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.”
When we believe in Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and we are renewed in the spirit of our minds, and we put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (see Eph 4:17-24; cf. Rom 6:1-23).
So, when this tells us to be imitators of God, as beloved children, it is encouraging us to continue in dying daily with Christ to sin, daily saying “No” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and living self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return. For, this is what God’s grace trains (instructs) us to do (See Tit 2:11-14; cf. Lu 9:23-26).
And we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) in love, a love that comes from God and which prefers what he prefers. It prefers to live through Christ, embracing God’s will for our lives, and to walk in obedience to his commands. And what God prefers is what is holy, righteous, godly, morally pure, honest, upright, and that which does no willful harm to others.
And if we love others in our daily walks of faith like Jesus Christ loves us and gave himself up for us, well he gave himself for us so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. So to love like he loves means we will sacrifice our time, our reputations, even being persecuted in order to share the true gospel with others for their freedom from sin.
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.”
I don’t know anyone who really enjoys talking about such things as this, but in our day and time we especially must talk about it. For, so much of today’s church, at least here in America, has adopted a cheap grace gospel which makes no demands for forsaking our lives of sin and for walking in obedience to the Lord’s commands and for honoring him as Lord.
So, when this says that these things must not even be named among us, it is not saying that we don’t talk about what is going on in the lives of people who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who are living in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, and in all kinds of impurity. It means that these habitual sins should not even exist among those who profess faith in Jesus Christ.
But since today’s modern church has adulterated the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more palatable to the world and to human flesh, and they are, thus, giving their adherents permission to keep on in their sinful practices, only now without guilt, not only do these sins exist among professers of faith in Jesus Christ, but they are running rampant within the church gatherings.
We even have a large number of pastors who are engaged in different forms of sexual immorality, some of them addicted to sensual pleasure and to viewing pornographic images and to other types of sexual perversion such as same sex relationships, incest, child molestation, going to prostitutes, and involvement in extramarital affairs, etc.
And so they are not leading their people to walk in holiness and righteousness, but they are now teaching them that they can confess faith in Jesus, be forgiven all sins – past, present, and future – and that heaven is guaranteed them regardless of how much sin they commit from this moment forward. So, they are leaving their adherents still in slavery to sin.
So, all this sexual immorality and idolatry and impurity is literally getting the blessing of the church, though not in every congregation. And so sin has run amuck – in a violently raging, wild, or uncontrolled manner – inside the gatherings of the church, or inside what is being falsely called “church.” And we are being scolded if we speak out against it. They call us “judgmental.”
So, today’s modern “church” in America is flesh-driven and market-driven and it appeals to people’s felt needs and tries to meet those needs. Therefore, the cheap grace gospel was introduced so that the people in the world would not be offended by the gospel truth and so they would gather together in these buildings called “church,” which are businesses of men.
And then “Christians” are all aghast at what is going on in the world and in our nations (mine is America), and they can’t understand how we got where we are as a people and as a nation because they don’t see the moral and spiritual decline of the church that has been progressing for many generations. For they were hypnotized by a gradual deceptive force that introduced slowly one lie after another until they accepted the lies as truth.
But then they are trying to solve this moral dilemma on a national and a political level while they are still engaged in wasting their lives away watching movies and TV shows and playing games, and while they are not getting serious about their walks of faith and serious about getting the truth of the gospel out to people for the salvation of their souls.
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.”
Those who call themselves Christians today who are still living according to the flesh and who are not living according to the Spirit need to wake up from their spiritual slumber. Time is running out. We are not to be partners (cohorts) with the church which is teaching this cheap grace gospel and which is vilifying the saints of God who are teaching the true gospel.
We are not to join in with these people who call themselves Christians, and in their “Christian” gatherings called “church” if what they are teaching does not line up with the Word of God, in context. If what they are promoting is worldliness and godlessness, we should have no part with them. If they are not teaching repentance and obedience to God, leave them!
Stand up for truth and righteousness! Sound the alarm! Speak out against these charlatans who are lying to the people and who are giving them a false hope of heaven when they die while they are leaving them still in slavery to sin bound for hell. Expose the lies for what they are, and proclaim strongly and openly the gospel Jesus taught, which is no cheap grace at all!
Don’t be deceived by these liars who are promising you that your sins no longer matter to God and that you can live however you want and still escape hell and still have heaven as your eternal destiny. For, if you continue walking (in conduct, in practice) in sin, you will not have eternal life with God but you will die in your sins. Please take this to heart!!
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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