Ephesians 5:15-21 ESV
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Watch How You Walk
Watch out how you walk, how you conduct your life day in and day out with the things that you do and say. Keep a watch on it. Pay attention to see if your actions, your attitudes, your thinking, your words, and your behaviors are consistent with holiness and righteousness. Is your conduct that of a wise person or of one who is behaving unwisely?
Are you making the best use of your time? Is your time being spent in God’s kingdom work or for your self and for your own selfish desires? Do you waste a lot of time you could be spending doing the will of God and ministering God’s love and grace to others with doing only what brings you pleasure? Are you living for sensual pleasure?
If you are just going through life living primarily for yourself and for what you want out of life without consideration of what God wants for your life and what work he has for you to do, you open yourself up wide to be seduced by evil and by sensual pleasures, because the days are evil. So, don’t be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is, and then do it.
Watch What You’re Taught
Another thing you must watch out for is what you are being taught as truth. Is it truth? Have you examined it in light of Scripture, in context? Or are you just accepting it as truth because a preacher said it and because it sounds good and it feels good? We are supposed to be testing the spirits, and we do this by examining what they do and say against the Scriptures in context.
There is a gospel which is largely being taught in America’s churches today which resembles the true gospel of grace, in part, but it is a seducer of sin and of sexual immorality. It seduces its adherents to continue living in deliberate and habitual sin against God by telling them that God’s grace to them covers all their sins and so they can sin as much as they want.
Not only that, but this cheap grace gospel speaks loudly against the true gospel of grace and it condemns the works of God in the life of the believer. It condemns righteous deeds done in the power of God’s Spirit and it calls them “works-based salvation.” And so people are being taught that repentance, obedience, and submission to God are to be dismissed.
So, you need to be on the lookout for that so that you don’t get caught in its web of deceit. Those who have created this cheap grace gospel knew what they were doing. They are very clever people who work for Satan, and their goal is to destroy the true church and the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are embracing the evil deeds of the flesh while dismissing righteous deeds.
This cheap grace gospel seducer of evil is now permeating the gatherings of the church and has largely been adopted as the true gospel, though not by all Christians nor by all church fellowships, but definitely by the majority. And it is here to stay. It is established and immovable and it takes on the character of the sinful flesh of human beings who are intoxicated to sin.
And many people confessing faith in Jesus Christ are under its spell. They not only are convinced that the true gospel is false and that the false gospel is true, but they are convinced that doing evil is acceptable to God as long as you “believe” in Jesus, while repenting of sin, obeying our Lord, and submitting to Jesus as Lord are to be discarded as bad.
The result of this is that many people professing faith in Jesus Christ are now living corrupt, immoral, depraved, dishonorable, dishonest, and vile lives all under the guise of “God’s grace.” They are living for self and for self-pleasure in adultery, fornication, lying, cheating, stealing, and taking advantage of others for their own sinful pleasure.
What spirit are you following?
We can get drunk on many things, not just on alcoholic beverages, for drunkenness is intoxication, and we can be intoxicated to all sorts of sensual and seductive pleasures. And when people are drunk on sin they are not rational, they are not sensible, they are not testing anything, but they are diving in nose first into whatever sensual pleasures are drawing them in.
In our day and time, although these things happened in New Testament times, too, many people, including many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are intoxicated to sin and to sensual pleasures, and they are living out-of-control lives in direct defiance to God and to his commands for holy living. So, they have bought into the cheap grace in order to ease their consciences.
But instead of letting ourselves be filled up with the garbage that this world is offering, we are to be those who are being filled with the Spirit of God. And this is a continual thing which involves us daily saying “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and living self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return.
For, we can’t be filled with the Spirit and with the sinful pleasures of the flesh at that same time. You can’t be filled with the Spirit if you are filling your minds with all the trashiness this world is offering in the way of entertainment. You can’t be filled with the Spirit, either, if you are still walking according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit.
So, instead of putting away righteous deeds of God which he had planned for us to walk in, be putting away the unrighteous deeds of the sinful flesh and be putting on Christ and in his righteousness in the power of God. And then be encouraging your brothers and sisters in the Lord to do the same. Encourage them to forsake their sins and to follow Jesus in obedience.
And submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ never means to submit to sin. It never means to compromise morals or God’s standards for holy living in order to be acceptable to others. It just means we aren’t those who have to have everything our way. We can compromise on non-essentials, on things that don’t matter for eternity, and be at peace.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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