Call It What It Is
Ephesians 5:3-4 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.”
Now, the intention here is not that we should hide such things, and that we should not talk about them, as though they don’t exist, but that such things as these should not exist at all among those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ. They shall have no part of our lives. There should not even be a hint nor the slightest suggestion of such things among us.
So, what might all that entail? For one, we have Jesus’ words where he said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt 5:27-28).
So, adultery isn’t just a romantic affair and/or physically having sex with someone to whom we are not married, but it is also lusting after another who does not belong to us in a marriage relationship. And this can include lusting romantically as well as sexually. And this can be done via watching romantic movies or movies containing sexually suggestive material and/or which include adulterous relationships, and then by putting ourselves mentally and emotionally in the place of the characters in the movie.
This can also be done via daydreaming and fantasizing mentally in our minds that we are in a romantic and/or a sexual relationship with someone other than with our spouse. It may involve dreaming about someone we used to be in a relationship with, or a made up person, or someone we just fantasize about being in a relationship with. But whatever it is, it is sinful! And it should have no part of our lives!! And it has no part of me, praise Jesus!
Another possibility here is pornography, which is perhaps more deliberately intended to arouse sexual thoughts and emotions and responses in us physically and sensually. Many professing Christians today and even pastors periodically, regularly, and/or habitually view pornographic images and then self-gratify. This, too, is sinful, and anyone doing this is committing adultery against his/her spouse and against God.
Then there are light flirtations, maybe just joking around with someone of interest, maybe eating lunch together, and taking breaks together at work. Or perhaps it is someone you have met or have become reacquainted with on social media and you are commenting often on his or her posts in flirtatious ways, and maybe you are private messaging this person. This is also wrong if you are married to someone else, and it is very dangerous!
We can’t be entwined with a person in our minds who is not our spouse and be in a faithful and loving relationship with our spouse. Jesus calls it adultery. I call it adultery. So, don’t get the idea that if it is only in your mind or only on your phone, or only on a computer or on a TV screen that it is not sinful, or that it is not adultery, or that it is not sexual immorality. It is all those, and it is cheating on your spouse, which then usually leads to lying about it and keeping it hidden from your spouse.
And this isn’t just about sexual immorality or adultery against our spouses, but this is about our relationships with the Lord. We can’t be faithful to our Lord if we are cheating on him with the sinful pleasures this world has to offer us. We can’t be in a pure relationship with God if we are deliberately and habitually sinning against him and if we are following after “other gods” in place of or over and above him.
Don’t Be Deceived
Ephesians 5:5-6 ESV
“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.”
We are not saved from our sins and bound for heaven when we die merely on a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Don’t base your salvation on a few select Scriptures often taught out of context. Read the whole book! Read it in context and know what it teaches. For, it teaches that we must walk (in conduct, in practice) not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
It teaches that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And it says that Jesus poured out his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now be God’s possession and so we would now honor him with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20; Tit 2:14).
And it teaches that by faith in Jesus Christ that we are crucified with Christ in death to sin so that we no longer continue living in sin, and so we might walk with Christ in newness of life (not like the old life). For, our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; cf. Rom 8:1-17).
And it teaches what we should have been taught as the truth in Christ Jesus that we are “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:17-24; cf. Lu 9:23-26).
And it also teaches that if we make sin our practice, our habit, our addiction, that we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we professed (confessed) with our lips and thought we believed in our hearts. Our salvation and eternal life are conditional on us forsaking our lives of sin and us walking in obedience to our Lord, no matter who says differently. Read the Scriptures. They tell the truth.
[Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Lu 9:23-26; Heb 10:26-27; Mat 7:21-23]
Don’t Be Partakers
Ephesians 5:7-11 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.”
This is a warning to us not to partner with those who are making sin their practice, who are living in idolatry, impurity, and sexual immorality, and the like. We are not to partake with them in the sinful pleasures of this world. For Jesus Christ called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. He called us to live holy lives pleasing to him. And he called us to obedience to him and to his commands (New Covenant).
Instead of taking part in the unfruitful works of darkness, we are to expose them. We are to call them out. And this includes calling out these false teachers and false doctrines which are presently permeating the church here in America. We are to expose the cheap grace gospel for the lie that it is, and we are to lead people to the only truth which will save them from their sins and which will promise them eternal life with God.
Songwriters: Andrew Lloyd-Webber
Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Give them rest, grant them rest
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Grant them eternal rest
Dona eis requiem
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