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.
Jesus Christ, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, left his throne in heaven, came to earth, became flesh, and dwelt among humans. Yet, while he lived on the earth, he was fully God yet fully man (John 1; Phil. 2).
He healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, cast out demons, fed the hungry, and comforted the sorrowful. And, he preached repentance and obedience to him for forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God.
Because he did that, he was hated by his own people. And, the religious leaders in the temple of God pursued him continuously in hopes that they might discredit him in some way. When that didn’t work, they had him put to death on a cross as a common criminal, although he was without sin.
Yet, it was God’s plan all along that Jesus would die on a cross so that we would be free from our slavery to sin and have eternal life with God. But, it was also God’s plan to raise him from the dead on the third day.
Thus, because he died, we are able to die with him to sin. And, because he lives we are able to live with him to his righteousness for eternity. And, because he gave his life up for us on that cross, so that we could be free from our addiction to sin, and so we could live righteously before him, we are to pattern our lives after him and to walk in love, as he walked.
Therefore, God says we are to be holy in all our conduct, which means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world of sin, in all that we do, because we are being made to be like Jesus. So, we are to say “No!” to ungodliness and worldly passions (fleshly lusts), and we are to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 12:1-2; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 1:13-16; Eph. 4:17-24).
And, to walk in love, as Christ loved us, is to love other people with agape love which prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, upright, godly, pure, moral and honest. Thus, we will not, in practice, lie to, cheat on, abuse, gossip or slander, falsely accuse, or commit adultery against those we love. But, we will do for them what is best for them, even laying down our lives in order to tell them the truth so that they can be free from sin.
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.
Much of today’s modern church in America has this all backwards. For, they are teaching a gospel of salvation that gives permission to continue in all of these evil practices. And, some of them even make excuses for the continuance of these practices, too. For, a lot of them are teaching God’s grace as some kind of free license for immorality, saying that God’s grace covers it all, so it doesn’t matter how much you sin.
But, have you ever noticed how often in the New Testament books, in particular from Romans to Revelation, that these things are talked about? And who are they addressing? They are talking to the church about these. They are warning those who profess faith in Jesus Christ against living like this, and they are warning the church that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God, too.
And, there is a reason the church is being warned here against being deceived by empty words, too. For, even in their time period there were false shepherds of the people who were saying “peace, peace” when there was no peace, and who were giving out sugar-coated messages in order to tickle itching ears. So, this is not new. But, what is new is how prevalent this is today among America’s churches, and maybe in other countries, too.
So we, the church, are being told here that these types of things shouldn’t even be hinted at among us. They shouldn’t even be suggested. They should have no part in our lives and in our gatherings together. We, as followers of Jesus, should not be gathering together and watching filth on TV or in the movies, nor should we be listening to music with suggestive or raunchy lyrics. We shouldn’t be telling off-color jokes, either, or find humor in making fun of other people, and we shouldn’t be gossip centers, either.
So, don’t get fooled into thinking that you can regularly look at porn or watch R or X-rated movies or videos, or that you can listen to garbage, or participate habitually in gossip groups, or tell dirty jokes, and that you can walk (in lifestyle) in this filth and still have heaven as your eternal home.
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.
So, not only are we not to do all those wicked and evil things as a matter of habit in our lives, regularly and consistently yielding to those sins of the flesh, but we are not to partner with those who practice them. And, to partner with them is to have them as our close associates and companions. For, we tend to take on the character of those we are around, if we are not really strong in our faith, for evil tends to corrupt good character.
To partner is also to join in with them and to partake with them in their wickedness. And, this can be via allowing ourselves to be entertained by others’ wickedness, too. So, we should not allow ourselves to be entertained by what is evil. And, I also believe that we are not to partner with any group that calls itself Christian or the “church,” but yet coddles or glorifies sin, and which makes allowances for its practices, and which uses sensuality and seduction in church gatherings as a means to draw in the world.
For, I believe when scripture teaches us to “flee Babylon” so that we don’t share with her in her sins and in her punishment, this is not just speaking of the world’s system outside the church gatherings, but it is also speaking of the world’s system that is existing and thriving within the gatherings of the church and among their leadership. Don’t be partners with worldly flesh-driven and market-driven “churches” which are really just businesses of men, and which are marketed to the world just like other businesses.
Rather than joining in with what is worldly, inside or outside of the “church,” we are to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, and we are to find out what is pleasing to God, and we are to live to please him in all that we do. And, we are to walk the walk of faith in Jesus Christ and not just talk it.
I Pray for Them
An Original Work / June 4, 2013
Based off John 17
“Glorify Your Son, that Your Son
May glorify our God in heav’n.
Father, You granted Him all power
And all authority over men,
That He might give eternal life
To all those whom now
You have given Him.”
“This now then is eternal life:
That they may know You,
Father, and Your Son;
That they may know the only true God,
And Jesus Christ whom the Father sent.
I have brought You the glory by
Finishing the work that You’ve given Me.”
“I have shown You to those whom
You gave to Me out of the world;
They were Yours. You gave them to Me
And they have obeyed Your words
And they accepted them. They knew
That I came from You, and they believed
With certainty, I was sent.”
“Holy Father, I pray for them by the
Power of Your name: Protect them,
So that they may be one as we are,
For they are still living in this world.
I have given them Your word;
Because of Your word, the world
Has hated them.”
“I pray they may have the full measure of
My joy now living within them.
Father, I pray You sanctify them
By Your word; truly Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world,
I send them to tell the world to repent.”
Tuesday, September 17, 2019