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

    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

      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

  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

      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.