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Refuse Unholy Living

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Refuse Unholy Living

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Ephesians 5:3–7 NIV84
3 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. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
Ephesians
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3 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.
4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Refuse Unholy Living
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
Many of you have heard the saying, "When in Rome do what the Romans do." What is the meaning of the saying? It could mean that when you don't what to do follow the lead of someone who does. A second way to look at it is when you are in a foreign land follow the customs of that land.
Paul is giving us the exact opposite instructions here. Paul is saying, "When you're in Rome, act like a Christian." Where you are is not the issue. Who you are is.
3 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.
#1 No Sign of Sin
Paul is speaking imperatively. He is not asking that we live a holy life. he is, in fact, authoritatively saying you must live holy lives. There must neither be sexual immorality or evil or filth.
Paul listed three areas in particular:
1. Sexual immorality
2. Evil
3. Greed
69% of millennials believe that they can do whatever they want to do when it comes to sex. They believe that we are acting old folkie. They believe that this is a different era. They believe that things have drastically changed since back in the day. But, Paul is contradicting them.
He is saying if you are a believing, baptized, follower of Jesus Christ, then sexual sin, impurity, or greed are not fitting to be named among God's holy people (saints).
4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
#2 No Sign of Sinful Speech
Paul then talks about the Christian's mouth. Paul says that we should not use any type of language that is not consistent with the mouth of Jesus Christ. He is not only talking about cursing, but talking about things that are obscene, foolish or stupid or indecent. There is a place where light joking is acceptable. But, there is also a place where we cross the line. Each Christian must be on guard to know when you are crossing the line.
If you have to look around to see who is listening, then you probably are going to say something that is inappropriate. It is very important to be in tune with the Spirit of God. When you have to start apologizing for what you are going to say, then that is a good sign that you are out of line. The Spirit warns you that your words are about to be out of line. So, instead of saying, "God forgive me if I'm wrong..."
If you need to look over your shoulder to see who is going to hear what you are going to say, then maybe, just maybe you should not say it.
Twice now Paul says that certain behavior (3-4) is unfitting or out of place. There is behavior that is not appropriate for Christian believers. Rather than the Christians' mouth filled with flowing filth, it ought to be filled with faithful language. Rather than our mouths cursing and contrary language, it ought to be dripping with the devotion and thanksgiving to God.
The mouth of a Christian must flow with more thanksgiving than it does with complaining. It ought to be more "Thank you Jesus" than "Gosh darn it."
5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
#3 No Inheritance for Sinners
Anyone who is caught up in sinful behavior has not been transformed by the renewing of the mind. Though he or she spends a lot of time in church, is not a truly converted person.
When you are truly saved and converted, there are some things that no longer rest well with you. If, as a believer, you are not bothered by sexual immorality, indecent behavior, and greediness you are not sincerely saved.
When you are sincerely saved, there are things that violate your Spirit. You can no longer do what you used to do. What you were once comfortable doing you are now very uncomfortable with. Places I used to go, I can't go no more. Things I used to say, I can't say no more. Things I used to do, I can't do no more.
Anyone who cannot control himself is not truly saved. And therefore, not eligible to inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. The kingdom is only for those who are the children of God. God is not letting us into heaven because we look like his children, but because we are His children.
Everyone can't go to heaven, because heaven is not for everyone. Only those who are the children of God are going to inherit the kingdom of God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
#4 No Excuse for Disobedience
There is no chance that people will be allowed to be disobedient to God and not be held accountable for it. Anyone who lives a life of disobedience will face the wrath of God. The wrath of God is not meant for those who are of the household of faith. But, if there are sexually immoral people hiding out in the church, God will deal with them. If there are impure evil people hiding in church, God will deal with them. God's wrath is for disobedience not for the individual. We must know that God has nothing personally against any of us. Because He is a just God He will demand justice. We don't want to be on the wrong side of justice.
When someone is about to be dealt with we move away from them. So it is in the body of Christ. I have nothing personally against you, but when the wrath of God comes your way, I don't want to be around. You don't want to an accessory to the crime. You don't have to have committed the crime, but if you were connected in any way, you will be guilty also.
In Northern Africa, the natives have an interesting way of catching monkeys. You see they place a gourd full of seeds is fastened inside of a tree with a whole in it just big enough that the monkey can reach inside. Once the monkey closes his hand on the nuts his fist is too big to get out of the gourd. All the monkey would need to do is let go of the seeds that he has in his hand. But greed keeps him from letting go. The monkey is captured because he is too dumb to let go.
It is easy for us to look down our noses at the monkey. But in many cases we too are the monkey. Like the monkey, we simply won't let go. What is it about those seeds in the monkey's hand that prevent him from letting go? What is it about sexual immorality, impurity, and greed that won't let us go of the things that are going to ruin us too?
Maybe today, you too, have been holding on to something that is killing you. But, today you are ready to let it go? Jesus came that He could help you to let it go. Won't you give it to Him?
Ephesians 5:3–7 NIV84
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 man 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.
Refuse Unholy Living
How does immorality try to enter your life?
What areas of your life do you allow sin to be an option?
Paul listed three areas in particular for sin:
1. Sexual immorality
2. Impurity OREvil
3. Greed
"God forgive me if I'm wrong..."
God is not letting us into heaven because we look like his children, but because we are His children.
How does the LORD feel about my sexual activity?
Is there any part of my attitude that is not in line vs 4?
How do you feel about the treatment of immoral people described in
1 Corinthians 5:11 NIV84
But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
What area of sin is the biggest challenge for you?
Though God is slow to anger, wrath is the sure result of disobedience (vs 6).
Justice is not
Based on today’s sermon, God wants me to do what?
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