Letting No One Deceive You

Ephesians 5:3-4 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.”

When we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).

Therefore we are to not let sin reign any more in our mortal bodies to where we obey its passions, for Jesus delivered us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we might walk in purity of devotion to him in holiness and righteousness, in obedience to his commands. So we are to no longer live as slaves to sin since Jesus set us free. For if sin is what we obey, in practice, it will end in death, not in life eternal with God (Romans 6:1-23).

Therefore sexual immorality and all impurity, etc., must not have any part with us. They should no longer exist in our lives and within the gatherings of the body of Christ, his church. There should not even be the slightest hint of such things as this among us. This is not to say that we will never sin again (1 John 2:1-2), but that it is not fitting of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ to be living in sexual immorality and/or in addictive sin of any kind.

Ephesians 5:5-6 ESV

“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.”

When this speaks of those who are sexually immoral and impure, etc., it is speaking of those who make these sins their practice, for we are what we do in practice. Like for example, those who make lying their practice are considered to be liars, and those who make adultery their practice are called adulterers. So, if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and holiness and obedience to our Lord are not our practice, we will not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God no matter what we profess.

So, we are to let no one deceive us with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. And who are the disobedient? They are those who disobey the Lord as a matter of practice (habit), deliberately and often premeditatedly. Now every act of disobedience is disobeying the Lord, but it is those who habitually and deliberately make disobedience their practice on whom the wrath of God will be visited. For that is the standard that God has set for us.

And there is no wiggle room around this. Even if every time you sin you confess your sin, if there is no genuine repentance, and if you go right back to committing the same sins over again, in particularly without conscience, and without concern or care for who gets hurt in the process, then that is living in sin deliberately and habitually and those who make sin their practice will not inherit eternal life with God.

But again, this is not to say we will never sin or that the Lord will not forgive us if we do or that he will have no compassion on us. He will. But if we choose to walk in disobedience and to deliberately and habitually commit the same sins over again, especially without conscience, we better be prepared to hear the Savior say to us one day, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity for I never knew you.” For lip service only does not work with God.

Ephesians 5:7-11 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.”

The gospel message which is permeating the church (or what is called church) in America today, and perhaps in other nations, too, grants permission for the sinner to keep on in his sin, for no death to sin is required. No submission to Christ as Lord is required. And no walks of obedience to our Lord are required. According to them you are saved and on your way to heaven on a mere one-time profession of faith in Christ.

But that is not what the Scriptures teach. God has drawn his line in the sand and he has set his boundaries and he has declared that if sin is our practice, and if we do not repent and turn from our sin to follow Jesus in obedience, that salvation is not ours, and heaven is not our eternal destiny, regardless of what we confess with our lips or say we believe in our hearts. So, we need to take God’s word seriously and we need to obey him.

Therefore we are not to be partners with those who are living in habitual and deliberate sin and with those who are promoting a gospel message absent of true repentance and of walks of obedience to our Lord. We are not to shift from the narrow path which leads to eternal life with God in order to follow the broad path, which is easier, but which leads to destruction. But we are to stay the course until the day we die or until Jesus takes us home.

For our Lord Jesus cares deeply about our lives and he hurts when we stray from him to follow after the gods of this world. He grieves over us when we fall prey to temptation to sin, and this is why he gives us such stern counsel here to not be deceived by those who would tell us that God is okay with us continuing to live in sin. For he does not want any of us to end up in hell. And so we need to listen to his teachings and obey them.

So, we are now to walk (in conduct, in practice) as children of light (truth, righteousness), not as those still walking in darkness (in sin). And we are to be those who are discerning of what is good and of what is bad, and of what is righteous and of what is evil. And we must choose the good and reject the evil. And now we are to live holy and godly lives which are pleasing to our Lord, and we are to no longer take part in the unfruitful works of darkness.

And now we are to be those who are spreading the truth of the gospel, and who are calling sin what it is, and who are telling people of God’s requirements, and who are giving warning to those who are still living in habitual sin. And we are to be calling sinners to genuine repentance and to walks of obedience to our Lord and away from walking in sin. And we are to be exposing the lies so that none of us fall prey to the lies and not end up having eternal life with God because we followed the lies and not the truth.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 10:26-27; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-10; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Does Jesus Care?
1 Peter 5:7

Lyrics by Frank E. Graeff, 1901
Music by Joseph L. Hall, 1901

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?

Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?

Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?

Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

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