To think again about the meaning of any part of the passage of Ephesians 5:15-6:18, it is necessary to take into account the literary patterns used by Paul as he taught us how to live as Spirit-filled Christians.
There is a well-knit series of word patterns in verses 22-32. These are difficult to spot for readers who use a modern language translation and not the original Greek. It is also helpful to be familiar with the linchpin pattern Paul imports from Genesis 3:15-17.
In verses 22-32, Paul uses a linchpin pattern. In it, he makes two points but presents them in a three-part pattern that brings his two main ideas together in the middle, in 5:25b. We are to act (1) “as Christ gave Himself” and (2) “as Christ loved.” These two “as Christ” ideas in the center of the linchpin are linked to the group of verses above and to the group of verses below the linchpin’s center section, which runs from 5:25-27.
Giving oneself and loving are two of five one another actions in the passage that runs from 5:18-6:18. The others are speaking (5:19),submitting (5:21) and praying (6:18).
(cc) Bruce C. E. Fleming (July 2019)