Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Ephesians Chapter 5
Metaphysically Interpreting Ephesians 5:1-2
5:1Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; 5:2and 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.
Metaphysically Interpreting Ephesians 5:3-20
5:3But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints; 5:4nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting: but rather giving of thanks. 5:5For this ye know of a surety, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
5:6Let no man deceive you with empty words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience. 5:7Be not ye therefore partakers with them; 5:8For ye were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord: walk as children of light 5:9(for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 5:10proving what is well-pleasing unto the Lord; 5:11and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them; 5:12for the things which are done by them in secret it is a shame even to speak of. 5:13But all things when they are reproved are made manifest by the light: for everything that is made manifest is light. 5:14Wherefore he saith,
5:15Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; 5:16redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 5:17Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 5:18And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; 5:19speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 5:20giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
June 28, 1908: Ephesians 5:6-20
All causes originate in the mind, and all thinking is in words. “Beware of empty words, for through them cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” Empty words are words that are void of Truth. Such words leave a vacuum in the mind which is reflected into the body, and man wants something to fill the emptiness. Seeking to supply this want, and not knowing the real resource, man becomes intemperate in eating and drinking. True words have in them the Substance of Spirit and this Substance fills the vacuum made by empty words, and gives the satisfaction which man constantly desires.
Then the remedy for all intemperance is the right use of right words. “Walk as children of light in goodness, righteousness and Truth.” Light is expressed intelligence. It gives lightness and freedom to mind and body. One can fill his mind with “light” thoughts and words, and be lifted above all temptation of appetite. Such words, if spoken directly to some false desire, seem to take the place of material substance, and one is immediately satisfied.
Men fail to master their intemperate appetites because of lack of light, or understanding of this law. To suppress a living desire is like bottling up a constantly expanding energy which is liable at any time to explode. Suppression is not overcoming, but human intervention. Desire is good at the point of origin, but in the intemperate has gone wrong; it must be set right. This is quickly accomplished through the transforming power of true thoughts and words. When such reformation is adopted by man, he is healed of his false appetite for all time, and it will never break forth again, no matter how great the temptation.
Words filled with the Substance of Spirit can be applied in a practical way whenever the appetite demands gratification. Instead of eating and drinking intemperately, eat living words; that is, take them into your consciousness by affirmation. One who is tempted to yield to false appetite will find freedom and satisfaction through the use of these statements: “I have the mind of Christ;” “I know the Truth and the Truth makes me free.” “I no longer seek the sense gratification, but am satisfied with living Substance of the body of Christ.” – “My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.”
I have faith in the overcoming, redeeming power of Jesus Christ’s words. “My words are Spirit and they are life.”
– UNITY magazine.
Sunday, November 5, 1916: Ephesians 5:11-21
What are the “unfruitful works of darkness,” referred to in this lesson? The “unfruitful works of darkness” are those mental activities which man does not understand or direct and which are still in darkness, that is, in an unillumined state and therefore are unfruitful, bringing forth no increase.
Where is real temperance established? Real temperance is established in the realm of thought. When man is master of all his thoughts pertaining to appetite and passion, he finds an inner joy and satisfaction and does not seek stimulation in the external realms of consciousness.
How is intemperance reproved? Through refraining to talk about error as a reality, denying in the name of Spirit all in consciousness that pertains to the selfishness and lust of the animal nature, and affirming man's true spiritual being, is the true method of reproof.
What is man really seeking, when he satisfies appetite and passion in sense ways? Man is really seeking the exhilaration and stimulation of Spirit, but not recognizing himself to he a spiritual being with spiritual desires, he expresses this inflow of life in ways that dissipate his forces and weaken his character.
How is real satisfaction realized? Real satisfaction is of the Spirit. Since man's real nature is spiritual, he must satisfy the demands of his Higher Self, if he is to be happy and harmonious. The stimulant of the Spirit builds up both mind and body and assures eternal satisfaction.
October 28, 1934: Ephesians 5:15-21
Why does thinking in the heart promote clear thinking in the head? Because it is in the heart that we come in touch with the universal soul of Being and feel and know God, who is all wisdom.
Does the act of thinking follow certain definite rules? Yes, there are six mental processes that enter into thinking, and just a Creative Mind worked six days (or through six steps) before resting, so does the mind of man pass through six stages from ignorance to intelligent understanding.
Name the six steps in consecutive order. They are attention, conception, concentration, meditation, coordination, and realization.
Define attention, and show what controls it. Attention is the power to consider or regard a subject earnestly. In the natural man attention depends for the most part upon spontaneous interest, but in the spiritual man it is subject to the will.
Explain the other steps in the thinking process. Close attention to a subject leads to a conception of the idea involved in it. To understand the idea, the mind alternately concentrates and meditates upon it. These processes correspond to close thought and reverie, and together they bring to mind the related ideas that allow the thinker to view the subject from all sides. This last step, coordination, leads to realization or the clear apprehension of the idea, and realization in turn culminates in intelligent understanding or mental “rest” on the chosen subject.
May 21, 1939: Ephesians 5:15-21
How should one adapt oneself to the age in which one lives? One should not conform to lax customs or practices, because society condones them. One should redeem laxness by declaring the principle of right and good to be ever present. One should also declare the days to be good rather than evil, and live so as to make one's words manifest.
How can we understand with certainty what the will of the Lord is? When we are filled with the Spirit of truth (the desire to know and do what is right and good), we know what the will of the Lord is, because good will is included in all good.
What experiences of the Spirit-filled man compensate for the conviviality of social drinking? He who is filled with the Spirit is conscious of melody in his heart to the Lord or higher law of Being. He is also filled with gratitude to God, humility in his relations with his fellow men, obedience to parents, carefulness in the rearing of his children in the way of Truth. These compensations more than offset any supposed gain to him from identifying himself with convivial companions.
November 11, 1945: Ephesians 5:15-21
What state of mind characterizes the kingdom of God? The state that exists when the thoughts and energies are bent on living honestly, sanely, rationally, reasonably, devotedly as sons of the Most High and as citizens of the kingdom of love and good will. In this kingdom is no place for doubt and uncertainty as to what the will of God is. Good will is seen and recognized as the will of God.
Is the kingdom of God a state in which we are weighed down with a sense of our responsibility? No, it is a state of freedom under law, in which joy, thanksgiving, and unselfish consideration of others find habitual expression. “Singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things ... Subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.”
June 28, 1942: Ephesians 5:18
We can be “filled with the Spirit,” when we fill our mind with the thoughts that make for love, joy, peace, faith, and the other qualities that are the unquestioned fruits of the Spirit. Until the fruits appear we fill ourselves with the Spirit through the power of our desire for them and our continued expectation of them.
June 28, 1942: Ephesians 5:18
What is meant by the command to be “filled with the Spirit”? It means that we should find our satisfactions in spiritual good, rather than in sense pleasure. Satisfying sense results in temporary unwholesome stimulation; instead be filled with the Spirit of lasting improvement of mind, body or life.
How can true inspiration be had? By thinking of what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, and by following up thoughts with appropriate acts.
- UNITY magazine.
December 8, 1946: Ephesians 5:18-21
What does such discipline include? Joy and humility, among other things. We should not allow ourselves to become depressed, but should hold ourselves in a joyous frame of mind. Singing and making melody in our heart allows us to express spiritual joy. Subjecting ourselves one to another requires true humility.
When should we consciously develop the “fear of Christ”? Only when the love of Christ has not yet claimed our consciousness completely. To fear that we may fall short is better than to disregard all necessity of disciplining our will. Love does the work more easily and completely than fear.
Sunday, March 14, 1948: Ephesians 5:6-21
What safeguard have we against being deceived by “empty words”? The Christ consciousness quickens us to detect and recognize “empty words.” Through Christ we can deny insincerity and hypocrisy out of mind, until we become entirely unresponsive to them.
How do we “walk as children of light”? Light represents understanding. “Children of light” are therefore children of understanding. As such we are to walk intelligently, making continual use of our understanding of Truth.
In the admonition “Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise,” what do we understand by wise walking? Goodness, wisdom, and Truth are the goals of those who walk wisely, that is, constructively. As we so walk we learn to discern what the divine will is concerning us.
Why should we discipline the mind? Because we make no true progress in right thinking until we do. As we discipline the mind we harmonize our thoughts with Truth, think in harmony with the divine will.
Did the fact that Jesus perfectly expressed the divine nature mean that He did so naturally without effort throughout His life? No. It means that He disciplined His will, as we are to do, until He could truthfully say , “Not my will, but thine be done.”
How do we learn to express the divine nature in our life? By working toward this end purposefully, not by drifting toward it aimlessly without effort.
When our will is brought under the control of the divine will, do we thereby lose our freedom of will? The true freedom of our will consists in the union of our will with the divine will. We remain free to speak and to do what we will, but our desire is to speak and to do only what is in harmony with Truth.
In what sense is it right to subject ourselves to one another? It is right to subject ourselves to one another for the sake of others' good and also for the purpose of developing selflessness in ourselves with a view to bringing the Christ nature uppermost in our consciousness.
Metaphysically Interpreting Ephesians 5:21-33
5:22Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 5:23For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. 5:24But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything.
5:25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; 5:26that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, 5:27that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 5:28Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: 5:29for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church;5:30because we are members of his body. 5:31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. 5:32This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church. 5:33Nevertheless do ye also severally love each one his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she fear her husband.
February 13, 1927: Ephesians 5:25-33
In today's lesson Paul compares the wife to the church. In verse 32 he calls the relation between Christ and the church a great mystery. What does spiritual discernment reveal this mystery to be? The church represents the body. Christ represents Divine Mind that directs and controls the body. The relation between the body and Divine Mind is mystical; it is not understood by the natural man.
How does the Christ in each person give itself up, to the end that the person's body may be purified? Man's body is cleansed by the Christ mind through the word of denial. Deny all forms of bodily impurity, in the name of Christ. Your body is the temple of the living God. Take the Christ thought of purity and truth down into your body; raise the lower nature through your consciousness of the higher. In this way you will glorify the body (church) and in spiritual consciousness you will present it, “holy and without blemish.” to God.
Does this interpretation of the great mystery, which Paul says is here involved, imply that husbands should love their wives less? Explain. When men understand that their bodies represent the feminine qualities of being, they will, by giving more love to their bodies, increase their capacity to love; the final result will be that they will have greater love for their wives.
What mystical truth is involved in the statement that a man “shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh”? When the love bond is harmonious and pure between husband and wife, they build a bond invisible, yet real in body consciousness. This bond may be compared to the ligaments that joined the Siamese twins and made them seem as one. Married couples who love each other devotedly grow to look alike. This fact proves that, as Paul said, “the two shall become one flesh.”
October 14, 1945: Ephesians 5:22,25
If God is to be felt in the home, what must be present? Consciousness of God in the heart.
What phases of mind do Joseph and Mary represent? Joseph represents the conscious mind, Mary the subconscious mind.
July 8, 1951: Ephesians 5:22,25
What ideal makes for success in marriage? Mutual consideration and devotion, which presupposes lack of selfishness in both the husband and the wife. Where each observes the higher law of unselfish love the marriage cannot fail to be happy and successful.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-17-2014