In chapter four Paul mentions that Christians form one body through the one Spirit “so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (4:12-13). He then turns to distinguishing what it means to live in that reality as opposed to their former reality as worldly Gentiles. This continues into chapter five and concludes with “Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:18-20). Christians are to be radically different from those who live as the world lives and he defines what this means. We would do well to meditate on these verses and endeavour to obey his command to always celebrate God the Father and Jesus Christ.
In the remainder of chapter five and into six he speaks about the relationships between family members and the way in which they reflect Christ. As a husband it is my duty and challenge to love my wife as myself and as Christ loved the church. I think it is a sad reflection on our society that Paul’s statement that “people have never hated their own bodies, but they feed and care for them” (5:29) does not always ring true. You hear about drug addicts who would forego food for heroin and destroy their bodies with crack cocaine. Thus the power of sin and something Paul wants to ensure that Christians do not experience. But how to go about this? Paul concludes his letter with the armour of God in which he uses the image of a Roman soldier to explain how Christians are to utilise the aspects of their “profession.” The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, footwear of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Notable only one of those is offensive and it is up to the Spirit to wield it (6:10-17). Last and most important, “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (6:18).