Walking Through Ephesians
December 18, 2012 Leave a comment
Today’s article is a little different than usual. Instead of writing about some topic that’s been on my mind I wanted to take a theme from a Bible book and connect the dots. Today I want to examine the topic of “walking” in Ephesians.
The book of Ephesians is filled with many different themes. The book opens with the acknowledgement of the great blessings found in Christ (1:3-14) and ends with a discussion on spiritual warfare (6:10-20). Within the book we find discussion on what it means to live in Christ and outside of Christ (2:1-22). We find a discussion on the “mystery” (3:1-13). Paul also writes about the unity of the church (4:1-16). He talks about how different relationships ought to operate (5:21-6:9).
Peppered within all of these discussions is the theme of “walking.” The walking passages are found in the following places (2:1, 10; 4:1, 17; 5:2, 8, 15). Paul, in this letter, is wanting to examine how you “walk.” Paul is not referring to how you walk literally. This word “walk” is in reference to how you live. Let’s examine each of these walking passages before making some application.
“…in which you once walked” (2:1) – in this context Paul is talking about the Gentiles and the Jews who “once lived” according to the “prince of the power of the air” who is known also as Satan (2:2). Paul notes that the way they “once lived” was in accordance with the evil deeds of Satan (2:3).
“…that we should walk in them” (2:10) – after discussing how they once lived, Paul tells us how our manner of life has changed because God entered the picture (2:4). Because of God we no longer do evil works, but good words (2:10).
“…walk in a manner worthy…” (4:1) – In light of the first three chapters, Paul tells us to “walk worthily.” Since God has done all of this for us (Eph. 1-3) we need to walk worthily by being humble, gentle, patient loving and unified (4:2-3).
“…no longer walk as the Gentiles do” (4:17) – Paul goes on in chapter four to discuss the fact that we need to not walk in the same way as the Gentiles. In other words, we should not walk in darkness of understanding, in ignorance or with a hard heart (4:18). This verse serves as a contrast to 4:1.
“and walk in love…” (5:2) – Paul then tells us to walk in love. This seems to mean that you live as Christ did since an illustration of Christ’s love for us follows this command in 4:2.
“walk as children of light” (5:8) – Not only does Paul say to walk in love in this context, but he also says to walk in light. Walking in light means to not walk in the ways of darkness. These dark ways are described in 5:3-14.
“look carefully then how you walk…” (5:15) – this final walking passage serves as a wrapping up of the theme. Paul gives this last walking passage to encourage the reader to really examine how they walk.
What does this mean for us today? The same thing that it meant to them. This last walking passage is there to make us think. I ask the question to you today: “how are you walking?” Are you walking as someone without God (2:1), in an unworthy manner (4:17) and in darkness (5:3-14)? Or are you walking as someone who has God (2:10), in love (5:2) and as a child of light (5:8)? We need to take the words of 5:15 to heart. Let us watch carefully or examine how we walk. Let us live in the way God would have us live. Make the decision today to walk in a way that is pleasing to God.
Want to learn more about walking? Click here to read more articles about walking. -Jack D.