Rooted & Fruitful (Part 18)

Speaker: Woon Hin Swee


This week’s message on the Rooted and Fruitful series brings us to Ephesians 5:1-7. At the start of the chapter, Paul exhorts all believers to imitate God and follow God’s example in all that we do. 

How are we then able to imitate God? In Ephesians 5:2, Paul expanded on how we are to imitate God, and it is by walking in love and following the earthly example of Christ. R.C. Sproul puts it beautifully, “Jesus’ love was a love that manifested itself in self-sacrifice. He offered himself for others. His offering and sacrifice fulfilled all of the ritual sacrifices of the Old Testament. The sweetest fragrance, the most beautiful aroma that God has ever detected emanating from this planet, was the aroma of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus that was offered once and for all on the cross. As Christ imitated the Father, so we are called to imitate him. We do that when we live a life of love.” (p.12)

One may ask, what does living a life of love as a Christ follower look like? By telling the Ephesians what behaviours to avoid, Paul outlines the unfruitful works of darkness in Ephesians 5:3-6 to contrast the life characterised by love.

Sproul, R. C. (1994). The Purpose of God: Ephesians (p. 121). Christian Focus Publications.


  1. How were you (or are you) affected by peer pressure (job, status, material possessions, friends, language they use, etc.)? What conscious efforts did you make to NOT follow if you feel it is not aligned with God’s Word? 
  2. Read Ephesians 5:3-4. Paul writes that as children of the Most High God, we should put away all kinds of sexual immorality, impurities and greed as these behaviours are improper for God’s children.

    (a) Why did Paul highlight these behaviours, “sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness” (Ephesians 5:3 ESV) and filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking” (Ephesians 5:4 ESV)? What about these behaviours that we need to be wary of? (Read also Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 3:5-6, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6, James 3:9-12, James 1:26)

    (b) Can a person’s life be characterised by immorality, impurity, and greed even after he/she has responded positively to the gospel? Discuss. 

  3. Romans 6:4-6 tells us that when we put our faith in following Christ, our old sinful nature has been crucified with Christ, and just as Christ was raised from the dead, we should also walk in the new nature God gave us.

    (a) Why do believers still sin at times even though the old nature has been crucified? What happens when we continue sinning? (Read 1 John 1:18, 1 John 3:6 AMP, 1 John 3:9, 1 John 5:18)

    (Note: There is a difference between a believer whose life is characterised by sinful behaviour i.e. habitual sin and is willful (refuses to change), and one who is struggling with sin but desires to change and is willing to yield to the Holy Spirit.)

    (b) If you are comfortable, share how you have overcome a particular sin in your life with the help of the Holy Spirit. What resources aid you in your effort to overcome sin (e.g. godly accountability partners, God’s Word)?

  4. Ephesians 5:5-7 warns us that no one who continues to sin willfully will have any inheritance in the kingdom of God. We should also be careful not to let anyone deceive us with empty words and partake in disobedience with them.

    How can we ensure we are not deceived by false doctrine and those who seek to spread untruths? Have you encountered such false doctrine, and what did you do to prevent yourself from partaking in those empty words?

  5. What will be the evidence in our lives of us walking in the way of love, following Christ’s example?


Paul has been urging us to walk worthy of the calling we have been given. The earlier chapters in Ephesians tell us that we are called to be God’s children. How do we walk worthy of that call? We have humility, unity, diligence, love, and purity. In Ephesians 5, Paul encourages us “to walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).

An anonymous author says, “Those who walk in love, as God has taught them, do not walk in immoral things anymore. They put away practices that their heavenly father would never engage in. Interestingly, Paul shifts from talking about the love God wants his children to have to a love many in the world have. As God and Christ sacrificially love us, the world selfishly loves the world. These are two opposing ways of life. Those who love sacrificially do not engage in sexual immorality, impurity, or covetousness. They see filthiness, foolish talking, and crude joking as things out of place in their relationships with others

Therefore, as we consider our relationship with God, let us have thankful hearts. God loves His children and has prepared an extraordinary inheritance for us. Let us approach His throne of grace with humility and surrendered hearts. We want to be a church that wants more of Jesus than more of the world.


Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. – Ephesians 5: 1-3 (NIV)