Ephesians 5:14-20  "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;"

Sometimes the Lord's people are asleep spiritually.  This is not the same as being dead.  A dead person cannot wake up or arise.  A person must first have life before he can wake up and arise.  These are born-again children of God.  Sometimes people who are asleep resemble those that are dead.  One of the characteristics of a sleeping person is that you do not see much activity.  In a dead person, you see no activity.  However, there is a big difference between a sleeping person and a dead person.  A sleeping person can be aroused from his sleep.  A dead person cannot be aroused. 

The admonition is to awake from sleep and arise from the dead.  We should awake from lethargy and we should become active in the worship and service of God.  We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works.  We were ordained to perform the good works to the praise and glory of God. 

If we look like the world and walk like the world, then who can distinguish us from those that are "dead in trespasses and sins?"  Paul said in Rom. 13:12 "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light."  As children of the day we are to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.  We are to walk in the good works that God has ordained that we walk in.  We are to worship God in Spirit and in truth and we are to serve him acceptably according to the word of God.

When we awake and arise, we have the blessed promise that "Christ will give thee light."  We no longer must walk in the darkness of understanding of this world.  Christ has provided every thing that we need for us.  He gives us the light of his word, which is set forth in Ps. 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  Furthermore, he has given us the light of the gospel:

    1.  2 Cor 4:4 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    2.  2 Tim 1:10 "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:"

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise."  Circumspectly is translated from the Greek word, akribos, meaning diligent precision.  Our manner of living is to be in a precise way.  We are to live according to thus saith the Lord.  The word of God is precise as to how that we should strive to live our lives.  We need the knowledge of God's word that we may live our lives in this precise manner.  Further, we are to be diligent in this walk.  It is not just a sometime or convenient walk, but it is to be a continual diligent walk before the Lord.  To not walk circumspectly is to walk as a fool.  It is simply traveling through the wide gate and walking the broad way that leads to destruction.  We will experience much destruction in our lives if we fail to walk circumspectly.  The Lord compared those who heard his sayings and did them not to a fool:  Matt. 7:26 "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

In contrast, if we walk circumspectly, then we are wise.  The Lord compared those who heard his sayings and did them to a wise man: Matt. 7:24 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."  This is the same as entering the strait gate and walking the narrow way that leads to life. 

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."  We are only upon this earth a short time.  We do not know the day of our departure.  There are scriptures that teach us to take advantage of the time that we have:

    1.  Eccl. 12:1 "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;"

    2.  2 Cor 6:2 "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"

    3.  James 4:13 "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."

 "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."  In some things we understand what the will of the Lord is because it is set forth for us in his word.  Other things, we must rely upon the leadership of the Holy Spirit to show us what we should do.  However, we are to do according to his will and not according to our will.  May God help us to understand what he would have us to do.

"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." 

Alcohol or wine is often referred to as "spirits."  The effect of alcohol is to take you out of your mind and to release your inhibitions to do things that you would not otherwise do and you know to be wrong.  The effect of being filled with the Spirit is to put you in your right mind and to give you courage to do that which is right.  The effect of alcohol will eventually make you that you cannot speak without stammering or to walk without weaving.  The effect of being filled with the Spirit is that you can worship and praise God in a perfect manner and you can walk in a way that is pleasing to God. 

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."  Singing good spiritual songs are a rich blessing from the Lord.  However, our singing should be according to truth.  In singing we are speaking to ourselves and at the same time praising the Lord.  Our melody is to be made in our hearts and not on some musical instrument.  A musical instrument cannot give praise unto God.  Nevertheless, God is pleased when we praise him from the heart.  Acapella (without musical accompaniment) singing is the New Testament pattern for singing in the church. 

Our singing is to be addressed to the Lord and not to the congregation.  We are not to sing in order to impress anyone, but rather we are to give praise unto the Lord, making a joyful noise unto the Lord.

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"  By the leadership of the Spirit we pray to the Father through our mediator Jesus Christ.  It is by the authority or name of Jesus Christ that we pray.  Our prayers ascend unto the Father because of the atoning blood of Christ and because of his intercession on our behalf.  Further, every thing we have that is of any spiritual value came from God and we are to give thanks unto God and the Father for those things. 

Ephesians 5:21-24  "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."

"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."  The word, submit, comes from the Greek word, hupotasso, meaning to rank under, be under obedience, or to subordinate.  It is a military term reflecting rank.  The lower ranks are to be submissive or obey the higher ranks.  To submit yourselves one to another indicates that in our minds and actions we are to consider others as being of higher rank than we are and to be submissive or obedient to them.  Thus, every member of the church is to consider all the other members to be of higher rank than he or she is and to be submissive or obedience to the other members.  This reflects humility throughout the whole body of the church.  Our inclination and desire for submission comes from the fear of God.  Once we are born of the Spirit we begin to fear or reverentially respect God.  This great respect for God brings about our respect for our fellow members of the body of Christ.  Therefore, we are to respect them to the extent that we are willing to subordinate ourselves unto them.

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."  The principle of the wife ranking herself under the husband in authority is taught in several places in the scriptures:

    1.  Col. 3:18 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord."

    2.  Tit. 2:4 "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

    3.  1 Pet. 3:1 "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear."

    4.  1 Pet. 3:5 "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement."

    5.  1 Cor. 14:34 "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."

    6.  1 Tim. 2:9 "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."

In the home, this ranking of authority of wives under husbands does not reflect the relative worth or importance of either one.  This is proven as the Lord submitted himself to his earthly mother and father: Luke 2:48 "And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart."  No one should ever question the relative importance of Jesus to Joseph and Mary.  Obviously, Jesus is far more important and worth far more than any mortal man.  Yet Jesus was obedient to the authority structure that God established for the home.  So likewise, we should recognize the authority structure God has established for the home. 

"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."  The husband is the head (authority over) of the wife.  He is the head of the wife because God established it to be this way.  He would have no right of authority, except God gave it to him.  This authority structure is patterned after the Lord's authority over the church.  The husband is head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.  Our marriages are to reflect the relationship of Christ to the church.  As we will see, the husband's love of the wife is to be patterned after Christ's love of the church.  Likewise, the wife's submission to the husband is to be patterned after the church's submission to the Lord.  What a wonderful pattern the Lord has given us for our families. 

 Furthermore, the above teaches us that as Christ is the saviour of the body, then the husband has a responsibility to support and protect the wife and children.   

Ephesians 5:25-33  "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

God set forth the pattern for a husband's love for his wife is to mirror or follow the pattern of God's love for the church.  Husbands are to love their wives even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.  The love of Christ for the church was a sacrificial love.  He gave himself for the church.  He gave himself for the church when he left the portals of glory and came into this world.  He gave himself for the church when he lived upon the earth.  He gave himself for the church when he died upon the cross to redeem his bride from her sins.  He gave himself for the church from beginning to the end.  Likewise, we husbands are not to live for ourselves, but we are to live sacrificial lives giving ourselves for our bride and subsequently for our children. 

Too often, we see husbands who expect their wives to serve them and be obedient unto them, but are not willing to put their wives first in their lives.  This is simply wrong.  If we want our wives to be submissive to us, then we must set the example and give ourselves for our brides.  According to the scriptures, we love God because he first loved us.  Similarly, husbands are to set the example and initiate the love towards their wives by sacrificing themselves for their wives.

Christ, sanctified and cleansed the church with the washing of water by the word.  There is a dual application in the above.  The eternal aspect is that Christ sanctified (set apart) his bride before the foundation of the world in election; then he set her apart by dying for his elect upon the cross to set them apart from their sins; then he set them apart by quickening them into spiritual life.  The timely aspect of this is that Christ sets the church apart through the preaching of the gospel calling the elect unto his gospel kingdom.  Here the lives of his obedient children are set apart through obedience to the scriptures. 

In the eternal aspect, there is the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.  This washing of the soul and giving of the spiritual nature sets the person apart from his condition of being dead in trespasses and sins and enables those regenerated to be able to seek after God.  Regeneration is brought about by the voice of Christ speaking eternal life unto the elect.

In the timely aspect, there is a washing that takes place when God's obedient children obey the gospel call to repentance and deliver themselves from following after this world unto worshipping and serving the Lord in his kingdom.  This call comes through the gospel ministry preaching the gospel.

Husbands are to encourage and help their wives and children to live godly lives by setting the example for them, talking with them about spiritual things and encouraging them to follow after spiritual things.

"That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."  While the work of glorifying the church and presenting her without spot or wrinkle and making her holy and without blemish is a work only the Lord can do, yet we are to strive to present our wives in such a light that others may see their spiritual beauties and holy lives.  We are to set the environment for them to live holy and godly lives.  Again, our example and our speech should be such as to encourage them in this endeavor.

"So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies."  There are numerous things that we do for our bodies.  We nourish our bodies.  We nurture our bodies.  We exercise our bodies to keep them healthy.  We take medicines to overcome illness and to keep our bodies healthy.  We clean our bodies and clothe them to make them presentable.  We give our bodies rest.  Much of our lives are given to attending to the needs and desires of our bodies.  The above scripture teaches us that we should give just as much care and concern for our wives as we do for our bodies.  This care and concern that we give for our bodies is done throughout the day, every day.  Likewise, our care and concern for our wives is to be done throughout the day, every day. 

"He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."  As we give so much attention to the care and nourishing and taking care of our own flesh, this is evidence that we love our ourselves.  Likewise, loving our wives in the way that God has shown us is another form of loving ourselves.  When we give the care, nourishment, nurture, exercise, etc. to our flesh, it responds by doing for us what we want it to do for us.  When we love our wives in the way the Lord has taught us, our wives respond by showing us the love and respect that we expect from them.  The Lord gave himself for the church, he nourishes her, and cherishes her and she responds by serving him and loving him. 

Further, the Lord has brought the church into a union with him.  The church is so closely united with the Lord that the members of the church are now considered to be members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  She is vitally a part of the Lord.

"For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh."  The family unit is by design of the Lord.  He designed a family to consist of husband, wife, and children.  There comes a time when the children grow up and go out and form their own family. 

God gave the marriage covenant in the Garden of Eden when Adam pronounced the above after God had given him Eve to be his wife: Gen. 2:23 "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."  The Lord confirmed this covenant was from God when he declared in Matt. 19:4  "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

In marriage, a man leaves the family in which he was raised and starts his own family.  He marries his wife and cleaves unto her.  Just as the relationship between the Lord and the church is a union that vitally joins them together so that she is now members of his body, and bone of his bone, so the husband and wife being joined together in marriage are vitally one also.  This is a unit that is not to be broken.  We are to strive to maintain this unit and the unity of the marriage relationship.  When we marry we are no longer two separate individuals living two separate lives, but we have become a unit and our lives are intertwined until parted by death. 

"This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."  This beautiful mystery of the relationship between Christ and the church and the relationship between the husband and wife mirrors one another according to the design of God.  In honor of the relationship between Christ and the church, every one of us husbands are to love our wife even as himself.  Likewise, in honor of this relationship, the wife is to see that she reverences her husband.