And Walk in Love
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.”
As the beloved children of God, we are to be becoming like Jesus in thought, word, and deed. For, if we are genuine followers of Jesus Christ, we are being conformed to his likeness. We are being made to be like him. And this is because God’s Holy Spirit is living within us purifying us, changing us, and strengthening and empowering us to live like Him.
But this is not automatic. This requires our submission to Christ as Lord, and us leaving our lifestyles of sin behind us, and us walking according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh – and in obedience to our Lord and to his commandments, empowered by God’s Spirit, via God’s grace.
And we are to walk (in lifestyle, in practice, in conduct) in (agape) love, which prefers what God prefers, and which chooses his choices. And what he prefers is all that is righteous, holy, pure, upright, godly, honest, and faithful. So, this means we walk in righteousness and holiness.
It means we die with Christ to sin, and we live with Christ to righteousness. Sin is no longer our master. It is no longer what controls us. We are no longer addicted to sin because Jesus delivered us from our slavery to sin so that we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness.
And it means our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want, for Jesus’ blood shed on that cross bought us back for God (redeemed us) so that we would now honor God with our lives. For, Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.
So, now our lives are given over to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is our acceptable worship of him. We are no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world for we have been transformed of the Spirit of God away from sin to walking in obedience to our Lord.
In fact, God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return. For, if we live according to the flesh, and if we make sin our practice, we will die in our sins.
Let There be No Filthiness
Ephesians 5:3-5 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.”
I did a search on “sexual immorality” in the New Testament, and I found that it was mentioned at least 40 times. I found about 16 references to lies and liars, which goes right along with sexual immorality, for that sin is usually covered up with lies. And I found 11 references for impurity.
I also found about 20 references to adultery, which also includes sexual immorality, and I found about 14 references to the sin of idolatry, which was often associated or listed with the sin of sexual immorality. Filthiness and crude joking are also often associated with sexual immorality and impurity.
We live in an extremely sex craved society. Sensuality and seductiveness and partial nudity are all over the place in the public. Adultery is a common theme in music, movies, and TV shows. And sexual innuendoes and sensual humor are commonplace, too, even among Christians.
Statistics are high for the number of Christian men, including pastors, who regularly view pornography, and they don’t all limit themselves to just that venue for their sin of sexual immorality. Some (or many) of them also are frequently engaged with prostitutes, or adulterous relationships, or incestuous relationships, or self-gratification or other perversions of sex.
But it isn’t just men who do this. The numbers are increasing among women and children, too. And I attribute a lot of that to the easy access to sexually explicit material on the internet via handheld internet devices that can be viewed in secret even in a crowded room full of people.
I also attribute a lot of this to the cheap grace gospel which is permeating the modern-day church. For, it makes no requirements for death to sin and living to righteousness or submission to Christ as Lord (owner-master) of our lives. For, they call that “works-based salvation,” so it is discouraged.
So, what that does is leave the adherents to this cheap grace gospel still in bondage to sin, still living to the flesh, doing what they want to do, while they are claiming Jesus as their Lord, and salvation from their sins, and heaven as their eternal destiny. But this cheap grace is free license for sexual immorality to thrive in the lives of those who believe in it.
But the Scriptures are quite clear on this subject. If you make a practice of such sins, and righteousness is not what you practice, and Jesus isn’t your Lord, and you are not in the practice of obeying him, and you keep sinning against others, so you don’t love them, then you will not inherit eternal life with God. You will die in your sins and hell is where you are bound.
Let No One Deceive You
Ephesians 5:6-11 ESV
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 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.”
So, don’t be deceived by those who tell you that you can “believe” in Jesus and have heaven guaranteed you when you die, but that how you live on this earth will not impact your life for eternity. The Scriptures do NOT support that teaching. They teach the opposite of that.
If you are living in disobedience to your Lord, and you are the one still running your own life, and you are choosing what you want to do, regardless of who gets hurt, and regardless of what the Scriptures teach, and so you are deliberately, habitually, and premeditatedly sinning against God, the wrath of God is what you have to look forward to.
So, don’t go there! Don’t listen to the lies!! And don’t allow yourselves to be entertained by the sins of others or to give approval to the sins of others, either. Have nothing to do with habitual and deliberate sin. Forsake your lives of sin and follow Jesus in obedience to his commands, and you will live.
Now walk (conduct your life) in the light of truth and righteousness. Walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. Discern what is pleasing to the Lord, and then do it in his power and strength and under his guidance. And take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness (wickedness, immorality), but rather expose them for what they are.
For, to love God is to obey him. So, love God, and love others.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2]
All I Ask of You
by Andrew Lloyd Webber
No more talk of darkness,
Forget these wide-eyed fears;
I’m here, nothing can harm you,
My words will warm and calm you.
Let me be your freedom,
Let daylight dry your tears;
I’m here, with you, beside you,
To guard you and to guide you.
Let me be your shelter,
Let me be your light…
Love me, that’s all I ask of you
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