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EPHESIANS 5:15-16

So far, Paul exhorted the Ephesians to walk in unity (4:1), walk in holiness (4:17), walk in love (5:1-2), and walk in light (5:7–8). All of this was based on the foundation of the believers’ heavenly position in Christ, what was established in chapters 1–3.

Now, in verse 15, the believers are encouraged to walk wisely, to be careful how they live. Hoehner defines the best wisdom as “that which has been given by God for insight into the true nature of God’s plan.”

Make sure to observe in this section that Paul was clearly not telling the Ephesians to fear the evil of the days they lived in, though we (as they did) know there is plenty in the day that could cause fear to rise up in us. Rather, he encouraged them to stand up confidently and take each opportunity to live a life that pleased God—in the midst of the evil of their day. This is not a guilt-ridden admonishment, but rather it’s a true encouragement to wisely make the most of the days given—at the office, in our relationships, on our phones, within our thoughts— wherever one might be, there is opportunity to glorify God, and Paul didn’t want them, or us, to miss it.

EPHESIANS 5:17–20

Paul’s use of contrast continues, now with foolishness and understanding. Foolishness is a lack of sense. Understanding is insight. We know from 2 Peter 1:3 that God has “granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,” and that our insight and understanding of wisely living come from Him. Which is why being filled with anything other than the Holy Spirit is unwise, since this is God dwelling in us, our source of wisdom (v. 18). It’s true that we can choose daily to be under the influence of any number of things, and that which we choose affects us greatly. In verses 19 and 20 we find that being filled with the Spirit would look like a lot of thankfulness for everything and sound a lot like music in our heart to the Lord.

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What would your life look like if you chose to be fully filled, led, and affected by the Spirit?

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