The Lord Jesus led me to read Ephesians 5 (Select vv. 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. vv. 1-2
The goal of our salvation from sin is that we might be Christ-like, free from the control of sin over our lives, and free to walk in His holiness and righteousness, no longer to please ourselves, but to live to please God.
This should result, in our lives, in us walking in love – with love for God and love for our fellow humans. For, we are now servants of righteousness, under the ownership of Almighty God, in order that we might be his representatives on this earth, to the people of this earth, in demonstrating God’s love, his grace, and his mercy to all people.
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. Vv. 3-6
As the church, the body of Christ, sexual immorality or any of these other sins should not exist among us. It isn’t that we will never sin again, once we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, but that we should no longer make sin our practice. We must no longer be engaged in what we did before we met Christ, for Jesus set us free from the power of sin.
I am not saying, nonetheless, that we will be perfect overnight, otherwise the Bible would not teach that we are to daily be putting sin to death and daily taking up our cross and following Christ. The Christian life is a process, by the Spirit of God, of putting off sin and putting on his righteousness.
I am also not saying that it is not possible for a believer in Jesus Christ to fall back into sin at any point in his Christian walk, otherwise we would not have all these instructions in scripture to the church, warning against such things as this, and we would not have the letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, five of which was to tell them how they were not walking fully in the light they had been given, and how they needed to repent of their sins or else face divine discipline and chastisement.
So, why such a strong warning to Christians? Because God hates sin, which is why Jesus died for us, because sin destroys us, as humans. Jesus died on a cross to deliver us out of such slavery to sin, so that we would no longer walk in it, but so we would walk in freedom, in the Spirit, and no longer live to gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh. So, this warning is for our good!
Also, we are being warned here, lest we get this idea that, now that we are “in Christ,” by faith in him, that it doesn’t matter if we continue in sinful practices because our sins are forgiven and heaven is guaranteed us. This dispels this notion, as do many other scriptures. If we claim faith in Jesus Christ, but we continue to walk (in lifestyle) in sin, willfully and defiantly, without conscience or true repentance, we will die in our sins, not have the hope of eternal life with God, so we need to take this seriously!
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. Vv. 7-14a
Not only must we make certain, by God’s grace, and in his strength and power, that we are no longer walking in sin, but we must be very careful who we choose for our closest friends, companions and spouses. We must also be careful concerning what we watch and listen to on a daily basis. For, we can be influenced by others to do what we know is wrong, and to reject what we know is right, if we are in close relationship or communion with those who are walking in sin’s dark ways.
And, this includes being careful with regards to entertainment choices or even with regard to the desire to be entertained on a somewhat consistent basis. For what reason did Jesus save us? We are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world and to be proclaiming the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. We, as followers of Christ, should not be self-absorbed, but we should be sold out to Jesus Christ.
We should, by God’s grace, no longer walk in the ways in which we did before we met Jesus Christ as Savior of our lives. For, he died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died to set us free from slavery to sin. Now we should walk, in lifestyle, in his light, in his truth, and in his ways of holiness and righteousness. And, we do this by daily putting sin to death and daily putting on Christ and his righteousness; by saying “NO” to sin and by walking in the light which he gives us, in his power and strength.
Instead of partaking in sinful practices, or even allowing ourselves to be entertained by others’ sinful practices, we should be in the habit of exposing them, but not for the purposes of gossip, and not to “out” someone out of spite or unforgiveness. We should be honest concerning our own failures, and share our testimonies of how Jesus set us free, and of how he is giving us all that we need to now live and walk in freedom and no longer in bondage.
But, we should also be teaching what is in accord with God’s word, exposing the lies of Satan and false doctrines and false grace gospels. We should be telling people about the lies which are being taught, and then be telling them what the truth is so that they can put off the lies and put on the truth.
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. Vv. 15-21
Not only must we be careful about how we are living, that we would walk in the light and not in the darkness, but we must be about encouraging and urging our brothers and sisters in Christ to also walk in the light and to reject what is of the darkness. For, we are all in a spiritual battle, and Satan is convincing so many Christians that they are free in Christ to live however they want and to still have heaven guaranteed them. But, the truth is that Jesus died to deliver us out of darkness and to bring us into his wonderful light, so we should walk in the light, and lead others to do the same.
He Reached Down
An Original Work / February 3, 2014
Based off Psalm 18
How I love You, Lord, my Rock and my strength.
My God is my fortress; I hide in Him.
He is my shield and the horn of
My salvation, whom I praise.
I have found my refuge in Him.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
Drew me out of waters so deep, I’d sink.
He delivered me from Satan
And my slavery to sin;
Gave me hope of heaven with Him.
My God turned my darkness into His light;
Opened up my blinded eyes; gave me sight.
As for God, his way is perfect.
He gives strength to stand secure.
I have found my vict’ry in Him.
My Lord lives! Praise be to my Savior God,
Jesus Christ, who died on a cruel cross.
He is my Rock and the source
Of my salvation, whom I trust.
I will give praise always to Him.
Sunday, December 17, 2017, 6:11 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, that you died to set us free from slavery to sin, and you live that we might live in you and walk in your righteousness and holiness all our days. Amen!