Ephesians chapter 5, a devotional summary                                              by Jack Kettler

As in previous studies, scriptures, commentary evidence, will be looked at for the purpose to glorify God in how to live.

Demonstrating Christ’s Love Ephesians 5:1, 2:

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (5:1).

“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (5:2).

Flee from sexual immorality Ephesians 5:3-5:

“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (5:30).

Cross References to verse Ephesians 5:3

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a man can commit is outside his body, but he who sins, sexually sins against his own body.” (1Corinthians 6:18)

“Put to death, therefore, the components of your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

From Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible on Ephesians 5:3:

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness ... The apostle proceeds to dehort from several vices, which are unbecoming the dear children and followers of God; and which the love of Christ should constrain them to avoid: the first of these, which is simple “fornication”, is the sin which is committed between single or unmarried persons; and is contrary to the law of God, is a work of the flesh, and is against a man's own body; it renders persons unfit for church communion, brings many temporal calamities upon them, and exposes them to divine wrath, and excludes from the kingdom of heaven, without repentance; and the reason why it is so often taken notice of is, because it was very frequent among the Gentiles, and not thought criminal: “all uncleanness” takes in adultery, incest, sodomy, and every unnatural lust; and “covetousness” seems not so much to design that sin which is commonly so called, namely, an immoderate desire after worldly things, as a greedy and insatiable appetite after the above lusts:

let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; that is, neither one or other of them; the sense is, that they should not be committed; so that there might be no occasion to speak of them, even though with abhorrence, as if there were no such vices in being; and much less should they be named with pleasure, and pleaded for: for thus it becomes such who are set apart by God the Father, whose sins are expiated by the blood of Christ, and whose hearts are sanctified by the Spirit of God; who profess the Gospel of Christ, and have a place and a name in God's house, better than that of sons and daughters.” (1)

“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (5:4).

“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (5:5).

Living in Christ’s Grace Ephesians 5:6-14:

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (5:6).

“Therefore do not become partners with them” (5:7);

“for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (5:8)

“(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),” (5:9)

“and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord” (5:10).

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (5:11).

“For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret” (5:12).

“But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible” (5:13),

“for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (5:14).

Living with Christ’s wisdom Ephesians 5:15-17:

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise” (5:15),

“making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (5:16).

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

Warning against drunkenness and exhortation to praise God Ephesians 5:18-21:

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit” (5:18),

Cross References to Ephesian 5:18

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)

“Those who linger over wine, those who go to taste mixed drinks.” (Proverbs 23:30)

“Do not gaze at wine while it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.” (Proverbs 23:31)

From Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers on Ephesians 5:18:

“(18) Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess. —From the general idea of reckless levity, St. Paul passes on to the special sin of drunkenness, as not (like gluttony) primarily a gratification of the appetite, but as a reckless pursuit of excitement at all costs—glorified as an excitement of emotion, and even of wit and intellect, in such contemporary writers as Horace, and actually confused, as in the Dionysiac or Bacchanalian frenzy, with a divine inspiration. How necessary the admonition was we see by the directions as to the choice of clergy in the Pastoral Epistles (1Tim. 3:28; Titus 1:7; Titus 2:3); the more necessary, because (as 1Timothy 5:23 shows) the right use of wine was recognised. Hence St. Paul emphatically brands drunkenness as “excess,” a word properly signifying “recklessness”—“incapable of saving,” or denying itself anything, and naturally passing through this want of self-restraint into profligacy—rightly translated “riot” in Titus 1:6, 1Peter 4:4, as the corresponding adverb is rendered “riotous living” in Luke 15:13. For drunkenness is at once the effect and cause of utter recklessness. It is the effect of a self-abandonment, by which the sensual or passionate elements of the nature are stimulated to frenzy, while the self-controlling judgment is drugged to sleep. It is the cause of yet greater recklessness: for as these passions and appetites become jaded, they need stronger and stronger stimulants, till the whole nature, bodily and mental, is lost in delirium or stupor.

But be filled with the Spirit.—The antithesis is startling, but profoundly instructive. To the artificial and degrading excitement of drunkenness St. Paul boldly opposes the divine enthusiasm of the Spirit, one form of which was scoffingly compared to it on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:13). He is not content with warning us of its ruinous excess, or urging the strictness of stern self-restraint. Drunkenness comes from an unnatural craving for excitement, stimulated by unwholesome conditions of life, physical and mental. He would satisfy the craving, so far as it is natural, by a divine enthusiasm, brighter and stronger than even duty to God and man, breaking out in thanksgiving, adoration, and love.” (2)

“addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (5:19),

“giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:20),

“submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (5:21).

Exhortations to Wives and Husbands Ephesians 5:22-33:

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (5:22).

Cross References to Ephesians 5:22

“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” (Colossians 3:18)

“Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your husbands, so that even if they refuse to believe the word, they will be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.” (1Peter 3:1)

From Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on Ephesians 5:22:

“22. (Eph. 6:9.) The Church's relation to Christ in His everlasting purpose, is the foundation and archetype of the three greatest of earthly relations, that of husband and wife (Eph. 5:22-33), parent and child (Eph. 6:1-4), master and servant (Eph. 6:4-9). The oldest manuscripts omit “submit yourselves”; supplying it from Eph. 5:21, "Ye wives (submitting yourselves) unto your own husbands." "Your own" is an argument for submissiveness on the part of the wives; it is not a stranger, but your own husbands whom you are called on to submit unto (compare Ge 3:16; 1Co 7:2; 14:34; Col 3:18; Tit 2:5; 1Pe 3:1-7). Those subjects ought to submit themselves, of whatever kind their superiors are. “Submit” is the term used of wives: “obey,” of children (Eph. 6:1), as there is a greater equality between wives and husbands, than between children and parents.

as unto the Lord—Submissiveness is rendered by the wife to the husband under the eye of Christ, and so is rendered to Christ Himself. The husband stands to the wife in the relation that the Lord does to the Church, and this is to be the ground of her submission: though that submission is inferior in kind and degree to that which she owes Christ (Eph. 5:24).”(3)

“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior” (5:23).

“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands” (5:24).

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (5:25),

Cross References to Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:19)

“Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as a delicate vessel and with honor as fellow heirs of the gracious gift of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” (1Peter 3:7)

From Matthew Poole's Commentary on Ephesians 5:25:

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, viz. with a sincere, pure, ardent, and constant affection. As they resemble Christ in the honour they have of being the heads of their wives, so they must likewise in performing the duty of loving them, under which all matrimonial duties are comprehended.

And gave himself for it; whereby he testified the greatness of his love.” (4)

“that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (5:26),

“so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (5:27).

“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (5:28).

“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church” (5:29),

“because we are members of his body” (5:30).

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (5:31).

“This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (5:32).

“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (5:33).

All Scriptures from the English Standard Version (ESV)


1.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Ephesians, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 105-106.

2.      Charles John Ellicott, Bible Commentary for English Readers, Ephesians, Vol. 3, (London, England, Cassell and Company), p. 50.

3.      Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1977) p. 1295.

4.      Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible, Vol. 3, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 677.

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: http://www.TheReligionThatStartedInAHat.com

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: http://www.TheReligionThatStartedInAHat.com