Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 5
Proverbs 1:10-14 describes how thieves would persuade a young man to join them. They promised to share with him whatever they took. He would share their adventure, then he would share their profits too. However, the author then adds that, in the end, that young man would share their death also (Proverbs 1:15-19).
Paul has used his word for partners (people who share together) in Ephesians 3:6. There, he explained how Christians share in God’s promise through the gospel, God’s message about Christ. God forgives them; he works powerfully in their lives (Romans 8:28); they will always live with him in heaven and the New Jerusalem. God is doing these things for all Christians, from every nation. That fact joins them together as partners in the wonderful things that God is doing in their lives.
So, some people (evil people) share in the uncertain profits but certain punishment for their evil deeds. Other people share in God’s wonderful kindness through the gospel. Paul warns Christians that they must not even try to belong to both groups, good and evil. It is impossible to be good and evil at the same time (James 3:6-12). We must turn from our evil deeds to receive Christ into our lives. We must never return to our former evil behaviour - however, if we do, we must turn back to God for him to forgive us (1 John 1:9).
Christians should not normally separate themselves from everyone who is not a Christian. God has placed us in this world to bring his good news to people in this world (Matthew 5:14-16). However, Christians can and must separate themselves from other people’s evil deeds (Psalm 1). We must not join them in any evil activity.
Next part: Why are God's people called 'children of light'? (Ephesians 5:8-9)
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© 2019, Keith Simons.