Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
The word “therefore,” refers back to something that was said previously. So, when a sentence begins with “therefore,” we should go back and see what it is there for, i.e. to see to what it is referring.
In the previous chapter we learned that, as followers of Christ, we are not to live any longer like we did before we believed in Jesus Christ, if we did believe in him at all. We are not to be hard of heart toward God’s commands to us. We are not to claim ignorance of his commands, either, as an excuse for willful sin against him. And, we are not to give ourselves up to sensuality or to greed or to practicing every kind of impurity.
For, that is not how we learned Christ, if we were taught the truth in him. And, the truth is that faith in Jesus Christ means we put off from our lives our old ways of living for sin and self, which is corrupt through deceitful desires. And, we are renewed in the spirit of our minds by the Holy Spirit of God through God-given faith in Jesus Christ. And, we put on (apply to our lives, make our own) our new selves in Christ Jesus, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Eph. 4:17-24).
We also learned, in all practicality, what this should look like in our lives. If we were in the habit of telling lies, now we should be those who practice telling the truth. If we were in the habit of having outbursts of anger, then we are to now be in the habit of controlling that anger and to not sin in our anger. If we were in the habit of taking things from others that was not ours to take, then we need to work with our hands and give to the poor.
And, we are to let all bitterness, wrath, outbursts of anger, slander, and malice be put away from us, and instead we are to be kind to one another, and tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave us.
Therefore, we are to be imitators of God and to walk in love. And, how do we do that? We do it just like the previous chapter said to do it. We put away our former lives of living for sin and self, we are transformed away from sin and to God, of the Spirit of God, and now we live to Christ and to his righteousness, in the power and working of God now living within us.
Ephesians 5:3-6 ESV
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Notice how this says that sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among us. It shouldn’t even be hinted at. There should be no indication that we are walking in impurity of any kind.
And, what this brings to mind is how many church congregations have gone to showing movie clips for their sermon illustrations. The clips, in and of themselves, may or may not be pure, but what I have found to be true is that the clips often come from movies which are filled with impurity and immorality of every kind, even including nudity.
And, what many of these church leaders who show these movie clips may or may not be aware of is that people will see these clips, and if they like the clips, they will want to see the whole movies, and so they will find them on Netflix or whatever, and they will watch what is impure, immoral and filled with all kinds of filth that should not enter in the minds of any Christian.
But, it isn’t just that. Many Christians watch TV shows and movies with perhaps just a hint of sensuality in them and so they figure a little bit bad won’t hurt them. But, then they go to a little bit more, and then a little bit more, and then before they know it they are completely desensitized to all the filth that they are taking into their minds, and this leads many down a path of gross immorality and to sexual addiction of many kinds.
But, then we have the cheap grace gospel people who are telling people that their sins don’t matter to God once they are “saved.” They tell them they are now forgiven, and that none of their sins will ever be held against them. Many are even going so far as to say outright that we don’t even have to repent of our sins, and we don’t have to obey God, and some even say that if we do, that we are trying to earn our way into heaven. Wrong!
So, don’t be deceived into thinking God is ok with you living in immorality or you taking in just a little bit of dirt. For, if we practice these things, we will not inherit eternal life with God, but we will know the wrath of God, instead.
Ephesians 5:7-16 ESV
Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Ok, so not only should we not be partakers of all sorts of evil, and we should not even have a hint of immorality in our lives, but we should not partner with those who do. Obviously, if we are already married, and we discover our spouse is a sex addict, for example, it doesn’t mean we are required to divorce our spouse. Scripture talks much about forgiveness.
But, other than that, I believe scripture teaches that we are not to have close intimate relations with those who are living immoral and impure lives, for their influence can be very strong, and we might be led into sin, for bad company corrupts good character. It is really hard not to become like the people you spend the most time with. And, chances are good that they will be able to influence you to compromise your faith and convictions, too.
And, truth be told, if we truly are walking in the light and not in the darkness, and if we are walking in purity of devotion to Jesus Christ, those who are not, even if they profess faith in Jesus Christ, will not want to be around us anyway, for they will feel uncomfortable around us, most likely.
So, we need to be those who stand out as different, who are not like the world, who are walking in purity, and who are not giving the devil a foothold in our lives. We need to not only be those who are not walking in impurity, but we need to be those who are exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness so that others are not led into sin. And, we need to be living lives pleasing to God, and not be wasteful of the time God has given us on this earth to live for his purposes, and for his praise, and for his glory.
My Heart’s Desire
An Original Work / June 29, 2013
Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24
Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.
The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.
Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.