Many people look at the world as it is and think this is the way God created it to be. What we see now is the fallen world. What we see now is the world influenced by good and evil. If you want to see the world as God intended, look at the joy of parents with the birth of their healthy child, look at young love, feel the accomplishment of a job well done. The list of what is good, and righteous, and holy, and well-pleasing to the Lord could go on. And it is all of these things that are the will of the Lord. But, there is also evil influence, a warfare between the will of the Lord and what is well-pleasing to him. As it says in Ephesians 6:12 “our struggle is … against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places”.
Learn What is Well-Pleasing to the Lord
As Christians, we have a new way to live. We are, in Ephesians 5:8 “children of light” so we are to be, in
Ephesians 5:10 trying to learn what is well-pleasing to the Lord.
Our old way of life in Ephesians 5:11 resulted in “the unfruitful deeds of darkness”. Just as we might wake up in the light of day from a meaningless dream, so Paul says in Ephesians 5:14 for us to “Wake up, sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you”. And because of this, we can become fruitful for God’s Kingdom.
Understand What the Will of the Lord Is
There is a right way for us to live, not as the world does pleasing only themselves at the expense of others. The way for us is in Ephesians 5″17 to “understand what the will of the Lord is”. And this is not burdensome or harsh or legalistic as some would say. However, “The discerning Christian seeks always to search God’s word and to follow the Spirit’s guidance”.1
Instead of burdensome legalism, we find the will of the Lord in
Ephesians 5:18b-21 “be filled by the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and singing praise in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to the God and Father, 21 being subject to one another out of reverence for Christ”.
And this overflow of joy and goodness and thanksgiving and reverence happens “When the Spirit fills us with the presence of the Godhead, joy and singing are the natural byproduct”.2
People are not hurt by this overflow but are instead built up and encouraged.
Cleansing Her With the Washing of Water by the Word
There is power in God’s word to sanctify us, to cleanse us, to make us holy in Ephesians 5:26-27. Husbands must understand that it takes an all in commitment, as Christ gave for the Church. It isn’t possible to try and see because in Ephesians 5:31 “the two will become one flesh”. And going back to Ephesians 5:28 “The one who loves his own wife loves himself”. We do understand that not everyone will be saved and in
1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. The brother or the sister is not bound in such cases. But God has called us in peace.
Still, Jesus made the effort and gave himself in
Ephesians 5:27 in order that he might present to himself the church glorious, not having a spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she may be holy and blameless.
And as husbands, our wife is a reflection of our love and care for her as we take our place as priest in our own home. Sadly though, many men have taken Ephesians 5:24 and Ephesians 5:33 to demand obedience even to their stern abuse and to this I say
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for her
Doing the Will of God From the Heart
We all have parents and many become parents. We may work for ourselves, but even when we do, we depend on other relationships either for materials or as our customers. And many work as employer or employee. The point here is that in whatever position we find ourselves, leading or following, worker or boss, parent or child, the Lord knows our situation and in Ephesians 6:8 “know that each one of you, whatever good he should do, this he will receive back from the Lord”. So, if you are the boss and you are treating your employees right, God notices. If you are an employee and you slack with your boss, God notices. Some wonder, why doesn’t God intervene? Dominion was given and God is not unjust. The unanswered prayers have not gone unheard but are held for the days of judgement and at the seventh seal, these prayers will return to the earth in
Revelation 8:3-5 And another angel who had a golden censer came and stood at the altar, and a large amount of incense was given to him, in order that he could offer the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that is before the throne …
Our Struggle is Not Against Blood and Flesh
Our natural bodies interact with the world around us through our five senses and they are always active, always connected to the people and situations around us. But there is a spirit realm. We are a spirit being in this physical body. And, there are spirit beings that do not have bodies as we do. God is a spirit being. Angels are spirit beings and a third of them are fallen, evil, what we call demons. Even these fallen angels and the devil himself have areas of dominion. For example, in
Matthew 4:8–9 Again the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, 9 and he said to him, “I will give to you all these things, if you will fall down and worship me.”
Now Paul says in
Ephesians 6:12 because our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
We are each faced with a decision about the gospel, will we accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ through his death, burial, and resurrection? And we each must learn to live this Christian life in love. And we are each given gifts to fulfill our part in the body of Christ. But there is also, behind all that is happening around us, this spiritual warfare that we have entered. And just as we accept Christ by faith, we also overcome our adversary by faith but with our faith we also must add perseverance (stand), truth, righteousness, preparation, the word of God, and prayer.
That You May Know Our Circumstances
- Ephesians 5:7–16 Learn What is Well-Pleasing to the Lord
- Ephesians 5:17–24 Understand What the Will of the Lord Is
- Ephesians 6:10–20 Our Struggle is Not Against Blood and Flesh
- Ephesians 5:7-33
- Ephesians 6:1-24
- 1. Osborne, G. R. (2017). Ephesians: Verse by Verse (p. 179). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- 2. Osborne, G. R. (2017). Ephesians: Verse by Verse (p. 182). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.