Over the last three weeks, we’ve looked at Paul’s instructions from Ephesians on how we are to walk as disciples of Jesus. We’ve learned that we are to walk: 1) in a manner worthy of our calling (4:1), 2) differently from the world (4:17), 3) “in the way of love” (5:2), and 4) “as children of light” (5:8). That brings us to the fifth and final “walk” of Ephesians.

  1. We are to walk wisely. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but wise” (v. 15). This is done by understanding “what the will of the Lord is” (v. 17). Accordingly, he encourages us to be “filled with the Spirit” (v. 18). It is clear from its contrast with “do not get drunk with wine” that being filled is the equivalent of being under the Spirit’s influence.
    Still, we can understand what the will of the Lord is, but if we do not allow our lives to be shaped and molded by it—it means nothing. I’ve heard people refer to this as “missing heaven by 12 inches,” because the knowledge about the way God wants us to live never made the trip from our head to our heart. In-tellectually we might have known a great deal about the Bible and God’s will for us, but attitudinally and behaviorally it never took hold. There was no transformation, just stagnation. What a tragedy that would be!
    How do people under the influence of the Spirit live? He mentions three things. 1) They speak to one another with “psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit” (v. 19). 2) They give “thanks always and for everything” (v. 20), and 3) they submit “to one another out of reverence for Christ” (v. 21). People who are full of self don’t submit to others, but people filled with the Spirit do. And with these truths, (especially No. 1 and No.3), we’ve come full circle to what Paul initially told us was needed for maintaining the unity of the Spirit (4:3).
    These five occurrences of “walk” in Ephesians 5 contain fundamental teaching for the disciples at Ephesus on how to live out the salvation they had experi-enced in Jesus. They mean no less to us today. As disciples, let’s make sure we’re participating in the walk of life.

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