Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!
We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Ephesians 5:1-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
1) What does the word “imitate” mean?
2) What specific behavior does Paul address in this passage? Warnings and Encouragements?
3) How can we evaluate or “look” at our walk in the Lord?
4) What does Paul say is the balance of being in the world but not of the world?
The Findings for Intention
1) Paul answers the question right after he asked it. He tells the Ephesians to be imitators and in v.2 he says the way you imitate God is to love like Christ loved by giving up your life as an offering to God. Being an imitator of God means just that, we mirror His reflection. We speak as He speaks and we act as He would act.
2) Although this was written in the 1st century, it is very relevant and timely for today. Paul warns against sexual immortality, covetousness, idolatry, harsh words, falling away from the TRUE gospel, and general impurity in our lives. He encourages a spirit of thanksgiving, walking in the Light, and submitting to one another. There is a stark contrast between these behaviors. You will either be in the Light or in the darkness….there is no middle ground!
3) The word “look” in the original language means to perceive, contemplate, or look upon. Paul is encouraging the believers of Ephesus and believers today to study and evaluate their behaviors and see if they measure up to the gospel. He asks the reader to categorize their behavior…wise or unwise, doing the will of God or being foolish? Apart from Christ we will never measure up to the God’s righteousness. It is the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives, reminding us of God’s truth, and helping us live in this world but not of this world that empowers us to imitate Christ. (John16:13-15)
4) At first glance, it seems Paul is saying to stay away from the big, bad world out there. As believers we should hold fast to the gospel and stay away from the world. In this passage, Paul is encouraging the believers of Ephesus to be careful of the world. We are to be light and salt in the world around us, however, we are not to partake of worldly things or be drawn away from the gospel and Christ with the foolishness and idols of the world. This is much more pointed towards the motivations of our hearts rather than a list of outward do’s and don’ts, which lead so quickly to legalism and quick judgment on face-value.
The Everyday Application
1) When I think of imitating Christ, it reminds me of my children. When my girls were little they would watch me put my makeup on and then turn around and pretend to do it themselves. Each stroke, they copied….each dab, they mimicked. They knew how to do it because they had studied me, watched me, and practiced every detail. The same is true in our relationship with Christ. We can imitate Him when we study Him and His Word, we can mimic Him because we have observed Him and His actions, and we practice every day in our daily interactions with other believers and the world around us!
2) Scripture is so timely! As I turn on the news, watch a television show, or see the latest movie trailer. It reminds me that this world has nothing to offer me. It seems interesting, and maybe even appealing for a moment, but that moment is fleeting. Paul tells believers to not be dragged away by the falsehoods of the world, beloved you are Children of the Light…walk as such!
3) As a new believer, or even a mature believer, we need the gospel. Every Day. The gospel, and the grace offered us, is a magnifying glass to our desperation, to our deepest need that can only be found in Christ. Under the lens of the gospel we can see clearly the choices we make every day. We need to ask ourselves, am I representing the gospel well? Does my life reflect the God I serve? Do my finances show God as my priority? No part of our life escapes the lens of the gospel! To look upon our lives means every day we live in the freedom of grace yet strive for a deeper, more intimate, and authentic relationship with the Lord.
4) The balance of living in the world and not of the world can sometimes seem like a very thin line. Paul’s reminder that our actions and mindset speak volumes about where our heart is, sets the standard for evaluation. The difference between living in the world and not of the world is motivation and purpose. Our motivation and purpose should be to glorify Christ alone, honoring Him, and staying true to our First Love.
I Can Do That!
1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!
We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources. Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.
Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!
Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))
Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.
In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!
Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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