In the Way of Love

Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

We, as followers of Jesus/God, are to be like him in character, mind, and heart. Our lives are to be modeled after him. But this isn’t something we can do in the flesh. We can only be like him if he is living within us empowering us and conforming us to his likeness.

We can only be like Jesus/God if we have been crucified with him in death to sin and if we have been resurrected with him to newness of life in him, created to be like him in true righteousness and holiness (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24)

And then we must be walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, daily dying to sin and self and daily walking in his love in obedience to his commands. We can’t be like God/Jesus if we are still living in sin, according to our flesh, in other words (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

So, if we are following God’s example in how we love others, we will be unselfish, self-sacrificing, considering other people’s true needs, setting godly examples, sharing the truth of the gospel, and speaking truth to one another, too, for the building up of the body of Christ to maturity in Christ.

Ephesians 5:3-4 NIV

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”

These kinds of behaviors should not even be heard of within the body of believers in Jesus Christ. And this is not about hiding the truth so other people won’t know what is going on behind closed doors. There shouldn’t be even the slightest suggestion of such behaviors within the church.

And I believe that this can suggest that there should not even be sexual innuendos or light flirtations or off-color humor of any kind. And this would also mean that Christians should not be entertained with anything containing such innuendos, light flirtations, or off-color humor.

We, as followers of Jesus, should not be watching or listening to anything willfully which contains even a hint of immorality or adultery or impurity of any kind. We should run away from such things. We should make no compromises with the world of sin for the purpose of entertainment.

And obviously we should not ourselves be engaged in sexual immorality, greed, impurity of any kind, obscenity, course joking, and idolatry, which includes the worship of sinful human beings and looking to them to save us or to rescue us from other sinful human beings.

Ephesians 5:5-7 NIV

“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.”

Many people today who profess faith in Jesus Christ, at least here in America, have this false impression that once they are “saved” that their sins no longer matter to God. They believe that, since they are “saved,” and thus secure, and that heaven is therefore guaranteed them, that nothing can take that away from them.

Yes, the Scriptures do teach that, in a way, but it is conditional upon certain requirements. For example, John 10:28-30 is often quoted by itself and it is therefore applied generally to everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ. But v. 27 gives the qualification for vv. 28-30.

Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” And then he said, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” The qualification is that we must listen to the voice of God and follow him in obedience if we want to not perish but to have eternal life with God (See also: 1 Jn. 2:3-6).

But that is just one example. Scripture teaches we must die with Christ to sin (repent), we must walk according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, and we must not walk in darkness (sin) but in the light (righteousness, godliness). And we must continue in Christ to the very end if we want eternal life with God and forgiveness of our sins.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-24; Gal 6:7-8; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Heb 3:6, 14-15; Heb 10:26-31; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9]

Ephesians 5:8-11 NIV

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

Absolutely true! If we are truly in Christ, by genuine faith in him, we were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. So, if we are still living in sin, and especially if we feel as though we have permission to keep living in sin and that we don’t have to obey the Lord, then we are still in darkness.

For, as followers of Jesus we are now to be living as children of light, not as children of the darkness. We are to be living self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return and while we are making it our daily practice to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts.

Contrary to what some people are teaching, God is not pleased with us no matter what we do. Scripture talks much about living holy and godly lives pleasing to the Lord. And here it encourages us to find out what pleases the Lord and to do it.

[Rom. 8:8; 2 Co. 5:9; Gal. 6:8; Eph. 5:10; Col. 1:9-11; 1 Thess. 2:4; 1 Thess. 4:1; 2 Tim. 2:4; Heb. 11:6; Heb. 13:6; 1 Jn. 3:22]

So, because Jesus died on that cross to set us free from slavery to sin and to empower us to live righteously, we are not to partner with ungodliness and wickedness in any way. We are to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather we are to expose them!

Full Release

An Original Work / April 15, 2012

Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.

Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
through salvation,
By His Spirit, from above.

Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.

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