Connected in Service 5 OCT 14

EPH 5:15-16 Dr. Herschel H. Hobbs, New Men in Christ, Word Books, 1974, page 53 wrote, "The word rendered “See” would better read “Beware!” or “Look out!” It is a warning for them to beware of pitfalls in the way. It is an individual and personal warning as only the individual Christian can do this. And Satan sees to it that there are many pitfalls. One is to think others will take care of this for you. This includes God taking control and keeping you from such pitfalls. God will not do so. Read again EPH 5:22 and 24. These verses express and demand individual action and not Holy Spirit action! (Eph 5:15 RSV)  "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise," (Eph 5:15 Williams) “So you must be very careful how you live, not thoughtlessly but thoughtfully,” Ephesians 5:15 (HCSB) “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— Ephesians 5:15 (NLT) “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.” No matter what translation you use, it will read how YOU do it. It is not the task or responsibility of God.

To walk ‘circumspectly" means to do so carefully. The Greek is 199. akribos, ak-ree-boce'; adv. from the same as G196; exactly:--circumspectly, diligently, perfect (-ly). Christians are to watch their step as they go on walking about. “Redeeming” renders the Greek verb meaning to buy out of the marketplace. So the Christian should go into life’s marketplace and purchase bargains in time. “Time” here means the opportune time. So one should seize the opportunity while it exists to live according to God’s will. While there will be other opportunities tomorrow, today’s opportunity, once lost, can never be regained. One should utilize the present time to serve Christ. It will enable him to be better prepared to live tomorrow also. Evil times call for the Christian to live his maximum for the Lord. Today’s days are certainly evil and seem to ever be getting worse. It is true that when good men do nothing, evil will grow and be more evil. Look at the long delays of our government in dealing with ISIS. Look at the SBC and its abandonment of Training Union for something less effective because the replacement did away with intense personal involvement. Discipleship Training and the many further substitutes [if your church still has anything at all] is basically a lecture (sermon) class with few if any demand for personal work and thinking. Mere attendance today seems to meet the majority’ view of what is acceptable spiritual training. This is not what Paul wrote.

EPH 5:17 Then Dr. Hobbs wrote, page 53 "Literally, “Because of this [the evil days] stop being fools, but understand what is the will of the Lord.” “Fools” or “unwise” renders a different word than in verse 15. It means one who is senseless or void of reason and moral intelligence. Such a person does not think through a matter to see its ultimate conclusion." So what is the will of God? Everyone seems to ask that, but few seem to recognize that it does not mean a specific task in life like being a foreign missionary. It is rather the general life style and characteristics of being a child of God. Paul defines (Rom 12:2b RSV) "the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." No one can know and recognize what is good and acceptable and perfect in the Father’s eyes if the individual Christian does not have “the mind of Christ." (1 Cor 2:16 RSV) ""For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ."

Continuing Dr. Hobbs wrote, "Pagans were/are such people. They do not see the final outcome of their wicked deeds. Immoral living may give sensual pleasure for the moment. But it leads to tragedy in the end. One has but to see the broken lives all about him to understand this truth. The world calls it living it up. But history, to say nothing about God’s Word, says it really is living it down.

An understanding person is one who can make the wise choice. Here it refers to personal conduct. If one really comprehends the Lord’s will, he will know that it is best and will try to do it. It is to this end that Paul called his readers to enter fully into new life in Christ which God designed for them. The same call he issues to believers today."

The key word is “understand.” The Greek is 4920. suniemi, soon-ee'-ay-mee; from G4862 and  hiemi (to send); to put together, i.e. (mentally) to comprehend; by impl. to act piously:--consider, understand, be wise. This is also a personal action that cannot be shifted to God or man. It requires thinking, attitude, and intention. This is the same as what Peter starts with in his Growth Process in 2 PET 1:5-7. Note in particular (2 Pet 1:5 RSV) "For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness," Peter’s “make every effort” has all the elements and personal responsibility as Paul’s "Look carefully then how you walk.”

EPH 5:18 It reads (Eph 5:18 RSV) "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit," The whole verse in about personal responsibility and action, i.e. “do not” and “be filled.” “Be filled” is a grossly wrong English translation. Dr. Hobbs was careful to point out that “be filled” in the Greek context means “to be fully influenced by.” It does not mean any form of additional indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is what the wrong English translation word “filled” does not mean in this verse. Until we get to the fact that WE have the action and responsibility to live our own lives in a worthy and holy manner, it won’t get done. The Holy Spirit is the perfect helper-guide, but that is His limit. He was never tasked to take over on and do our spiritual living for us. The Holy Spirit is a HELPER, not a controller-dictator. The Greek is 3875. parakletos, par-ak'-lay-tos; an intercessor, consoler:--advocate, comforter: Not once is there a thought about control here! He basically says: Think with Me. Live with Me. Minister with Me. The Law said nothing different. (Exo 19:5a RSV) "Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant…” Why do people teach God will do it for us? WE cannot be righteous while trying to shift the holy-living and service responsibility to God.  

EPH 5:19 Note “addressing one another” and “with all your heart.” It is personal action that continues. “Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody” means music that has substance and thinking it it based on TRUE AND CORRECT DOCTRINE. So many of our sound-bit 5-7 lines repeat music of today have numerous doctrinal errors. And our pastors and music leaders do not seem to care. Just singing anything is not what Paul is discussing. It must comply with “Look carefully then how you walk” or this context “Look carefully then how you sing.”

EPH 5:20 Our focus is to and remains always to God the Father. We do so in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

EPH 5:21 "Subject" is the same word used in verse 24; TITUS 2:5, 9; COL 3:18; 1 PET 2:1, 5; 5:15. It means to line up voluntarily as a soldier to match instep with the leader. Thus ALL CHURCH MEMBERS ARE TO BE SUBJECT TO EACH OTHER. Therefore, wives to husbands and husbands to wives are as equals-to-equals. Rarely does anyone reading EPH 5:24 begin with EPH 5:21. However, 5:21 is the context from which Paul notes where the Ephesians are falling short which he does in 5:22-6:9. No pastor is given the authority to dominate. Nor does Jesus treat Christians as inferiors to be dominated. John 15:15  "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." So it is with the husband to the wife in the sense of EPH 5.

            What of GEN 3:16? Dr. Herschel H. Hobbs in his book an exposition of The Origin of All Things, Word Books, 1975, page 50 wrote “Furthermore, the wife would be subject to her husband. Her failure to cope with life’s crises apart from her husband places her in subjection under him. This does not mean that man is to oppress her but to protect her, as Paul clearly shows in Ephesians 5:22-30.” I do not agree with Dr. Hobbs in his statement “Her failure to cope with life’s crises apart from her husband…” Adam did no better with or without Eve. He did not even think before he ate of the forbidden fruit. Dr. Hobbs is absolutely right in that a husband is not the king-ruler over the wife and certainly is not to rule and oppress in any fashion.

            I stress again what Paul really said in (Eph 5:21 RSV) "Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ." "One another" means, in context, Christian men and women as a class. Every Christian has a responsibility to every other Christian to help the other grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 14:12 RSV) "So with yourselves; since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church." (Mat 28:20 RSV) "teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.""


Marvin Ganote, Advanced Bible Study Class, Adult Teacher. Lesson at:  or