Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
Everyone always seems to be going somewhere. My wife and I needed to travel to Seattle this past weekend to help our son who was having some car trouble. The increasingly popular “Oceanic River”, was flooding the freeway’s of the Northwest and the driving was more treacherous than normal.
Surprisingly, the traffic was exceptionally heavy during our recent trip and I wondered how so many people could be finding good reasons for travel in such difficult weather. Travel down to the park, or the store and you find people coming and going. The endless reasons for moving might be found in the pandemic fatigue of isolation or the season, regardless of the reasons, the busyness seems to be growing.
In the midst of life there are those that are walking just to get somewhere then there are those that are walking a separate path that leads to life.
Walking in Love
I’ve learned that in reading scripture, if there is a “therefore” preceding a portion of text, it’s important to find out what it is ‘there for’.
We are to ‘therefore’ be imitators of Christ—walking in Love.
The encouragement in how to walk comes on the heels of how not to walk.
Ephesians 4:17-19 “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”
There it is again…”therefore”, no longer walk as gentiles.
The term “Gentile” is a common term used to describe someone who is not of the household of God. It used to be a term separating Jews from non-Jews, but that was before Jesus came and changed everything.
As servants of Christ, God’s people are now neither Jew nor Gentile, they are one body, united by the Spirit of God as one church, and the expectations of His church are different than God’s expectations of the world.
Walking in love is twofold in the body of Christ.
- It Edifies the Body of Christ—Ephesians 4:11 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” The building up of the body of Christ is exemplified in believers coming together and practicing their faith as the Spirit of God reveals Himself through their lives. The manifesting of God’s Spirit equips fellow believers in their faith.
- It Edifies Christ to the World—Ephesians 4:13 “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” The love demonstrated toward one another reveals the love of God to the world. When the fullness of Christ is revealed within the Church, the world must stand up and take notice. The hope is for those who see Christ in us, to be drawn to Christ in like manner.
Walking in Light
Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”
What does it mean to walk as children of the Light?
If we draw our power from on high and and live for Christ, we exemplify the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. The manifestation of this fruit comes from One source and we see in verse 9 what that looks like: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)
- Goodness—The goodness of God is given through His Word(Heb 6:5). It also helps us differentiate between what is of God and what is evil.(1 Kings 3;9) It reveals God’s nature in Creation.(Gen. 1:25) It leads us to repentance.(Rom. 2:4)
- Righteousness—The righteousness of God is revealed in the perfection of His nature.(Is. 46:13) It is given to mankind by faith in Jesus Christ.(Phip.3:9) It is a crown of glory to those who have been found faithful.(2 Tim.4:8) The one who pursues righteousness finds life, prosperity, and honor.(Prov.21:21) because it proves that your are of Christ and He is in you.(1 John 2:29)
- Truth—The epitome of Truth is Jesus Christ.(John 14:6) The Truth guides you through life.(John 16:13 The Truth sanctifies you and makes you Holy(John 17:17), and the Truth will set you free from death.(John 8:32) If there was ever a single word that could summarize Christianity it would be the word Truth.
Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,God–Ephesians 5:14
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Walking in Wisdom
Ephesians 5:15 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
There has probably never been a more critical time in history to understanding how to walk in Wisdom than today. Evil is flourishing at every level of society and continues to unmask it’s traditional deceptive approach and has replaced it with a bold statement of darkness—a statement the world is receiving far too willingly.
From government policies to school ideology, the normalization of evil within the framework of society requires a careful, wise, approach in how to navigate through the muck of confusion as children of the light. As people of God, it becomes increasingly difficult for all who desire to remain pure, steadfast, and uncorrupted by this world of sin.
A good starting point for walking in wisdom is understanding the Will of the Lord.
Ephesians 5:17 “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
- Don’t Conform—We must not conform to this world’s idea of what good looks like.(Rom. 12:2) The world may try to guilt you into carrying their justification for sin, they might accuse you of hatred or indifference, and will castegate you as one who is unloving….don’t bite. The world wants to normalize sin and will do everything in its power to force people to fit their mold.
- Be Transformed—The way to rise above is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.(Rom. 12:2) This happens by eliminating confusion by saturating your mind with the Word of God.
- Stay Clear Minded—Avoid giving yourself over to much alcohol, stay sober and vigilant in the fight, the enemy continually looks for opportunities to attack and alcohol lowers your defenses. The way to counter the enemies attack is to be filled with the Spirit.(Eph. 5:18) Ask each day for God’s anointing through His Spirit, let that become a part of your prayer life that you might put on the whole armor of God each day.
Growing in Wisdom is to grow in the knowledge of God’s will.
Colossians 1:9 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,”
Walking well is to know what path to take.
The path of God does not accommodate anything other than what has been outlined in the Word of God. Remember, your walk is not your own, as God’s church we walk together and in so doing encourage each other with these words.
Ephesians 5:19-20 “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
The Wisdom of Walking Well is found in the fear of the Lord.
When we exalt Christ in our lives, everything else diminishes, (including ourselves). Then, when people see us they see Jesus and our purpose is fulfilled in our testimony.