1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
The very first line tells us to be followers of God, as dear children... Followers of God is something most of us strive to be. But what about the "as dear children" part? One way I could look at it is how children often try to be like their parents. That is up until a certain age where children seem to be a bit more rebellious. But there's just so many ways in which young children look up to and try to be like their parents. You might have seen kids dressing up in their parent's clothes. My three year old son tries to do just about everything I do. Kids love and are fascinated by their parents. Everything an adult does can seem cool to someone so young.
We ought to live our lives the same. We should look up to our Father in Heaven and want to be just like Him.
The sentence continues in verse two with a little bit about how we ought to be like Christ. Christ loved us so much that He became a sacrifice for us. That is how we ought to live.
Verses 3-5 mentions some things which we are to avoid. I've gone over some things in past studies. I've mentioned how some old testament commandments can be expanded instead of wiped out. Many people these days want to live a life where they can do whatever they want and feel no guilt. People choose to believe that their faith in Jesus is the only thing in the world that matters.
Our faith in Jesus is the only thing that can save us, but it is not the only thing that matters. In fact, our faith in Jesus should transform us into children who want to do His will. His will for us is explained in so many places and right here in this passage it warns us of things to stay away from. The NIV translates this a little different and it says that among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality. It is written elsewhere that an impure thought is no different than an actual act. The bible teaches us that our heart rules over us basically. What is in our heart is not only more important than what we do on the outside, but what is in our heart can and will come out. So it makes sense that we should live so that there is not even a hint of sexual immorality or greed. The verse even mentions that foolish talk and coarse joking should be avoided. Why? Again, these things point to our hearts and these things can injure others.
Verse 8 states we were once in darkness and are now in light. We need to walk as children of light. Verse 10 says something about proving what is acceptable to the Lord. I read the KJV and the NIV and I'm not entirely sure how to take this but I'll share the few thoughts I have on it. By living the life and walking as children of light we will come to know what God finds acceptable. We will prove it to ourselves in that we will see for ourselves how good it is to live in such a way. We also will be able to prove just how good and loving God is by living in such a manner as this. You should be able to see the importance of how we walk when you think of this.
The next few verses tell us to stay away from the things and deeds of darkness. It says that everything exposed by the light will become visible. This sounds so simple and yet so profound. You can right a lot of wrongs in the world not by going around telling everyone what they're doing wrong, but by being the light. The light that shines down from Jesus and shines out from us will shed light on all that is wrong in the world. Our very own lives and how we live can make a HUGE difference in shedding light on the darkness.
Verse 15 in the NIV says
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise"
There is much said about wisdom in the bible and I can promise you it is of great importance.
Verse 16 says we need to make good use of the time because the days are evil. The days are indeed not so good and we do need to make better use of our time.
Verse 18 here says too much wine leads to excess but in the NIV it says it leads to debauchery. However you'd like to translate it, the truth is that too much alcohol can and will lead to bad things. Be filled with the Spirit instead.
I'm going to close with my thoughts on verse 21. It says to submit to one another in the fear of God. I can explain my take on this verse with another verse or three...
He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
Why should we submit to one another? Are we smart enough to lead ourselves at all times? I doubt it. God has good things in store for us and some of what He has planned for us includes us listening to others. There are many wise people around willing to lend some advice and it would be wise if we would listen from time to time.
So go out into the world and live as wise, live as children of light, and don't be ashamed to accept a little correction now and then.
Dear Lord, thank you for today. Thank you for all the blessings you have bestowed upon us. Thank you for your wisdom and your correction. I pray Lord that we might acknowledge the wisdom and correction you may place in our paths through other people. I pray that we would be open to correction and not closed off. I pray that we would be wise and not foolish and I pray that you would help us to lead lives that are full of light so that we might shine upon the whole earth.
A new subject or passage each week for all to discuss.
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