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.”
Do you believe in Jesus? Then, you are to be like God in purity of heart, mind, morals, character, and faithfulness. For, this is why Jesus Christ died on that cross for our sins, that we might be like God in true righteousness and holiness (2 Co. 5:15, 21; Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 6:1-23).
And, we are to walk (in practice, in conduct, in lifestyle) in love (agape). And, this love is not like human love. This is divine love which prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, upright, pure, honest, faithful, just (fair), and moral, etc. And, it is empowered by God, too.
And, this love is self-sacrificing, too. It considers others above itself. It willingly gives up its own rights, to minister to the needs of others. And, it is honest and pure of heart. It is not selfish in motive or action. And, it willingly takes the hits against itself in order to demonstrate pure love to others.
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.”
Sexual immorality, impurity, crude joking, and the like, are the opposite of love. For, they are of the flesh, and they are totally selfish, without regard for who else gets hurt in the process. For, when you sin, you don’t sin to yourself alone. You hurt your relationship with the Lord, and you hurt those you sin against, even if you think they don’t know what you are doing.
Men or women – if you are in the habit of viewing porn, or watching movies or TV shows with sexual situations and/or nudity, or you are lusting after others to whom you are not married, or else you practice masturbation, you are engaging in sexual immorality, and you are injuring, not only your own mind and heart, but you are sinning against your spouses and against God.
And, not only that, but the worst of it is that if we make these things our practice, our habits, our lifestyle, or our “go to” whenever we are frustrated or angry or lonely or whatever, then it says here that we do not have eternal life with God (cf. Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Col. 3:5-11; Rom. 2:6-8).
So, we are not to let anyone deceive us with empty words. What empty words? They would be those which tell us that we can be saved from our sins and be bound for heaven (guaranteed), and that we can still live (habitually) according to our flesh, and that we don’t have to turn from our sins or walk in obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. Those are lies!
Ephesians 5:7-14 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.’”
Not only should we not engage in such things as sexual immorality, impurity, idolatry, corruptness, lying, cheating and stealing, and the like, but we should not be partners (followers of, allies, close associates) with those who do. And, I believe this includes politicians, preachers, sports heroes, TV personalities, and movie stars, and their platforms and/or performances.
Also, if we participate in their debauchery by being entertained by it, we are also partnering with them in their sin. So, even if we don’t make these things our practice, if we allow ourselves to be entertained by them, then we are giving approval to and we are applauding these sins, and therefore we are partnering with them.
So, not only are we not to take part in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but we are to expose them. We are to bring them into the light, and we are to shine the light of God’s truth on them, and then show them for what they are. And, we are then to warn against participating in them, and then call others to turn from them, and to turn to the Lord to follow him in his ways.
For, we need to understand here that Jesus didn’t die on that cross just to forgive us our sins and to promise us heaven when we die. He died for us to deliver us out of our slavery to sin, to free us from bondage to our sinful practices, and to empower us to walk (in practice) in Christ’s righteousness and holiness.
Thus, now we are to be those who walk (in conduct) in Christ’s holiness and righteousness, in truth, in faithfulness, and in purity of heart and mind. We are to be those who seek out how to walk to please our Lord, and then to do what pleases him. And, it pleases him that we walk in obedience to his commands, and that we do what is right in his sight.
So, if you have been believing the lies which tell you that heaven is guaranteed you when you die, but that you can continue living in your sin without guilt, and that Jesus is smiling on you, you need to wake up! That is not what the Bible teaches. It is what men teach, in their deceitful scheming.
Ephesians 5:15-17 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.”
So, we are to watch how we walk. We are to pay attention to the things we say and that we practice. We should ask the Lord to search our hearts and to expose any wickedness we are holding on to. We should desire the Spirit of God to prick our hearts any time we are even close to sinning against God, so that we don’t fall into sin.
We should be so in tune to the Spirit’s voice, by studying God’s Word, and by making it our daily practice, that we will hear him speak to us any time we are even beginning to think about sinning against our Lord, or even before we are tempted, so that we don’t yield to the temptation.
For, truly the days are evil, and we don’t want to get caught up in that evil. But, we want to be those who understand what the will of God is, and we want to be those who make it our practice to do the will of God, in his power and in his strength and wisdom, as we yield control of our lives over to him.
Banner of the Cross
By Maj. Daniel Whittle, 1884
There’s a royal banner given for display
To the soldiers of the King;
As an ensign fair we lift it up today,
While as ransomed ones we sing.
Though the foe may rage and gather as the flood,
Let the standard be displayed;
And beneath its folds, as soldiers of the Lord,
For the truth be not dismayed!
Over land and sea, wherever man may dwell,
Make the glorious tidings known;
Of the crimson banner now the story tell,
While the Lord shall claim His own!
When the glory dawns—’tis drawing very near,
It is hast’ning day by day—
Then before our King the foe shall disappear,
And the cross the world shall sway!
Marching on, marching on,
For Christ count everything but loss!
And to crown Him King, we’ll toil and sing,
Beneath the banner of the cross!
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