Seven Elements of Christian Character, Eph 5:15-21

There are seven key elements of Christian character found in Eph 5:15-21.  These are not all the qualities of Christian character.  But these are certainly seven of the most essential. If you are missing any of these in your life, you are going to struggle in some areas of your walk with God.  The seven elements of Christian character are:

Walk circumspectly – Eph 5:15 – wise men are circumspect; fools are not.  Wise men look on all sides of a matter before they decide or proceed. Good counsel is invaluable.  In military operations, men look at everything involved in the mission and plan for every contingency before they proceed with the plan.  We must approach decisions in our lives the same way.  Look at each decision from every angle.  In 2 Ki 7:12-16, Jehoram circumspectly responded to the lepers’ report that the Syrians had abandoned their camp and had left great spoil.  As hungry as the besieged citizens of Samaria were, Jehoram checked first that the Syrians hadn’t set an ambush against them before spoiling their tents.

Redeem the time – Eph 5:16 – Webster’s 1828 dictionary says, “To redeem time is to use more diligence in the improvement of it; to be diligent and active in duty and preparation.”  A common saying is, “Make every minute count.”  You only have so much time so you don’t want to waste it.  Paul, Silas and Timothy “wrought with labour and travail night and day,” 2 Thes 3:8.  Prov 12:24 says, “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.”  See Rom 12:11.

Understand the will of God – Eph 5:17 – God’s will for all Christians is spelled out for you in the Bible.  You will find the will of God in 1 Thes 5:18; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Thes 4:3-7; 1 Pet 2:13-15; and Eph 6:5-8.  When you are doing God’s written will, he helps you to understand his specific will for each day and for your life.  It’s not wise to spend your time doing something that is contrary to God’s will.  Understand his will and do it.

Be filled with the Spirit – Eph 5:18 – when a man gets drunk, he’s no longer in control; the alcohol is in control.  Likewise, when a person is filled with the Spirit, the Spirit is in control.  To be an effective witness, you must be filled with the Spirit, Acts 1:8.  To speak the word of God with boldness, you must be filled with the Spirit, Acts 4:31.  To testify for the Lord, you must be filled with the Spirit, Mk 13:11.  To preach the word of God with power, you must be filled with the Spirit, 1 Cor 2:4-5.  To get something done for the Lord, remember what the Lord said to Zerubbabel, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts,” Zech 4:6.

Sing in your heart to the Lord – Eph 5:19 – one of the benefits of congregational singing is the ability to remember the songs.  They stick with you throughout the day.  They give words and melody to your praise.  They bring hope and comfort during times of distress.  Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God when they were in jail in Acts 16:25.  Before Gethsemane, Jesus sung a hymn with his disciples, Matt 26:30.

Give thanks always for all things – Eph 5:20 – we are to give thanks always, not only in all things, but also, “for” all things.  When we give thanks to God, we are offering a spiritual sacrifice, well pleasing to God, Heb 13:15-16.  We are acknowledging the Lord’s goodness in everything that happens in our lives, Rom 8:28.  This instruction is very simple yet often very hard to do.

Submit yourselves one to another – Eph 5:21 – we are to submit ourselves in the fear of God.  God is exalted above all of us.  Even the disciples, who were left in charge of things after Jesus’s ascension, and who will rule over the tribes of Israel when he returns, were instructed to minister and serve, Matt 20:25-28.  Jesus gave us an example of this submission in Jn 13:4-17, when he washed his disciples’ feet.  See Phil 2:3-4; Rom 12:10.

Conclusion: these seven elements are a lot to remember after this one study.  So, give yourself more time to learn them and live by them.  They will definitely enhance your walk with the Lord.