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 read in the previous chapter that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, were created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:24).
We were predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom 8:29). We are being transformed into His image (his likeness) with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord (2 Co 3:18). And, having taken off our old self with its practices, and having put on our new self, we are being renewed in knowledge in the image of our creator, Jesus Christ (Col 3:9-10).
And as God is holy, so are we to be holy in all our conduct (1 Pet 1:15-16). We are to be holy, for without holiness no one will see the Lord (Heb 12:14). Jesus saved us from our sins and called us to a holy life (2 Tim 1:9). And we are to offer our bodies to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our true and proper worship of him (Rom 12:1-2).
Basically, we are to walk (conduct our lives) in like manner as Jesus walked when he lived on this earth (1 Jn 2:3-6). Jesus lived an unselfish life. He cared about the legitimate needs of the people. And he sacrificed himself, not just in his death, but in his life on the earth, too, to meet those needs.
He brought healing into people’s lives, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He had mercy and compassion on the people. But he never coddled them in their sins. He never placated or tolerated sin in order to make people feel good about themselves. He always spoke the truth in love.
But he didn’t just preach righteousness, holiness, purity, honesty, integrity, uprightness, and godliness. He lived it. And that is how we are to live, too. But we don’t do it in our own flesh or in our own strength, but we do it in the strength of the Lord, as empowered by God’s Holy Spirit.
Jesus lived a holy life, separate (unlike, different) from the world, and that is why the world (including the worldly religious people) hated him. He wasn’t like them. He didn’t join in with them in their wickedness and in their idolatry, so they hated him, persecuted him, and eventually they put him to death on a cross, even though he had done no wrong.
And this is how we should live, too. The world should not love us as its own. But they should hate us. And this includes the worldly Christians, too, who will despise, reject, ostracize, slander, ignore and abandon us because we aren’t like them, and we don’t do the worldly things that they do.
Ephesians 5:3-6 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.
“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.”
If we are living like Jesus, there will be no hint of impurity or sexual immorality in our lives. If we are walking in obedience to his commands, in the power of the Holy Spirit, none of these sinful behaviors mentioned here should be part of our lives, not one little itsy bit!
And this includes the things we entertain ourselves with such as TV shows, movies, music, games, videos, sports, social media, and the like. There should not be a hint of impurity or sexual immorality in anything we choose to listen to or to watch or to participate in in any way.
Also, the friends we choose for ourselves to hang out with should not be those who are (to our knowledge) living in sexual immorality, especially if they profess faith in Jesus Christ. They should not be ones who tell off-color jokes or who make lewd or suggestive remarks, etc.
This doesn’t mean we avoid all such people, though, for Jesus sent us out into the world to be a light to the world to spread the good news of the gospel, to call people to repentance, to obedience to God, and to surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives.
He also sent us out to show people love, as he loved the people of this world, in all purity, and in full submission to the will of God the Father. Again, he never once compromised with the world to win the world. He was always a straight shooter. And He loved them by telling them the truth.
And the truth is that those who make sin their practice have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. So, don’t let anyone deceive you with empty words of comfort, for the wrath of God will come on those who are living in disobedience to God, no matter what faith they profess (Gal 5:16-21; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10).
Ephesians 5:6-10 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.”
I love the wording of this! You were ONCE darkness! That means that part of your life is supposed to be in your past, not still in your present. Yet, many people today are teaching a diluted gospel message which gives free license for “believers in Jesus” to continue living in the darkness.
But if we walk (in practice) in the darkness (in sin) while we profess faith and fellowship with Christ (with God), the Bible says we are liars who do not live by the truth. And it says we have no inheritance in God’s kingdom, but we will die in our sins (1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-21).
So, we are to no longer live in sin, making any sin our practice. Now we are to live our lives on this earth as children of light (of truth, holiness, godliness, righteousness, purity, and of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ).
And we are to find out what pleases the Lord and do it. And what pleases him is that we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit, and no longer according to our flesh, that we leave our lives of sin behind us, and that we follow our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will.
Being Made Right
An Original Work / September 8, 2019
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Cleansed and saved me,
Made me whole;
Purified me, now new within.
By His grace, I’m free from sin.
Holy Spirit lives within,
Teaching me to walk with Him,
Guiding me each step of the way.
Living for my Lord each day.
Father God, He is my Lord.
Walk with Him in one accord.
Follow Him wherever He leads,
Living holy, Him to please.
Witnessing for Him each day,
Loving others in His way,
Telling them about Jesus Christ,
And how they can be made right.