Ephesians 5:15-21 Notes

Notes on Ephesians 5:15-21

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

(Eph 5:15-21)

Ephesians  5 demonstrates how the Christian is to walk in public.

The Passage is organized around the present imperative “Walk,”  parapeteite, see verse 2, 8, 15. The NIV translates the word “Live,” because the idea has to do with the entire scope of walk, way, lifestyle of Christian living. 

Paul calls you to be extra-spective, that is thinking about the way you are living from outside of yourself. 

Verse 15, He begins with the, common, double imperative, “Therefore, Watch carefully in order that you would not walk…”

Grammatically (parallel imperatival participles) the rest of the paragraph is structured by this verbal idea, “Watch carefully in order that you may…”

  • Walk wisely…, Parapeteite,
  • Be purchased time…  (for God’s slave usage, agorazomenoi)
  • Be Thinking… (learn things you do not know),
  • Be not drunk… rather full of the Spirit…
  • Speak to one another…
  • Sing and Praise to the Lord…
  • Give thanks to the Father….
  • Be Submitted…

>>>Most translations make sense of this passage by making mini-paragraphs which ignores the parallel construction. Rather, the ideas are distinct, and are explained, or internally interpreted by contrasted notions.

  • Walk…, Parapeteite,
    • Wisely,not un wisely
      • Wisdom is knowing how to obey God’s word,
        • Psalm 19:7
        • Ill: Book versus Street Smarts.  
  • Be purchased time…  (for God’s slave usage, agorazomenoi)
    • Contrast: evil days, versus God’s purchased time
    • This means to act as one who is bought/redeemed as a laborer. The idea here is a call to labour for God’s sake.
      • Rom 6:20-23, God is you owner,
  • Be Thinking… (learn things you do not know),
    • Learning information, not ignorant
    • Ill: President Garfield, not the Cat, said, “The Truth will set you free but first it will make you miserable.”
      •  This means book-smarts. “What is the Will of God?”
  • Be not drunk… rather full of the Spirit…
    • Drunk and Full are both words about filling, but with different ends
      • The problem is Aswtia, cf Luke 15:13, “wild living”
  • Speak to one another…
    • Speak” is as opposed to speaking from another standard, other from the Word of God.
      • LXX Trans of “Psalms Hymns and Odes,” are the Word of God in Psalter
        • Psalm 92;1, “Psaltry (instrument) tune, and Ode (kind of meter)”, Ps 76:1 give distinct ideas, “A Psalm, a Song (ode)”
        • Psalm 74, Maskil, a Hymn.
        • The Source of these things is the Spirit
          • Therefore this is the Word of God, not another standard.
          • Use the Word to reprove others.  
  • Sing and Praise to the Lord…
    • Again, this is imperatival (Sing!), not modal (by singing)
    • “Sing and Praise”-verbal, “With your Heart”intentional, -The Idea is Literally singing, yet still with all of your being.
      • There is a knitting together of intention and orthodox action.
  • Give thanks to the Father….
    • For all, and about all, good and bad circumstances
      • The Idea is that all times and events are opportunities to serve the Father
      • “The Name of Christ” refers to his mediation,
        • Ill: “Stop in the name of the Law,” Police (at least on TV) say this in mediation of the state’s law.
        • The idea is thagt We should praise the Father Because Jesus mediates us.
  • Submit yourselves…
    • “One to another” Versus “To Christ”
      • Ill: ontological versus functional sumbmission
      • The Trinity even has a true modal distinction
        • Phil 2:7ff, Son from the Father
        • John 14:26, 15:26, Spirit from the Son
      • This gives us the basis for the reality of true legitimate hierarchies based on God ordained structures
        • Examples of Authorities:
          • Family: husband, Wife, Children, Eph 5:22ff
          • Business: Boss, Slave, Eph 6:5ff
          • School: teacher, student, Mat 10:24
          • State: Elders, Subjects, Ex 18
          • Church: Elders, Deacons, Family Heads, Titus 1:5