:

Live as Children of Light
Ephesians 5:2-17


These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Thursday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com.
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Praise the Lord tonight. He is glorious and altogether lovely. Jesus we exalt your Name above every Name that is named. We bow before you in wonder and adoration. We pray your holy peace on this room tonight. We give you honor and glory and praise and thanksgiving forever and ever amen.

satan we confess according to the scripture that we are not ignorant of your devices. We know the schemes and plans you have to create division and dissension. We come against you tonight in the mighty Name of Jesus. We bind you and rebuke you and CAST YOU OUT in Jesus Name Amen.

Father God may your peace reign and rule here tonight! Open your word to our hearts and minds. Fill the breach Lord and heal the wounds we pray in Jesus Name AMEN

Holy Spirit we invite you to be our teacher. Instruct us in holiness, righteousness and love we pray. In Jesus Name AMEN

Last time we were talking about being imitators of God as dear children.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Like children, we should copy what God does and follow in His steps. Although at times we just feel like toddlers, be sure that He loves us and admires our every effort to be like Him. Now those of you who have had children know that when a child first learns to walk, he falls down as much as succeeds. But do you as a parent say, "What's the use. Billy keeps falling! He'll never learn to walk?" NO, we just pick little Billy back up, help him get his balance, and urge him to try again.

The same is true of the Lord - when we fail, as we often do in learning to walk with the Lord, He doesn't condemn us or give up on us. No, He very GENTLY picks us back up and helps us get our balance and urges us to keep learning. He doesn't slanderously accuse us and try to turn the angels against us and yell and scream at us. He lifts us up in love. One of the ways we copy God is to live a life of love. What do you think that means?

Joyful Noisemaker - He knows we're gonna sin and that's why he's always there to pick us back up OLD TIMER, right!

eternally secure - all my thoughts and actions are motivated by love for Him.

Joyful Noisemaker - To me, that means doesn't matter what someone does, just remind them that you love them and so does GOD!!!

Jackie - to live a life of love is put away the old man & walk the way of the new man

Right Jackie, and sometimes that is a painful process. But know that God is always there for us - our loving Father - to help us when we fail. Live a life of love just as Christ loved us - what a challenge! To love as Christ loved.

Joyful Noisemaker - There's 365 "Fear Nots" in the bible, so that shows us that what ever happens, it's ok...GOD's here with us...

Athie - Yes, He is always there for us. We just need to call unto Him.

"Gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" - Jesus lived a sacrificial life. He gave up a lot of the things we take for granted so that He could be our savior. Sometimes we have to give up things too, to live a sacrificial life pleasing to God. Sometimes it's material things, sometimes it's someone's good opinion of us, and sometimes it is a loved one or a friend. As always, Paul gives us a principle, and then practical advice in how to accomplish it.

Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

I wonder how well we are fulfilling this command in our sex-saturated culture. Sometimes when I see an old movie or TV show it brings home how much filth we allow into our homes and don't even realize it. My TV viewing time is very limited anymore. Not trying to put anyone under condemnation, just making an observation. TV.gif (5767 bytes)

Jackie - TV needs to be turned off & our Bibles opened

And for there not to even be a HINT of immorality or impurity or greed… In our culture with its twisted morals, there is no longer a concrete right or wrong. What is "proper" is scoffed at and you are criticized for being "politically incorrect" if you try to uphold Biblical standards. But be encouraged my brothers and sisters. You are not alone. The Lord is calling His people out into a holier walk - so we need to support and help one another.

We ARE holy separated from the world and to God. Now I'm not gonna start a clothesline sermon or anything! LOL Inward holiness is the most important. I believe if we are truly HIS that He can reveal to us how we need to dress and act. But we need to ask ourselves - is what I'm doing, thinking, saying, watching, and reading PROPER for one of God's holy people? Not to come under condemnation or guilt - that's not the way God works with His children! But out of a desire to love and please our Father God.

BSoC - We need to ask, "Am I being entertained by the sin that Jesus died for?"

Jackie - all people are watching & we need to let our Light shine not only on Sundays

sandpiper - Reminds me of the saying that: "We may be the only Gospel some people ever read"? Will it be a good read?

Paul goes on to say: Ephesians 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

Now do you think Paul means by this verse that we should be somber and sad, never crack a smile or tell a joke? Notice that Paul refers to obscenity and foolish talk, along with coarse joking. This would be your bathroom or "adult" humor - dirty jokes - which abound on TV

BSoC - We can joke and have fun without being crude or dirty.

But RATHER thanksgiving! Come to think of it, people who spend all their time cracking dirty jokes or in foolish talk - are probably the very ones who would turn right around and curse God instead of thank Him. Their minds are on earthly things, not heavenly. They don't thank God for His many gifts, and when things don't go their way, they're the first to grumble.

Everyone needs to make up their own mind about which shows to watch - let the Lord lead you.

Ephesians 5:5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Now why does Paul call the immoral, impure or greedy IDOLATORS? Isn't that pretty judgmental? When the study is over, take the time to read Romans Chapter 1. In it, Paul explains the progression of someone who knows God but will not worship Him. This person worships created things instead of the creator.

BSoC - They are worshipping the idol of self-satisfaction.

sandpiper - Immoral, impure and greedy people worship at the wrong feet: they put their stock in worldly things, instead of the kingdom of heaven. In that sense, they could be considered idolaters.

Paul sees all idolatry - putting other God's before Him - as a cause of all the other sins mentioned there. We tend to categorize sins - that is, some are really bad, and some not so bad - but in reality ANY sin separates us from God. And what is the root cause? REBELLION against God. If we are putting anything before God, wouldn't we be idolaters? movie.gif (7118 bytes)

eternally secure - I think of idolatry as anything that would come in between me and the Lord.

Now this particular brand of idolatry, as someone has mentioned, is worshipping at the idol of self-gratification - immorality impurity and greed. Does this make sense? Immorality, impurity and greed seem like the greatest goals of our culture today! but it all boils down to putting something between you and God. It was the same in Paul's day and perhaps that is what he was thinking of in the next verse:

Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

Not only does our culture exalt such things as immorality, impurity and greed, but thinks we are foolish because we don't buy into that. I have had people on several occasions try to talk me into unlawful conduct - trying to deceive me with empty words. Have you?

Now, don't let the enemy bring you under condemnation! You know you belong to Christ. Just ask Him to let you know if you need to change anything, if so do it, ask for forgiveness, and go on! If you find yourself having lustful thoughts about someone, say Lord I'm sorry, help me see this person as sister/brother for whom You died. This might help too - where do our thoughts come from? From what we feed on. If you are having trouble with your thought life - what are you feeding on?

The immoral, etc. that Paul is referring to here is the one who habitually practices these things. All Christians have trouble at one time or another with sins in these areas. But that doesn't mean because you struggle with an area that you are a continual practitioner of it. And the very fact you struggle is proof that you are HIS and it matters to you that you please Him.

Remember too that we are saved by grace through faith not of works lest any man should boast. We are saved by God's grace, not by our works! Remember in Ephesians chapter 4, we are constantly putting off the old self and putting on the new in Christ.

Athie - The Message (Bible) says do not break God's heart. The Holy Spirit lives and breathes in you. This is near the end of chapter 4.

BSoC - I wish I could crucify the flesh once and for all, but it keeps raising from the dead!

BSOC! LOL - just like when I try to present myself as a living sacrifice - I keep hopping off the altar. Don't let this passage discourage you! Remember how we started talking about copying God as dear children. We are His dear children, and if (or should I said when) we disobey, He wants to help us get back on our feet not destroy us!

I really think that Paul's emphasis here is on warning us against those who practice those things, and DO NOT have a part in the Kingdom of God but try to deceive YOU into believing that they do and that you should participate with them. Because the next verse says:

Ephesians 5:7 Therefore do not be partners with them.

So, when you look at the whole paragraph...then the emphasis is NOT BEING DECEIVED. The next paragraph starts with FOR, think of it as a therefore, or SO -

Ephesians 5:8-10 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. light.gif (5903 bytes)

Don't be partners with the immoral etc, NOW, for ONCE you were darkness - once you were just like they are, worshipping idols, worshipping self, but NOW you ARE light in the Lord. Praise the Lord! THIS IS THE VERSE you should concentrate on. NOW YOU ARE LIGHT IN THE LORD. The last paragraph was mostly negative - don't do this. But this paragraph is positive. Live as children of light.

BSoC - He says I am light, so I must be light! Even when I am feeling dark.

We are no longer walking in darkness, but in every growing light! The further we walk with Him, the less darkness clings to us. Amen BSOC! That's faith talking bro!

How do children of light live? They produce fruit - goodness, righteousness and truth. We talked in our Galatians study about the fruit of the spirit. Remember fruit is PRODUCED automatically by fruit trees. They don't have to stress out and strain themselves. Just stand in sunshine of God's love, drink of the water of the Spirit, be grounded in the fertilizer of love, and GROW. Growth brings maturity, and maturity brings fruit.

You know, I don't waste a lot of time worrying about what I should NOT do ... I want to please my Lord and He knows it. So I soak up His love rays, and drink of the Spirit and just relax in Jesus. Paul goes on to say "find out what pleases the Lord". Think about it - if we're spending our time trying to find out how to please the Lord, we're not likely to be involved in the works of darkness are we?

Lord show us how to please you. Give us the knowledge to walk worthy of our calling. Give us grace to be patient with ourselves as you are patient and loving with us as we grow and mature and bear fruit. AMEN

Ephesians 5:11-12 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.

How do we expose the fruitless deeds of darkness?

BSoC - By pointing out the fruitlessness of them.

Jackie - bring them to the Light

BSoC - Deeds of darkness lead to death. Those practicing deeds of darkness need to be warned.

Well, when we walk in the light, which remember is in contrast to the fruitless deeds of DARKNESS, the light we reflect from God brings the things "done in secret" out into the light, into the open. Our good deeds show how sinful the deeds of darkness really are. Of course, sometimes people resent that and call us names and accuse us of all kinds of stuff - prudes, goody two shoes, and worse.

Vicky - nothing grows in the dark

BSoC - That is why the world hates to hear the truth, because it exposes their sin for what it is...DEATH!

kimanne - some people can't accept the truth no matter what they hear

For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. Where does this leave Jerry Springer???? He's a talk show host known for the low life's he drags in. Teenagers love him. We should be spending our time walking in the light, living for the Lord, and exposing the shameful deeds by the light of a life lived for Jesus.

kimanne - deceit grows in the dark

Ephesians 5:13-14 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

We should not dwell on the evil that our lives expose, but continue to live to please the Lord. Light makes everything visible. We sleep in the darkness, but when the morning sun shines in our eyes, we wake up. Now when you shine the light of Christ's love on one who is sleeping in the darkness of sin, you might just wake them up! Kind of like a holy alarm clock! clock.gif (5817 bytes)

BSoC - Shine the light on everyone, and God will wake up those that are ready to wake up.

Well, you all know how irritating alarm clocks can be. They might try to slap the snooze button to sleep a little bit more, but just keep being faithful to the Lord!

playasong - OldTimer that's a good one, they are irritating!!

Some think that "Wake up, O sleeper.." was a hymn in the early church. In this hymn, the sleeper is symbolic of a sinner. If that sinner awakes to the light, then Jesus will shine on him in salvation.

BSoC - Sleeper Awake! is a classical piece by J.S. Bach.

pog3 - awaken unto righteousness

Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Since our light is supposed to shine into the darkness, expose the unfruitful deeds there, and be a holy alarm clock system to sinners, THEN be careful how you live...

Amplified: Look carefully how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurate, not as the unwise and witness, but as wise - sensible, intelligent people.

There are people watching us to see if we live what we preach. Therefore we need to watch what we are doing - living with purpose as men and women of worth, being truthful, and wise. A very beneficial study would be to look up the word "fool" in a Bible concordance, especially in the book of Proverbs. Anything it says a fool does, don't do. We ALL have flaws, but God is working day and night to make us perfect, mature and complete in Him.

In the KJV, it says, "redeeming the time for the days are evil". What does redeem mean?

Amplified: Making the very most of the time - buying up each opportunity - because the days are evil.

Jackie - making the most of every opportunity

Redeem means to "buy back". Jesus is our redeemer because he bought us back with His own blood from slavery to satan. We too are redeemers! If we live as wise, making most of every opportunity, we are buying back the time wasted by evil deeds, and giving sinners an opportunity to be saved. Paul goes on to say:

Ephesians 5:17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

Therefore, since the days are evil, and we as believers need to make the most of every opportunity, we need to NOT be foolish, not be led astray by empty thoughts, but to understand what the will of the Lord is. When we understand what the Lord's will is, then we do it. That's what Christians do.

If you read my testimony, you will see why I understand what divorced people go through. When we are divorced, we feel like such failures, and satan uses that to beat us up! What a jerk the devil is! He puts false romantic ideals in your head, messes with your self-image, tricks you into marrying out of God's will, and then bashes you about the head and shoulders when that marriage fails! But take heart, no situation is too messed up for God to untangle.

BSoC - Seek the Lord's will and He will reveal His plan to you.

God wants the very best for you, like I said, He is your Daddy, He wants to pick you up, kiss your hurts and help you on the right path again.

Father God bless those who have heard the Word tonight. Help them to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. In Jesus Name AMEN

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice.

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