Lesson 10

The Christian Walk

(Ephesians 5:1-20)
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Introduction: Comparing our growth as Christians to a walk is a wonderful way to help us understand what God desires of us. Maturing in the Christian life is not a single act, a single sin, a single good deed. It is the pattern and practice of our life. Let's dive into our lesson and learn what kind of patterns and practices God desires of us!

  1. Imitating God's Attitude of Love


    1. Read Ephesians 5:1-2. Have you seen children who walked like their father? Have you seen daughters who talked or dressed like their mother?


      1. Why do children imitate their parents?


      2. Why does God expect us to imitate Him? (He loves us dearly. Children are drawn to loving parents.)


      3. What kind of love does God expect of us? (The self-sacrificing love - the kind that Jesus showed to us.)


      4. How much does God love us? As much as He loves Jesus? (Read John 17:23. What great love God has for us!)


    2. Last week we studied Ephesians 4:31-32. Review those verses. How does Ephesians 5:1-2 follow up on that? (God is telling us that the attitude of the world is bitterness, rage, anger and brawling. But the attitude of the Christian is love and self-sacrifice. That is the attitude of our Father in Heaven and that should be our attitude because He showed the ultimate love to us.)


  2. Love and Greed


    1. Read Ephesians 5:3. What would be a "hint" of sexual immorality?


      1. Consider your reputation. Are you someone who people would believe could be (or is) immoral? (Many years ago there was a rumor in my office that one of the married lawyers was having an affair with a paralegal. Someone told me that people thought I was that lawyer. That was one of the "clarifying" moments in my life. I was not having an affair with a paralegal or anyone else, but I realized that I had been far too careless in my talk and actions. Instead of building up the Kingdom of God, my influence was helping Satan. From that day on I determined to change my influence.)


    2. Why are sexual impurity and greed listed together in Ephesians 5:3? Are they similar in some way? (These sins have the same root - self centeredness. You want more money and more things because you have an unsatisfied appetite. You want to have sex with more people for the same reason. It makes you seem more important to have "stuff" and to have others find you sexually desirable.)


      1. Have you noticed this common pattern: a man becomes successful. He then acquires new cars, a new home and ultimately a new wife? (The sin of never being satisfied can touch all parts of our life.)


      2. How does Ephesians 5:3 relate to Ephesians 5:1-2? (They describe completely opposite behavior. The love of God makes us unselfish. This is completely inconsistent with greed for money, stuff or sexual conquest.)


  3. Love and Talk


    1. Read Ephesians 5:4. What caught my eye here was the phrase "foolish talk." Other translations either translate the Greek the same way or translate it "silly talk." What is foolish or silly talk? (Looking at the Greek, the phrase is roughly a combination of two words: moron + talk.)


      1. Can you think of some television programs that would fit the description "moron talk?"


      2. What is wrong with moron talk and ribaldry (coarse joking)? (Paul tells us that these things are "out of place." When you speak this way it makes people think that you are not a child of God.)


      3. If we find that coarse joking and moron talk are a part of our normal pattern of talking, what kind of talk should be substituted? (Thanksgiving.)


        1. Imagine the impact on your mental health. Instead of talking dirty, try to look for things for which you can be thankful. My bet is that your mental health, your sense of well-being, will dramatically improve!


    2. Read Ephesians 5:5-7. How important is greed, immorality and our language? (Paul says that it is "outcome determinative." Grace means something in our lives. Paul, the man who hammers the point of righteousness by faith more than any other Bible writer, tells us that if we continue in our old lifestyle we are lost.)


      1. Did you notice that Paul calls those who follow this life-style "idolaters?" Why is that term appropriate? (I do not know a single person who has an idol in their house or back yard and who bows down and worships that idol. One the surface, this is an "extinct sin" in modern culture. The essence of idolatry was to worship something made with your own hands. Selfishness, whether money or sex, is the same thing. Your highest desire is for what you have made. It is a worship of your power.)


      2. Will some spiritual leaders disagree? Will some encourage selfishness? (Paul tells us that spiritual teachers with "empty words" will disagree and attempt to lead us astray.)


  4. Love and Light


    1. Read Ephesians 5:8-12. What is the antidote for sin? (Light. Shine the light on sin.)


      1. If you have a question about sin in your life, ask yourself if you are willing to shine the light on your actions. If not, does that say something about actions? (Yes. If you are not willing to share your actions with other Christians, you have a problem.)


      2. Does this mean that we should tell every church member all of our views and our actions? (A review of Romans 14:13-22 is an important part of this discussion. Not all believers will have the same view of "debatable" issues. When you are dealing with these issues, it is best not to be completely transparent with everyone. But, if your "issue" is something that you cannot be open about with at least some other sincere believers, then you need to repent and give it up.)


    2. Read Ephesians 5:13-14. Imagine that verse 14 refers to baptism. What does it suggest that Jesus will do for us after we are baptized? (That Jesus will help us to better understand His will for our life.)


  5. Love and Life


    1. Read Ephesians 5:15-17. Have you ever heard someone say, "What is wrong with doing it?" Have you ever said that? When we consider how we should live, is it only a question of what is sin and what is not? (Paul instructs us to strive to be wise and to take advantage of our opportunities because of the evil waiting to do us harm.)


    2. Read Ephesians 5:18. Why is being filled with the Holy Spirit better than being filled with wine?


    3. Read Ephesians 5:19-20. What part should music play in our life?


      1. Recall that we learned earlier that coarse talk should be replaced with thanksgiving? What role does music play in thanksgiving?


    4. Friend, what is the pattern of your life? Are you on the right course?


  6. Next week: Christian Relationships.

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