Ephesians 5* Exhortation to brotherly love. (1,2) Cautions against severalsins. (3-14) Directions to a contrary behaviour, and to relativeduties. (15-21) The duties of wives and husbands are enforced bythe spiritual relation between Christ and the church. (22-33)1,2 Because God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you, thereforebe ye followers of God, imitators of God. Resemble himespecially in his love and pardoning goodness, as becomes thosebeloved by their heavenly Father. In Christ's sacrifice his lovetriumphs, and we are to consider it fully. 3-14 Filthy lusts must be rooted out. These sins must bedreaded and detested. Here are not only cautions against grossacts of sin, but against what some may make light of. But thesethings are so far from being profitable. that they pollute andpoison the hearers. Our cheerfulness should show itself asbecomes Christians, in what may tend to God's glory. A covetousman makes a god of his money; places that hope, confidence, anddelight, in worldly good, which should be in God only. Those whoallow themselves, either in the lusts of the flesh or the loveof the world, belong not to the kingdom of grace, nor shall theycome to the kingdom of glory. When the vilest transgressorsrepent and believe the gospel, they become children ofobedience, from whom God's wrath is turned away. Dare we makelight of that which brings down the wrath of God? Sinners, likemen in the dark, are going they know not whither, and doing theyknow not what. But the grace of God wrought a mighty change inthe souls of many. Walk as children of light, as havingknowledge and holiness. These works of darkness are unfruitful,whatever profit they may boast; for they end in the destructionof the impenitent sinner. There are many ways of abetting, ortaking part in the sins of others; by commendation, counsel,consent, or concealment. And if we share with others in theirsins, we must expect to share in their plagues. If we do notreprove the sins of others, we have fellowship with them. A goodman will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are notashamed to do. We must have not only a sight and a knowledgethat sin is sin, and in some measure shameful, but see it as abreach of God's holy law. After the example of prophets andapostles, we should call on those asleep and dead in sin, toawake and arise, that Christ may give them light. 15-21 Another remedy against sin, is care, or caution, it beingimpossible else to maintain purity of heart and life. Time is atalent given us by God, and it is misspent and lost when notemployed according to his design. If we have lost our timeheretofore, we must double our diligence for the future. Of thattime which thousands on a dying bed would gladly redeem at theprice of the whole world, how little do men think, and to whattrifles they daily sacrifice it! People are very apt to complainof bad times; it were well if that stirred them more to redeemtime. Be not unwise. Ignorance of our duty, and neglect of oursouls, show the greatest folly. Drunkenness is a sin that nevergoes alone, but carries men into other evils; it is a sin veryprovoking to God. The drunkard holds out to his family and tothe world the sad spectacle of a sinner hardened beyond what iscommon, and hastening to perdition. When afflicted or weary, letus not seek to raise our spirits by strong drink, which ishateful and hurtful, and only ends in making sorrows more felt.But by fervent prayer let us seek to be filled with the Spirit,and to avoid whatever may grieve our gracious Comforter. AllGod's people have reason to sing for joy. Though we are notalways singing, we should be always giving thanks; we shouldnever want disposition for this duty, as we never want matterfor it, through the whole course of our lives. Always, even intrials and afflictions, and for all things; being satisfied oftheir loving intent, and good tendency. God keeps believers fromsinning against him, and engages them to submit one to anotherin all he has commanded, to promote his glory, and to fulfiltheir duties to each other. 22-33 The duty of wives is, submission to their husbands in theLord, which includes honouring and obeying them, from aprinciple of love to them. The duty of husbands is to love theirwives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which issincere, pure, and constant, notwithstanding her failures.Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify it inthis world, and glorify it in the next, that he might bestow onall his members a principle of holiness, and deliver them fromthe guilt, the pollution, and the dominion of sin, by thoseinfluences of the Holy Spirit, of which baptismal water was theoutward sign. The church and believers will not be without spotor wrinkle till they come to glory. But those only who aresanctified now, shall be glorified hereafter. The words of Adam,mentioned by the apostle, are spoken literally of marriage; butthey have also a hidden sense in them, relating to the unionbetween Christ and his church. It was a kind of type, as havingresemblance. There will be failures and defects on both sides,in the present state of human nature, yet this does not alterthe relation. All the duties of marriage are included in unityand love. And while we adore and rejoice in the condescendinglove of Christ, let husbands and wives learn hence their dutiesto each other. Thus the worst evils would be prevented, and manypainful effects would be avoided.
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