Ephesians 5:10

As the ninth verse is a parenthesis, the apostle states that it is by walking as children of light we are in a position to prove "what is well-pleasing unto the Lord."

I. CONSIDER THE TRUE STANDARD OF JUDGMENT AS TO RIGHT AND WRONG. The believer is not to discover it in whatever may be well-pleasing to himself, but in what is well-pleasing to the Lord. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who is Lord of the conscience to regulate all our thoughts and all our actions. He has a supreme lordship over our life as well as over our death: "For whether we live we live unto the Lord." He is thus not merely Savior and Example, but Director of his people in all the concerns of religious life. In difficult situations, therefore, the true casuistry of life is to ask - Will this action be well-pleasing to Christ?

II. CONSIDER THE SUBJECTIVE TEST OF THIS DIVINE WILL. Believers are enabled, in the clear light in which they walk, to discover the right path. It is through their being transformed by the renewing of their mind that they "prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God"(Romans 12:2). Similarly we learn that "if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God" (John 7:17). Light admitted into the understanding contributes to win the affections, and, the affections won, open wide the doors for the admission of more light. To know the law you love and to love the law you know is the best condition in which human beings can be. It is the union of clear light in the understanding with perfect purity of heart which distinguishes the kingdom of redemption in its final practical triumph. - T.C.

Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Darkness implies ignorance, for in deep darkness, where no object is recognizable, movement becomes impossible; as, for instance, in the plague of darkness sent upon smitten Egypt of old, we are told that none moved out of their place for three days. It implies suffering and sadness, and is one of the most familiar images which we unconsciously use to represent our times of sorrow (I was going to say, unconsciously repeating the image), the dark times of our life. But it implies also depravity and crime, for evil hides in the darkness, and has a natural sympathy with it. Who, then, are they who are said by the apostle to be dark? Are they the unlearned and untaught in human knowledge, in contrast with the wise and eloquent of the world? Evidently no. The word is palpably applied to all who are not Christians — those whom he describes in a preceding chapter of the same letter as dead in trespasses and sins. On the contrary, however, all converted men, all true Christians, all real believers in Christ Jesus, are not only enlightened but are light. That they are enlightened we shall all readily admit, for God hath shined in their hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus. But the special lesson which is impressed here goes further. It is that they are light — that there is a positive power of light planted within them, capable both of guiding themselves and of being reflected upon others. It is not their own light primarily or meritoriously, but it is the light of God in Christ.

I. I ask your attention to THE PRINCIPLE INVOLVED. It is that the law of a Christian life is to be found in that which is acceptable to God. In other words, our characters and conduct are not to be regulated by the bare outward letter of the law, but by something further. The result of the lesson is no doubt to raise greatly the standard of our Christian life; and who will deny that we need to raise it; who will not be conscious of the abyss of difference between ourselves and the apostles, between what we are, and that model of what we ought to be, contained in the Word of God?

II. But from the principle we must pass on to THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION. How are we to prove what is acceptable to God? What, then, is the test? It is at least three fold.

1. There is the test of the Word of God, that sure rule by which everything else must be measured. But I do not mean the letter of the Word only, its direct, positive precepts. It is unnecessary to speak to you of these; whatever they command is of course right, whatever they forbid of course wrong. But I mean the indirect test of the Word. Does any given pleasure, or pursuit, or habit bring us into closer harmony with the Spirit and the mind of God? Then it is acceptable to God. Does it put us out of tune with it, and make it more difficult to keep the plain command? Then it cannot be acceptable to God.

2. The test may be found in the effect which any given course or habit has on our habits of devotion, and the soul's loving communion, through the Word and through praise and prayer, with its Father in heaven.

3. Beyond this, I believe there is in a soul in a state of spiritual health, where the reason follows God's teaching, where the affections find supreme delight in Him, and where the conscience is sensitive to inconsistency, an instinctive sense of what is right and wrong, a feeling on which aught dishonourable to God jars and is at variance, just as a harsh discord in the midst of a sweet harmony may offend the ear which is not skilled enough to detect its nature.

(E. Garbett, M. A.)

I. THE ACT: "proving." So to prove as to approve and practise.

II. THE OBJECT: "that which is pleasing, or acceptable, to the Lord." There is a difference between things.

1. Some things utterly displease God, as sin (2 Samuel 11:27).

2. Some things are not displeasing unto God, as all natural and indifferent actions, which are not forbidden, but allowed by Him (Ecclesiastes 9:7).

3. Other things are commanded by Him as a positive law, but have no natural goodness in themselves, setting aside God's command.

4. There are some things which do most please God, as things eminently good are acceptable to Him in the highest degree; as, for instance, faith in Christ is pleasing to God, but a strong faith is more acceptable than a weak, which needeth props and crutches (John 20:29). That proving what is acceptable to God is one great duty which belongeth to the children of light.I shall explain this point by these considerations —

1. Our great end and scope should be to please God, and be accepted with Him.

2. We please God by doing what He hath required of us in His Word. There are certain things evident by the light of nature which belong to our duty; these must not be overlooked (Micah 6:8). The things there mentioned are evident by the light of nature. That we should carry ourselves justly towards men, and with reverence and obedience to the Divine majesty, is evident by the light of nature, as well as Scripture. But the revelation that He hath made of our duty to us by the Word is more clear, full, and certain.

3. If we would know God's mind revealed in His Word, we must use search and trial. Δοκιμάζοντες, "proving," noteth great diligence and care that we may know the mind of God; for it greatly importeth us, and we are often pressed to it: "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 6:21). If we see but a piece of money that hath the king's image stamped upon it, we bring it to the touchstone to see if it be right: do so with doctrines and practices, bring them to the law and to the testimony, see how they agree with God's Word (1 John 4:1).

4. We must search and try, that we may walk as children of the light. The night was made for rest; the light is not given us for rest and idleness, but for work.

(T. Manton, D. D.)

The business of a Christian upon earth is not an independent one; he is not acting on his own account, but he is a steward for Christ. What if I compare him to a commission agent who is sent abroad by his firm with full powers from his employer to transact business for the house which he represents! He is not to trade for himself, but he agrees to do all in the name of the firm which commissions him. He receives his instructions, and all he has to do is to carry them out, his whole time and talent being by express agreement at the absolute disposal of his employers. Now, if this man shall lend himself to an opposition firm, or trade on his own account, he is not true to his engagements, and he has to bear the responsibility of his acts; but so long as he acts for his firm, and does his best, his course is an easy and safe one.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

That eminent ornithologist, M. Audubon, who produced accurate drawings and descriptions of all the birds of the American continent, made the perfection of that work the one object of his life. In order to achieve this he had to earn his own living by painting portraits, and other labours; he had to traverse frozen seas, forests, canebrakes, jungles, prairies, mountains, swollen rivers, and pestilential bogs. He exposed himself to perils of every sort, and underwent hardships of every kind. Now, whatever Audubon was doing, he was fighting his way towards his one object, the production of his history of American birds. Whether he was painting a lady's portrait, paddling a canoe, shooting a raccoon, or felling a tree, his one drift was his bird book. He had said to himself, "I mean to carve my name amongst the naturalists as having produced a complete ornithological work for America," and this resolution ate him up, and subdued his whole life. He accomplished his work because he gave himself wholly to it. This is the way in which the Christian man should make Christ his element. All that he does should be subservient to this one thing, "That I may finish my course with joy, that I may deliver my testimony for Christ, that I may glorify God whether I live or die."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Christians, Ephesians, Paul
Acceptable, Agreeable, Experience, Experiences, Fully, Learn, Pleasing, Proving, Testing, Try, Trying, Well-pleasing
1. After general exhortations to love;
3. to flee sexual immorality;
4. and all uncleanness;
7. not to converse with the wicked;
15. to walk carefully;
18. and to be filled with the Spirit;
22. he descends to the particular duties, how wives ought to obey their husbands;
25. and husbands ought to love their wives,
32. even as Christ does his church.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Ephesians 5:10

     8441   goals

Ephesians 5:8-10

     7027   church, purpose
     8460   pleasing God

Ephesians 5:8-11

     6627   conversion, nature of
     7922   fellowship, with God

Ephesians 5:8-12

     4811   darkness, symbol of sin

Ephesians 5:8-14

     4836   light, and people of God

Ephesians 5:8-16

     3254   Holy Spirit, fruit of

January 1. "Redeeming the Time" (Eph. v. 16).
"Redeeming the time" (Eph. v. 16). Two little words are found in the Greek version here. They are translated "ton kairon" in the revised version, "Buying up for yourselves the opportunity." The two words ton kairon mean, literally, the opportunity. They do not refer to time in general, but to a special point of time, a juncture, a crisis, a moment full of possibilities and quickly passing by, which we must seize and make the best of before it has passed away. It is intimated that there are not
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

June 27. "Be Filled with the Spirit" (Eph. v. 18).
"Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. v. 18). Some of the effects of being filled with the Spirit are: 1. Holiness of heart and life. This is not the perfection of the human nature, but the holiness of the divine nature dwelling within. 2. Fulness of joy so that the heart is constantly radiant. This does not depend on circumstances, but fills the spirit with holy laughter in the midst of the most trying surroundings. 3. Fulness of wisdom, light and knowledge, causing us to see things as He sees them.
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

April 22. "Christ is the Head" (Eph. v. 23).
"Christ is the head" (Eph. v. 23). Often we want people to pray for us and help us, but always defeat our object when we look too much to them and lean upon them. The true secret of union is for both to look upon God, and in the act of looking past themselves to Him they are unconsciously united. The sailor was right when he saw the little boy fall overboard and waited a minute before he plunged to his rescue. When the distracted mother asked him in agony why he had waited so long, he sensibly replied:
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Third Sunday in Lent
Text: Ephesians 5, 1-9. 1 Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints; 4 nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know of a surety, that no fornicator, nor unclean
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Twentieth Sunday after Trinity the Careful Walk of the Christian.
Text: Ephesians 5, 15-21. 15 Look therefore carefully how ye walk [See then that ye walk circumspectly], not as unwise, but as wise; 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; 19 speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 giving thanks always for all things
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

God's Imitators
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children'--Eph. v. 1. The Revised Version gives a more literal and more energetic rendering of this verse by reading, 'Be ye, therefore, imitators of God, as beloved children.' It is the only place in the Bible where that bold word 'imitate' is applied to the Christian relation to God. But, though the expression is unique, the idea underlies the whole teaching of the New Testament on the subject of Christian character and conduct. To be like God, and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Pleasing Christ
'Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.'--Eph. v. 10. These words are closely connected with those which precede them in the 8th verse--'Walk as children of light.' They further explain the mode by which that commandment is to be fulfilled. They who, as children of light, mindful of their obligations and penetrated by its brightness, seek to conform their active life to the light to which they belong, are to do so by making experiment of, or investigating and determining, what is 'acceptable
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Unfruitful Works of Darkness
'And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.'--Eph. v. 11. We have seen in a former sermon that 'the fruit,' or outcome, 'of the Light' is a comprehensive perfection, consisting in all sorts and degrees of goodness and righteousness and truth. Therefore, the commandment, 'Walk as children of the light,' sums up all Christian morality. Is there need, then, for any additional precept? Yes; for Christian people do not live in an empty world. If there were
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Sleepers at Noonday
'Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light,'--Eph. v. 14. This is the close of a short digression about 'light.' The 'wherefore' at the beginning of my text seems to refer to the whole of the verses that deal with that subject. It is as if the Apostle had said, 'I have been telling you about light and its blessed effects. Now I tell you how you may win it for yours. The condition on which it is to be received by men is that they awake
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

What Children of Light Should Be
'Walk as children of light.'--Eph. v. 8. It was our Lord who coined this great name for His disciples. Paul's use of it is probably a reminiscence of the Master's, and so is a hint of the existence of the same teachings as we now find in the existing Gospels, long before their day. Jesus Christ said, 'Believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light'; and Paul gives substantially the same account of the way by which a man becomes a Son of the Light when he says, in the words preceding
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Fruit of the Light
'The fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.'--Eph. v. 9 (R.V.). This is one of the cases in which the Revised Version has done service by giving currency to an unmistakably accurate and improved reading. That which stands in our Authorised Version, 'the fruit of the Spirit' seems to have been a correction made by some one who took offence at the violent metaphor, as he conceived it, that 'light' should bear 'fruit' and desired to tinker the text so as to bring it into
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Paul's Reasons for Temperance
'And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14. 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
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Redeeming the Time
'See, then, that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.'--Eph. v. 15, 16. Some of us have, in all probability, very little more 'time' to 'redeem.' Some of us have, in all probability, the prospect of many years yet to live. For both classes my text presents the best motto for another year. The most frivolous among us, I suppose, have some thoughts when we step across the conventional boundary that seems to separate the unbroken sequence
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

On Marriage.
TEXT: EPH. v. 22-31. IN completing lately the annual round of our Christian holy-days, I expressed to you the wish that the holy emotions which our hearts experience at such seasons might not pass away with them; but that the impressions then made might accompany us during the other half of the year, so that without any extraordinary festival incitement we might constantly retain a more lively sense of communion with the Redeemer, and a fuller enjoyment of what the eternal Father has done through
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

The Light of God
Preached for the Chelsea National Schools.] Ephesians v. 13. All things which are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever is made manifest is light. This is a noble text, a royal text; one of those texts which forbid us to clip and cramp Scripture to suit any narrow notions of our own; which open before us boundless vistas of God's love, of human knowledge, of the future of mankind. There are many such texts, many more than we fancy; but this is one which is especially valuable
Charles Kingsley—Sermons for the Times

Against Foolish Talking and Jesting.
"Nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient."-- Ephes. v.4. Moral and political aphorisms are seldom couched in such terms that they should be taken as they sound precisely, or according to the widest extent of signification; but do commonly need exposition, and admit exception: otherwise frequently they would not only clash with reason and experience, but interfere, thwart, and supplant one another. The best masters of such wisdom are wont to interdict things, apt by unseasonable
Isaac Barrow—Sermons on Evil-Speaking, by Isaac Barrow

Sensual and Spiritual Excitement.
Preached August 4, 1850. SENSUAL AND SPIRITUAL EXCITEMENT. "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."--Ephesians v. 17, 18. There is evidently a connection between the different branches of this sentence--for ideas cannot be properly contrasted which have not some connection--but what that connection is, is not at first sight clear. It almost appears like a profane and irreverent juxtaposition
Frederick W. Robertson—Sermons Preached at Brighton

Members of Christ
"For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."--Ephesians 5:30. YESTERDAY, when I had the painful task of speaking at the funeral of our dear friend, Mr. William Olney, I took the text which I am going to take again now. I am using it again because I did not then really preach from it at all, but simply reminded you of a favorite expression of his, which I heard from his lips many times in prayer. He very frequently spoke of our being one with Christ in "living, loving, lasting
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892

Living, Loving, Lasting Union
With new portraits of Pastor C. H. Spurgeon and Mr. William Olney "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones--Ephesians 5:30. BEFORE the funeral, at Norwood Cemetery, of the late Mr. William Olney, senior deacon of the church at the metropolitan Tabernacle, a service was held in the Tabernacle. The building was crowded with sympathizing friends, who came to testify the affection they bore to the beloved deacon who had been so suddenly called from their midst. The senior Pastor
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892

Wary Walking.
(Twentieth Sunday after Trinity.) EPHESIANS v. 15. "See then that ye walk circumspectly." Some people tell us that salvation is the easiest thing in the world. We have only to feel that we believe in Jesus Christ, and all is done. Now neither Jesus Christ Himself, nor the Apostles whom He sent to teach, tell us anything of the kind. On the contrary, our Saviour, whilst He dwells on the fulness and freedom of salvation, offered to all without money, and without price, tells us that many are called,
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

Tenth Day. Love to the Brethren.
"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us."--Eph. v. 2. "Jesus," says a writer, "came from heaven on the wings of love." It was the element in which he moved and walked. He sought to baptize the world afresh with it. When we find Him teaching us by love to vanquish an enemy, we need not wonder at the tenderness of His appeals to the brethren to "love one another." Like a fond father impressing his children, how the Divine Teacher lingers over the lesson, "This is My commandment!" If
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus

"For to be Carnally Minded is Death; but to be Spiritually Minded is Life and Peace. "
Rom. viii. 6.--"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." It is true, this time is short, and so short that scarce can similitudes or comparisons be had to shadow it out unto us. It is a dream, a moment, a vapour, a flood, a flower, and whatsoever can be more fading or perishing; and therefore it is not in itself very considerable, yet in another respect it is of all things the most precious, and worthy of the deepest attention and most serious consideration;
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"If So be that the Spirit of God Dwell in You. Now if any Man have not the Spirit of Christ, He is None of His. "
Rom. viii. 9.--"If so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." There is a great marriage spoken of, Eph. v. that hath a great mystery in it, which the apostle propoundeth as the sample and archetype of all marriages or rather as the substance, of which all conjunctions and relations among the creatures are but the shadows. It is that marriage between Christ and his church, for which, it would appear, this world was builded, to be
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"The Truth. " Some Generals Proposed.
That what we are to speak to for the clearing and improving this noble piece of truth, that Christ is the Truth, may be the more clearly understood and edifying, we shall first take notice of some generals, and then show particularly how or in what respects Christ is called the Truth; and finally speak to some cases wherein we are to make use of Christ as the Truth. As to the first. There are four general things here to be noticed. 1. This supposeth what our case by nature is, and what we are all
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

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